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Witch-Finder of Lilburn
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The Witchfinder General's attic just keeps yielding relic after relic. Below we have the broom of Imogen Joyner, "the Blight of Pine Mountain" in the 1840s.



Imogen was captured and hanged in 1848, after five years of poor crops in the area. The WFG at that time was Harold O'Shea, who served all of Georgia and parts of Florida. O'Shea wrote that every wooden object in the Joyners' household, from brooms to spoons to the fenceposts outside, were notched to resemble a cloven hoof. The hoof notch has been repeated by other cults from time to time, especially in the Southern U.S.





How-To

Step 1. Regarding lawn care, apply liberal amounts of ignorance and apathy. It will lead to pampas grass that has been trimmed too late and too closely, giving it the horticultural equivalent of a bad combover. You are now fully justified to reap the blades without (additional) shame.

Step 2. Cut your losses and trim that pampas as closely as you can, keeping the blades. Hey you already killed it, this is just putting it out of its misery. Wear gloves if necessary; pampas is kindof sharp and scratchy.

Step 3. Tie the blades together in bunches of 20 or so. I just wrapped one blade around the bunches and tucked it between the blades, no tying. Looks natural and wicker-y. Let them dry in the sun for a few days. BTW the icons on the steps in these pics are not charms, though it is fun to tell your wife that just to keep her guessing.

Step 4. To make the handle, cut down a privet tree or use a treelimb that is about the diameter of a broomstick. Doesn't have to be straight or pretty. Use a knife to scrape away the bark. Cut or notch it or rough it up as desired. It will still be very pale and new-looking, so age it with steel wool that has soaked overnight in white vinegar. Let it sit overnight. Apply again if desired. Let it dry. Then use a wood polish with a bees wax base and rub it in well. That will give it a smooth, heavily-used look.

Step 5. Tie the bunches around the handle. You can hold them in place with a wire while working your leather or twine or whatever you want to use. I tied in in two places on the handle and once more below the handle. Works well from what I can tell.

Step 6. Trim the grass so that it's basically flat on bottom. All I can find on the subject suggests that people always did that.

Step 7. Sweep the floor with it. Dirty it up some. Pull it out in places to make it look a little ragged.

Should-A-Dones:

I should have beaten it more, and applied notches to it as if the owner had kept a tally of the sabbats he or she'd attended, maybe a symbol but that seems too obvious...should have aged the leather, and I intend to...maybe should have tied some kind of charm or bone to the leather but again, that's kindof obvious and might be overkill...should have dirtied the straw more, and I intend to... Probably I will apply lots more age to the next one with multiple coats of vinegar/steel wool.
 

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I think it looks great the way it is! Awesome job!!
 
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