The July floods in Eastern Kentucky that devastated communities also tried to erase part of the area’s history. Audio tapes stored at Appalshop were soaked with floodwaters and later covered with mold.
Appalshop has been salvaging what they can, and have been digitizing some of the gems they have unearthed. This is an expensive process, so donations to Appalshop are always appreciated.
Today Appalshop released the excerpt above that features Chester Cornett being interviewed by Elizabeth Barret. In the interview, Chester gripes about what all furniture makers complain about – how difficult it is to make a living selling handmade furniture. It’s worth your three minutes.
Also released: This fantastic rendition of “Sourwood Mountain” by Oaksie Caudill. It’s great if you love traditional mountain music.
— Christopher Schwarz
9 thoughts on “Unearthed (Literally) Interview with Chester Cornett”
Appalshop has been doing great work for many years by preserving and presenting traditional crafts and music and many other facets of local culture that are too often taken for granted. They deserve our support. And thank you, Chris, for the great fiddle tune.
I built a fantastic all hard Maple workbench. The top is 3.5″ thick and it is solid to say the least with Benchcrafted vises. About >$3K in material and who knows how many hours. The best bid I have gotten to sell it is $1500 – so I am very frustrated. Transport is a big issue, although I built it to break down. When I see handcrafted furniture for sale, most of my friends say, “too much” and I say, “that’s a bargain”!
It took me years to find a customer base. My first chairs sold for $500 to $600. And they took weeks of work.
That clip is historical gold at multiple levels. Thanks for posting.
Are we not humbled yet?
I wonder how many furniture or chair makers today would say “pretty well satisfied” (he repeats it, too) despite the pure economics of what Chester points out? Is there enough “intangible” compensation to justify and “the making” just something that you are compelled to do? Thanks for posting, Chris.
Who knows? Perhaps “pretty well satisfied” is the “bless your heart” of the chairmaking world.
Isn’t this the same audio that they used for the Appalshop documentary on Chester? I swear I’ve heard it before.
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