Ozarks Gift Ideas For The Holidays by yaoyufang


									    Ozarks Gift Ideas
    For The Holidays             By Fred Pfister & Gary Robinson

“Giving Ozarks”
Supports Artists And
The Crafts Tradition

         s the holiday season looms larger and closer,
         planning the season’s Christmas presents
         should include products “Made in Ozarks” by
our region’s artists and crafters.
   Shopper and “Ozarks supporter” Gary Robinson,
Topeka, Kan., has been buying such products for
himself and others for over 30 years, frequently at
the Christmas Showcase in Little Rock, sponsored by
the Arkansas Craft Guild.
   “I like the idea of supporting our Ozarks artists,”       Dennis and wife Linda converted the hobby into a
he says. “It keeps money in the Ozarks, and it            small business in 1995. Their vineyard has tame vari-
doesn’t contribute to our trade deficit, as when you      eties of muscadines and scuppernongs along with
buy a product made in China or other foreign coun-        some wild varieties and hybrids. This guarantees a
try. And the quality is great. Many of the items I        harvest each year.
bought years ago have actually increased in value or         Dennis spreads “canning know-how” by participa-
have become collector’s items.”                           tion in Winrock International, a nonprofit organiza-
   It’s also interesting, we both agreed, to see some     tion that works with people in the U.S. and around
of the old time crafts demonstrated—in studios and        the world to increase economic opportunity, sustain
workshops or in “living museums,” such as the             natural resources, and protect the environment. He
Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, Ark., and             has taught people in third world countries how to
Silver Dollar City near Branson, Mo.                      preserve fruits and vegetables by canning and how
   Gary and I put our heads together to come up with a    they can market their product.
group of artists and crafters whose work we know and
admire and several galleries that carry Ozarks artists.      The Engler Block, 1335 W. Hwy. 76 in Branson
There are others, many others, of course, but we had to   features a number of artists and crafters in wood,
limit our list because of space considerations and to     musical instruments, glass, clay and leather, who
prevent “reader overload.” In making the choices, we      actually demonstrate the craft and sell their products
also considered the wallet. Items/artists range from      in the crafts mall. The Engler Block is also home to
“very reasonable” to “down-right expensive.”              specialty shops, such as Father Time Clocks,
   Here are a few suggestions for different products,     Reigning Cats and Dogs (everything for pets),
galleries, and artists-crafters as the holiday season     Uniqiue Impression (75,000 rubber stamps and brass
bears down on shoppers:                                   impression) and Sunrise Leatherworks.
                                                             One of the visitors’ favorites is Artfolk Music
   Bear Kingdom Vineyard, Inc., Homemade                  and Wood. Faithe and Art Reed at the Engler Block
Jams & Jellies, prepared by Dennis H. Kolb. 501-          build acoustic music instruments, play them, and
888-1015 or www.bearkingdom.com.                          teach others how to play them. They’ll have you
   The goodness (and hard work) of home canning is        playing the mountain dulcimer in five minutes, guar-
fast disappearing. Dennis makes all kinds of jams         anteed! They also carry instruments by master
and jellies and sells them as singles or in gift bas-     builders in the Ozarks and wood carvings.
kets, but his fame comes from hard-to-get muscadine          They have a second shop in Branson at The Mill
jelly. He’s been making muscadine jelly as a necessi-     arts mall on Gretna Road.
ty for over 30 years. It became a necessity when he          Artfolk Music & Wood, Engler Block, Branson,
left home and his mother told him if he wanted more       Mo. 417-334-2100 or www.englerblock.com or
jelly she would show him how to make it. It became        www.artfolkmusic.com. (See p. 55 for pictures of
a hobby when he started his own vineyard.                 some of the Engler Block crafters and artists.)
The OZARKS MOUNTAINEER • NOV./DEC. 2006                                                                            5
                      Artist T. Morgan Crain has his
                   own gallery on Commercial Street
                   in Branson. Tom Crain is a laid
                   back, quiet spoken acrylic artist who
                   specializes in outdoors and nature
                   scenes. Tom Crain’s painting, “Tall
                   Tales” was the cover of the last
                   issue of The Ozarks Mountaineer,
                   and his outdoors and Ozarks art was

                                                            (Photo: Arline Chandler)
                   the subject of an article in the
                   December, ’03 issue. His work can
                   be found in various galleries nation-
                   wide, many homes and businesses,
                   and is frequently seen as the cover
                   art for Cabela’s and Fiocchi’s cata-
                      Crain Creations Gallery, 214 S.                                  spruce that go into the 1800 dulcimers built annually
    Commercial St., Branson, Mo., 417-239-3710 or                                      at the Mountain View location.
    www.craincreations.com.                                                               In addition to dulcimers and autoharps, the
                                                                                       Dulcimer Shoppe also sells, pottery, “how-to” books,
       Red Fern Glass is the small hot glass studio of                                 children’s corner, kitchen corner, candles, local
    Ed Pennebaker. Ed makes Art Glass Lighting,                                        crafts, candies, wooden vases, antiques, jewelry and
    Sculptural Pieces and Christmas Ornaments using                                    accessories. You can order from the website, which
    traditional offhand glassblowing techniques. All the                               also provides pictures and McSpadden and dulcimer
    glass is made by Ed in his backwoods studio near                                   history.
    Osage, Ark., with wife Trish providing moral support                                  The Dulcimer Shoppe, 1104 Sylamore Ave.,
    and occasional advice. Her daughter Katie has taken                                Mountain View, Ark. 72560; 870-269-4313, toll
    on the wrapping, packing, shipping job along with                                  free: 877-269-4422. or
    other miscellaneous duties. They all believe in work-                              www.mcspaddendulcimers.com.
    ing incessantly, cultivating concepts, discrimination
    and technique. Ed is a member of the Arkansas                                         Owen Rein is a transplanted Ozarker. He settled
    Crafts Guild and was the subject of a feature article                              in Stone County, Ark., in 1980 where he built a log
    in the Aug., ’88 issue of The Ozarks Mountaineer.                                  cabin and started making baskets and chairs. He
       Red Fern Glass, Ed Pennebaker, 870-553-2592                                     remarked, “Hoping to duplicate the success of the
    or www.redfernglass.com.                                                           log cabin, I made my chairs by cutting down oak
                                                                                       trees and splitting out the pieces. I had first read
       The Dulcimer Shoppe, Mountain, View, Ark., is                                   about this technique in the Foxfire 1 book and from
    known for its quality instruments. Started by Lynn                                 some locals.”
    McSpadden, the shop has gained a world-wide repu-                                     He has been commissioned to make rocking chairs
    tation for dulcimers. “The Magic of a McSpadden”                                   for former President Bill Clinton and U. S. Senator
    was a feature article in the May, ’06 issue of The                                 David Pryor. In 1994 he won the prestigious
    Ozarks Mountaineer. The shop is owned by Jim and                                   Arkansas Arts Council Fellowship Award.
    Betty Woods.                                                                          About his technique, Owen says, “I assemble the
       Jim Woods had built dulcimers for years at his                                  chairs while the wood in the legs is still a little bit
    Texas home before buying the shop in Mountain                                      green, but I dry the spokes in a kiln. If done right the
    View in 2001. Jim says that most wood for the dul-                                 joints will never come loose because the green wood
    cimers is bought from local sawmills and kiln dried                                of the legs will dry and shrink around the dry wood
    at the shop. Most commonly used woods in
    dulcimers today are walnut, cherry and

6                                                                                             The OZARKS MOUNTAINEER • NOV./DEC. 2006
   of the spokes. The other joints are held in place      the surface. Then dyes and permanent inks are used
with Walnut dowels, wedges, or square headed pegs.        to color the designs. Next the gourds are carved and
I never use nails, screws, or other metal fasteners in    inlayed with semi-precious stones. They can add
my chairs.”                                               copper, silver, and gold leaf as you prefer, as well as
   Owen’s chairs aren’t cheap, but they’re so good        leather, turquoise, deer antlers, and other materials.
he can guarantee them “forever, no matter what.”          All designs are inspired by nature, Native American,
   Owen Rein, P.O. Box 1162, Mountain View,               Asian, and Southwestern cultures.
Ark. 72560; owen@reinowen.com;                               Patti Quinn Paquin &
www.reinowen.com.                                         Hiromi Matsuyama, Gourd
                                                          Art Originals, Glenwood, Ark.
  Patti Quinn Paquin and Hiromi Matsuyama create          71943; phone: 870-356-9099;
beautiful art from common gourds. At Gourd Art            or order online at
Originals, they offer fine art gourds for the discrimi-   www.gourdartoriginals.com.
nating collector as well as for those who adore
unique décor. The two artists design each gourd with         Mike McArthy creator of
quality; the design is pyro-engraved with heat onto       Photozarks, travels the Ozarks
                                                          region photographing, writing,
                                                          publishing and selling the beau-
                                                          ty of the Ozarks in print. His
                                                          photos and articles include
                                                          everything from the region’s
                                                          historic mills and other rustic
                                                          architecture to the natural
                                                          scenery and wildlife. His pho-
                                                          tos have been featured on a
                                                          number of Mountaineer covers,
                                                          and he has written feature arti-
                                                          cles for the magazine about
                                                          mills, mill tours and hikes
                                                          Photozarks creates, publishes

The OZARKS MOUNTAINEER • NOV./DEC. 2006                                                                             7
       and sells artistic prints, greeting cards and the       or, acrylic, oil, and mixed media, along with wood,
    popular “Historic Ozarks Mills Calendar” series.           metal, basketry, photography, and sculpture. The
    Mike also does photo-shoots and custom designing           3,300-square-foot gallery features work by nearly
    and printing, all with the Ozarks in mind. His cre-        100 artists whose works can be found in corporate
    ations can be found in retail and gift shops in            and private collections throughout the United States
    Missouri and Arkansas or can be ordered online.            and abroad and in respected museums, galleries, and
       Mike McArthy, Photozarks, 1499 Brittany                 universities that have acquired the gallery’s artists’
    Cove Dr., St. Charles, Mo. 63304; phone: 636-              work for their permanent collections.
    399-2715 or visit www.photozarks.com. (See ad on              Under gallery owner Debra Wood, River Market
    inside front cover.)                                       ArtSpace has quickly emerged as one of the most
                                                               prominent galleries featuring the best in contempo-
       Winston Taylor is an Arkansas native, born in           rary art and craft in the state of Arkansas.
    Little Rock in 1948, living there until 1990 when he          The website has a wealth of material, featuring the
    moved to Russellville, Ark.                                artists represented, examples of their work, artistic
        Winston’s love for working with clay was imme-         statements and biography, as well as general
                             diate when he touched it for      Arkansas arts information.
                             the first time in the early 70s
                             at UALR.                                                       Earl Maggard’s items are
                             “Actually,                                                  the real things, unless you
                             it touched                                                  consider them “toys for big

                                                                                     (Photo: www.rivermarketartspace.com)
                             me, to the                                                  boys.” Earl makes quality,
                             point of                                                    old time, horse-drawn wag-
                             distraction                                                 ons, buggies, surreys—even
                             from other                                                  hearses—in his shop near
                             important                                                   Reeds Spring, Mo. In fact,
                             matters.                                                    he was the subject of an
                             The versa-                                                  article in The Ozarks
                             tility and                                                  Mountaineer, April, ’04.
                             potential                                                   Earl works year-round in a
                             for expres-                                                 small shop with a wood-
                             sion has entranced me from        burning stove near Reeds Spring, Mo. His poplar
                             the first moment.”                work is popular, and he has to work hard to keep a
                                 Winston’s work is most        surrey or buggy ahead of demand. He found that
                             often raku fired and intended     poplar wood is “close grained, doesn’t split, and
                             as objects of art. One series     weathers well.” The wood was recommended to him
                             reflects the influence of the     by the Amish people of Seymour, Mo., some forty
                             art of dance, another of          years ago.
                             southwest Native American            Earl makes some concessions to technology. “Old
                             culture, and one series is        wheels built by early settlers were ‘metal-to-metal’
                             simply a response to the          hub-axle and had to be greased frequently. My ball
                             beauty of nature by incorpo-      bearing wheels roll easily and smoothly and have to
                             rating found natural objects      be greased or checked just once a year.”
                             with vessels.                        Maggard’s Buggy Sales, 2479 E. St. Hwy 248,
                                 Winston Taylor can be         Reeds Spring Mo. 65737; phone: 417-272-8105.
                             contacted at 479-967-7668
                             or wtsclay2@yahoo.com.
                             Most of his work sells at
                             River Market ArtSpace:

                                River Market ArtSpace,
                             301 President Clinton
                             Avenue. Little Rock, Ark,
                                                                                                                            (Photo: Bettery Craker Henderson)

                             72201; 501-324-2787 or
                             visit www.rivermarket
                                River Market ArtSpace
                             features the work of some of
                             Arkansas’ most respected
                             and distinguished artists. The
                             gallery offers paintings and
                             drawings in pastel, watercol-
8                                                                     The OZARKS MOUNTAINEER • NOV./DEC. 2006
                                                                                                       Arkansas Craft
                                                                                                       Guild: Christmas
                                                                                                       Showcase, 2006
                                                                        A good “week-ender” trip for
                                                                     Christmas shopping and perhaps even

                                                                  (Photo: www.fromtheheart-wood.com)
                                                                     visiting the new Clinton Presidential
                                                                     Library in Little Rock would be the first
                                                                     weekend in December. That’s when the
                                                                     Arkansas Craft Guild sponsors its
                                                                     Christmas Showcase, where over a hun-
                                                                     dred artists and crafters gather to make
                                                                     Christmas shopping for “one-of-a-kinds”
                                                                        Established in 1960, the Guild is
                                                                     nationally recognized as a significant
   Woodturning artist Mike Kornblum,                    force for the encouragement and promotion of excel-
Springfield, Mo., creates distinctive native wood       lence in traditional and contemporary crafts.
bowls and wood sculptures from hand selected solid
pieces of Manzanita root-burl wood. Each wood           Where:
bowl or wood sculpture is a one-of-a-kind creation.     State House Convention Center
   Mike has learned to “let the wood show what’s        100 Markham St.,
inside.” Form and design are developed individual       Little Rock, Ark.
for each piece, and modified as the wood reveals
“what it wants to do.”
   Wood bowls and wood sculptures created by            When:
“From the Heart-Wood” Studio make the perfect           December 1-3, 2006
wedding gift and will be treasured as a unique family   Friday 10-8, Saturday 10-6, Sunday 10-4
heirloom for years to come. Wood bowls, and wood           See www.arksansascraftguild.org for samples and
sculptures are shipped nationwide and are “guaran-      biographies of artists.
teed to your satisfaction.”                                The Arkansas Crafts Gallery carries work by
   Mike has an excellent website with amazing pho-      Guild members at 104 E. Main St., Mountain View,
tographs of some of his work and information about      Ark. 72560; phone: 870-269-4120.
the step by step process of turning blocks of wood         For more information about the Christmas
into works of art. You may order online.                Showcase or to be added to the Guild’s mailing list,
   From the Heart-Wood, Mike Kornblum, 417-             contact the Guild office at 870-269-4120 or
368-4866 or www.fromtheheart-wood.com.                  arkcrafguild@mvtel.net.
   Art and crafts are alive and well in the Ozarks. A
new generation is taking pioneer crafts and skills,
preserving them and passing them on to others, and
at the same time adapting products and skills to
changing times. Support Ozarks artists, artisans and
crafters by “Buying Ozarks” for your holiday

The OZARKS MOUNTAINEER • NOV./DEC. 2006                                                                                   9

To top