Ozark Folk Center Craft Village
Experience Arkansas with Ozark Heritage Crafts
The Ozark Folk Center State Park is home to more than 20 craft artisans. Each artisan has their own climate-controlled workshop in the Craft Village where they create, demonstrate, teach and sell their handmade items. Working on their crafts daily allows our artisans to develop a mastery of their chosen craft that few people in today’s world have the time to achieve. You’ll find heirloom quality crafts here at the Ozark Folk Center State Park.
The craftspeople are all independent business folks who make their livings selling the items they create by hand. Each item is made, one at a time, by the people in the workshop. Depending on the craft, each piece can take from an hour to a year to carve, weave, forge or fire.
The craft workshops you will find in the Village include:
Apothecary Shop – Soap is a vital supply to help people stay healthy as well as clean. Linda Odom makes good old fashioned soap using the cold process method. She recycles the cooking oil from the Skillet and herbs from the Heritage Herb Garden in her soaps. She also makes lotions and other remedies. She carries specially blended herbal teas. Visit Linda's Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/villageapothecaryshop/
Art Cabin – Artist Jim Tindall draws delightful caricatures for you and your family. He also creates paintings that range from fun to realistic. He is a talented teacher and offers classes several times a month. http://www.jimtindall.com/
Blacksmith forge – Blacksmithing skills were vital to homesteaders and appreciated today. Blacksmith Sam Hibbs forges everything from nails to elaborate wall decorations, stair rails and iron gates. While blacksmiths in the past would have used coal, or hardwood charcoal in their forges, the OFC blacksmiths use those and have the option to use a fuel efficient propane forge and a new induction forge. Sam also has a climate-controlled shop next to the forge where you can shop his full line of functional iron art. OzarkIron.com
Broom Shop – Broom makers Shawn Hoefer and Radha Larson dye their own broom corn and hand-select and finish sticks from local hardwoods. They have been champion broom makers at the National Broom Corn Festival in Arcola Illinois many times. Laffing Horse Designs
Candle Shop – Longtime candle makers RC and Jane Schroeder dips and pours high tapers, pillars and other beautiful candles. They offer visitors a chance to dip their own paraffin color dip candles and love to share their craft.
Copper Colorists – Skip Mathews spent a decade cutting more than 15,000 butterflies out of copper and using torch flame to turn the copper brilliant colors. Through patience and practice, Skip discovered how to consistently get the colors he wants where he wants them in his designs. Skip and his wife Rachel create many beautiful designs using copper and fire in this unique craft. Visit Skip and Rachel's website http://www.coppercolorists.com/.
Cooper & Whittling Shop – Wood is the major resource of the Ozarks. It can become hoe handles or butter churns. This shop features hand carved, whittled and shaped wood by Sandy Gonzales. Coopering is a skill that takes many years to perfect. Along the way, coopers learn to make many things that are useful around the homestead. Visit the Cooper Shop for hand carved boxes, figures, spoons and more.
Doll Shop – Corn Shuck artist Paula Lane fills this shop with fanciful fairy dolls, corn shuck angels, prairie doll bookmarks, corn shuck flowers and wreaths. The shop is a delight of color and the family stories shared as she works on dolls give you a feel for how it was to grow up in the Ozarks in the days before roads and electricity.
Fiber Arts Shop –In this shop you’ll meet crafts women who spin yarns and then knit, crochet or weave them into everything from bath towels and blankets to shawls and scarves. The shop walls are full of gorgeous creations for your shopping pleasure. They also sell the fibers for spinners; spinning wheels; weaving looms; yarns and all thing fibery.
Herb Study Center – The Heritage Herb Garden that flourishes throughout the park is a nationally recognized repository of native Ozark plants, culinary and medicinal herbs, and pass-along plants. These plants are cared for and propagated by our herbs. Plants are available for purchase in the arbor during the season. Creative Herbal Home
Jewelry Shop – Linda Widmer is known for her delicate wire-wrapped jewelry. Wrapped around coins, antique buttons and unique stones, her pieces are heirloom quality. Visit Linda's website http://www.lindawidmerjewelry.com/
Knife Shop – Arkansas has long been known for its master bladesmiths. The knife-makers at the Ozark Folk Center carry on this tradition making knives of all sizes and uses. They work in steel and also flint-knap stone and add handles of antler, bone, local and exotic woods. They handcraft sheaths to fit each knife.
Leather Shop – From belts to hold up pants to guitar straps, purses and book covers, leather has always been an important part of life in the Ozarks. Leathersmith Janice Clark creates a wide variety of functional and beautiful leather art, from fly swatters to handbags to wine bottle holders. She is happy to create a custom Bible cover, leather bracelets or more, just for you.
Papercraft Shop – Simple paper can become a work of art in the right hands. Papercrafter Jamie Blakely cuts, folds and shapes paper into detailed natural-looking flowers, dolls, silhouettes and more.
Pottery Shop – This shop is the full scale of artistry in clay. The walls and shelve are full of the beautiful pots, mugs, bowls, plates and pitchers made in the shop. Potters John Perry and Judi Munn fire the pots they create on the wheel in electric, propane and every other year the wood-fired kiln here in the park. They have a teaching classroom with five wheels and take apprentices with two years’ experience in college level pottery. Perry/Munn Pottery
Print Shop – We are lucky to have several working letter presses in our shop at the Ozark Folk Center, as well as a printer who has devoted his life to teaching the craft of letterpress printing. Join Troy Odom to learn about this craft that brought about literacy and is making a comeback in the modern world. Visit Troy's Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/oldtimeprintshop/
Quilt Shop – There is nothing more comforting than a quilt to snuggle under on a cold winter night. Quilt making has been not only a vital life skill in the Ozarks, but the beautiful quilts made here are a source of pride for the quilt makers. Visit this shop to find the rare beauty of hand stitched quilts as well as the supplies and equipment to make your own quilts.
Stained Glass – Our stained glass artist, Dona Sawyer is a master at Tiffany-style glass. She creates her own designs and produces them in glorious colors of glass. She does custom orders for pieces large and small. She recycles her glass scraps and pieces into fused glass jewelry, buttons and utensils. Visit Dona's Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/donastiffanystylestainedglass/
Woodsmith Shop – From children’s toys such as rubber band pistols and finger tops to fine and functional handcrafted hunting bows to turkey calls, to unique Ozark instruments, this shop offers something for all ages. Joe Roe produces both functional and fun items from one of our most available natural resources here in the Ozarks, wood.