One of the designers and makers of the Sunrise Mirror, available at Berea’s Log House Craft Gallery, took inspiration from the small Missouri town where they grew up.

“I lived surrounded by fields, cotton, corn and watermelons,” said Ange ’26, a sophomore Engineering Technologies and Applied Design major. “The mirror looks like it’s the sun as it’s rising over a field.”

It was a tiny place. Ange’s graduating class was about 30 people. Life was peaceful, slow, and that’s how they liked it. Ange would look out over the fields, take in the sun, imagine what was beyond, and scratch out a landscape in their sketchbook.

“I was always drawing,” they said. “I have a big stack of sketchbooks back home.”

The oldest of six, Ange is the first in their family to attend college. And though they loved the slow pace of their hometown, Ange longed to see a bit more of the world. A friend told them about Berea College, so they checked out the website and took a keen interest in the Labor program.

“Woodcraft, broomcraft, weaving and pottery,” they said. “I was like, I would really love to learn how to make stuff like that.”

Ange and their friend both applied and now attend together. Ange had never worked with wood before but picked it up quickly.

“I was pleasantly surprised. It was really nice,” they said. “When I’m making things, everything mellows out, and I focus on what I’m creating. I’ll get ideas, sometimes I’ll be like, ‘Ooh, that sounds interesting. Let me add that.’ By the time I’m finished, I’ll be like, ‘Oh, I’m back on Earth.’”

The Sunrise Mirror came into being through a similar process. As they designed, Ange added the functionality of a shelf with drawers, imagining keychains and assorted whatnots that could be placed there. They imagined it sitting by the door, a place to do a final appearance check before leaving, a place to put the things you take with you every day.

And every day, as Ange looks in their own mirror, they see the face of a family pioneer. As the first in their family to go to college, Ange feels the pressure, understands they are on their own to figure out this path.

“It’s scary, for sure,” Ange said. “Being the first one, you don’t get a manual. No one can fill you in on what’s going to happen. You have to improvise and adapt really quickly.”

But also, Ange is now an inspiration. Though not too long ago, their little brother hadn’t put much thought into his future, he recently asked if Ange could help him fill out some scholarship applications. Ange is happy to help.

Every Piece Tells a Story

When you purchase a handmade Berea College Student Craft product, you are buying much more than a bowl or mug. Each piece is imprinted with the identity and heart of the student who made it.

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