Ozark Folk Center

People around Mountain View have a lot of pride in their culture.  They started the Roots program to provide free musical instruments and instruction to grade school children and that program has been hugely successful.  They also have a desire to protect their heritage in crafts.  In 1962 the University of Arkansas assisted local artisans and musicians in forming the Ozark Foothills Craft Guild.  The Guild sponsored an annual folk festival that today draws more than 100,000 to this tiny community of just over 2,000 people.  Seeking a more permanent and full time place to exhibit their crafts, the guild, with fundraising and government funds, established a private commercial venture in Mountain View that was eventually rolled into the state park system.  It is located a couple of miles from where we are parked.

 The Center consists of a number of rustic cabins such as the one above.  Inside, however, are modern conveniences such as electricity and running water.

The Center consists of a number of rustic cabins such as the one above.  Inside, however, are modern conveniences such as electricity and running water.

TD Folk Center (302 of 17).jpg
TD Folk Center (316 of 17).jpg
 Our first stop was at the jewelry 'store'.  This is a commercial venture and each craft person will sell some of their art as well as provide demonstrations of their craft.

Our first stop was at the jewelry 'store'.  This is a commercial venture and each craft person will sell some of their art as well as provide demonstrations of their craft.

 We stopped by the school house.  No crafts here, just some interesting history and fun signs.

We stopped by the school house.  No crafts here, just some interesting history and fun signs.

 Not sure this is a legitimate rule list.

Not sure this is a legitimate rule list.

Ozark Folk Center-10.jpg
Ozark Folk Center-11.jpg
 Basket weaving was probably not done this way a hundred years ago.  But, the craftswoman noted that crafts have always evolved to meet current need and 'market demand'.  So true.

Basket weaving was probably not done this way a hundred years ago.  But, the craftswoman noted that crafts have always evolved to meet current need and 'market demand'.  So true.

 This lovely lady fascinated me.  Right before our eyes in a matter of minutes she made a basic corn husk doll.  She mentioned that her grandmother's only doll was one such as this.

This lovely lady fascinated me.  Right before our eyes in a matter of minutes she made a basic corn husk doll.  She mentioned that her grandmother's only doll was one such as this.

Ozark Folk Center-20.jpg
Ozark Folk Center-28.jpg
 This shop made custom rifles.  The young man welcoming guests described himself as an apprentice.  He was so enthusiastic I almost wanted to take one off the wall and hold it.  The rifles are not cheap and delivery can take several months. 

This shop made custom rifles.  The young man welcoming guests described himself as an apprentice.  He was so enthusiastic I almost wanted to take one off the wall and hold it.  The rifles are not cheap and delivery can take several months. 

 This was set up for groups of musicians to stop by and play . . . any time.  The group was playing when we walk by but when we returned to listen they had taken a break.

This was set up for groups of musicians to stop by and play . . . any time.  The group was playing when we walk by but when we returned to listen they had taken a break.

Ozark Folk Center-44.jpg
Ozark Folk Center-50.jpg
 There was a garden.  It is past the growing season her so there were limited items for sale.

There was a garden.  It is past the growing season her so there were limited items for sale.

TD Folk Center (305 of 17).jpg
TD Folk Center (301 of 17).jpg
 This is called flame painting.  The artisans describe it as a unique art form where an oxyacetylene torch is used to make colors on copper.  The different colors are produced by using controlling the flame and producing different temperatures.  After the piece is completed an acrylic urethane is applied to protect the colors.

This is called flame painting.  The artisans describe it as a unique art form where an oxyacetylene torch is used to make colors on copper.  The different colors are produced by using controlling the flame and producing different temperatures.  After the piece is completed an acrylic urethane is applied to protect the colors.

Ozark Folk Center-42.jpg
 This is an example of encaustic artwork using bees wax to apply layers of the wax to a base.  They teach classes at the center for many of the crafts and this one is a popular one for local residents.

This is an example of encaustic artwork using bees wax to apply layers of the wax to a base.  They teach classes at the center for many of the crafts and this one is a popular one for local residents.

Ozark Folk Center-55.jpg
 Sycamore leaf!

Sycamore leaf!

 No surprise to see a musical instrument in stained glass.

No surprise to see a musical instrument in stained glass.

 Musical instrument making is popular.

Musical instrument making is popular.

 One of my favorite stops was at the blacksmiths.  This gentleman was so good at explaining everything from the history and quality of his anvil and drill press to how he looks for a certain color in the heated metal.

One of my favorite stops was at the blacksmiths.  This gentleman was so good at explaining everything from the history and quality of his anvil and drill press to how he looks for a certain color in the heated metal.

Ozark Folk Center-61.jpg
TD Folk Center (306 of 17).jpg
 Just look at his face filled with satisfaction and pride!  He explained that the genius of the wheel's design meant that the wheel would not change shape at high revolutions.

Just look at his face filled with satisfaction and pride!  He explained that the genius of the wheel's design meant that the wheel would not change shape at high revolutions.

Ozark Folk Center-64.jpg
 The potter was busy but took time to explain all the steps he used in creating this functional art piece.  This would be backed into a deep pie dish.

The potter was busy but took time to explain all the steps he used in creating this functional art piece.  This would be backed into a deep pie dish.

Ozark Folk Center-101.jpg
 The quilt making shop was a good stop as well.  In addition to the shop, there was a quilt exhibit going on at the Center.

The quilt making shop was a good stop as well.  In addition to the shop, there was a quilt exhibit going on at the Center.

TD Folk Center (308 of 17).jpg
Ozark Folk Center-79.jpg
 The woman at the quilt shop was very excited about a gift she had received earlier in the day of a grocery bag full of old flour bags.  She explained that early flour mills found marketing advantage in putting their flour in fabric bags that could be used for making clothing item, and more importantly, quilts.  The photo above shows a small portion of such a quilt.

The woman at the quilt shop was very excited about a gift she had received earlier in the day of a grocery bag full of old flour bags.  She explained that early flour mills found marketing advantage in putting their flour in fabric bags that could be used for making clothing item, and more importantly, quilts.  The photo above shows a small portion of such a quilt.

TD Folk Center (310 of 17).jpg
 There is a printing shop. 

There is a printing shop. 

 As in other places, the artisan was both demonstrating a craft and making items for sale.

As in other places, the artisan was both demonstrating a craft and making items for sale.

 Brick making.

Brick making.

 A woodworking shop.

A woodworking shop.

Ozark Folk Center-89.jpg
 A leather shop.

A leather shop.

TD Folk Center (303 of 17).jpg
Ozark Folk Center-99.jpg
 I think this house is waiting for a new crafts person to move in.

I think this house is waiting for a new crafts person to move in.

TD Folk Center (304 of 17).jpg
 This gentleman was near the welcome center and was chatty about everything music, especially blue grass and his dobro.

This gentleman was near the welcome center and was chatty about everything music, especially blue grass and his dobro.

TD Folk Center (315 of 17).jpg