Working with your hands can be very satisfying. Carrying on traditions can be heartening. Ozark Folk School at Ozark Folk Center State Park in Mountain View allows you to do both. Participants learn traditional Ozark crafts, music and gardening in hands-on classes taught by expert artisans.
The park offers a short session on March 17-19, and the five-day school on March 20-25. The registration for both is March 1.
The Folk School, as well as other workshops and seminars offered throughout the year, ensures that the mission of the state park is carried on in the lives of people. Its mission is to preserve, document, display and interpret the cultural and social history of the Ozark region.
The park’s Craft Village presents more than 20 different demonstrations of Ozark mountain pioneer crafts such as basket making, pottery, blacksmithing, quilting and broom making. Craft items are for sale both from the artisans directly and in the Homespun Gift Shop. The Village also contains an herb garden and children’s area. In addition, there are hourly music performances and a daily living history presentation. Folk Center concerts feature a variety of traditional acoustic music from the southern mountains of the United States. Special concerts during the year will feature other forms of music such as contemporary country, gospel, rock and folk.
These classes are still open for the second, 5-day session of Folk School, March 20-25(descriptions from Ozark Folk Center website):
Beginning Knife Making
Both aspiring beginning knife-makers and intermediate bladesmiths will benefit from this hands-on class. Students will work through every step that it takes to complete a personal, fixed blade knife – from profiling and flat grinding the blades, to hardening and tempering the steel, and all the way through finishing with handles and sheathes. Students will be able to choose from several styles.
The instructor will provide all major tools and materials; however, participants should plan to bring a full cloth apron, safety glasses, leather gloves, and appropriate clothing. This class takes dexterity and willingness to work. You must be at least 16-years-old to take this class. Class fee: $500.
Learn to forge iron. This course will cover the basics of forging, hammer-work and tools used to learn to blacksmith. You’ll go home with several finished pieces including a triangle dinner bell and other items that you choose to create. Class fee: $575.
ClawCamp Conducted by Dan Levenson
Clawcamp is an intensive skills building workshop for clawhammer banjo players. All levels welcome except those who have never played before (we advise those folks to check out our Scratch Camp later this year).
During the week, we work on all aspects of clawhammer banjo playing including both right and left hand styles, double thumb, drop thumb, rolls (often mistakenly called “the Galax Lick”), the “chuck,” tuning, timing, hammers, pulls, and WHY and where you would choose to use them. We will also deal with topics such as playing position, ergonomics of motion (how not to get HURT in the process of having a good time!) and how to play with others. There will be an intensive “listening” session and other sessions can include a session on writing tab and one on performance techniques. Actual topics and levels will be dependent on capabilities and desires of attendees. Class fee: $250.
Learn how to make traditional corn shuck dolls, flowers and wreaths. Then you’ll discover how to use your own creativity to explore options using natural materials. This 5-day study of the art of corn shuckery will feel like a fun gathering of girl friends from the very start. You’ll learn where to find materials, how to prepare them and how to use them to create beautiful decorations. Class fee: $275.
Evening Spinning Class
Make the most of your time at the Ozark Folk School by taking two classes! This spinning class is scheduled from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday – Thursday evenings. Taught by Glenda Hershberger, this class will take you from where you are at in your yarn spinning ability and expand your knowledge and capability. If you are a complete beginner, that is fine, this class will open the door to this relaxing craft. If you have your own wheel and want to learn to spin different fibers or make designer yarns – this class is also for you. Class fee: $180.
Projects both new and old will be presented in this week of Folk School with the emphasis on fun and learning by doing. The age for participation is 8 to 12 and the cost is $150 per participate for the 5 days. This will include all materials and a T-shirt that we will tie-dye ourselves. There will be a class on making pin-hole cameras, one on paper folding, another on Ozark Games and yet more fun learning & playing simple rhythm instruments. The Young Pioneer programs of pottery & corn shuckery will also be part of yours weeks’ learning and doing enjoyment. The week will need to have at least 6 participants to run, so invite a friend and see if you can sign up to come and have fun with us at the Ozark Folk Center Folk Kids Folk School.
Glass lampwork – Flame of Mind
This workshop sets the budding beadmaker on the path of infinite discovery through an ever expanding combination of methods for creating intricate patterns. We will cover the list as completely as possible that includes more refined aspects of what is covered in the Fundamentals class along with Masking dot work, sculptural beads, multiple beads, bent beads, laticinos and fancy twisted canes, hollow beads, off mandrel pendants, rondells and disks, vessels and more! Class fee: $710.
Growing Herbs in Containers
This is a 3 Day Class – Monday, March 21-Wednesday, March 23. Growing herbs in containers is a great way to garden if you have a small space, or are mobile or just want to be able to keep your plants in pots. But plants that are confined have special needs and requirements. Gardener Kathleen Connole specializes in starting and growing herbs and other plants in containers. Wear old clothes and bring gloves. Class fee: $195.
Learn to make a variety of beautiful and functional brooms. Starting with the simple, lowly, yet startlingly versatile whisk broom. You’ll move through the styles, learning to make a turkey wing, hawk tail and hearth broom. Finish up the class with cob web brooms and kitchen brooms.
The brooms you create in this class will not only be functional, but they’ll also be works of art that utilize color composition and basket weaving (plaiting) techniques. You will learn to tie, stitch and plait your brooms. All broomcorn, wire, twine and handle material is provide in the materials fee. You may bring your own sticks for handles if you would like. Weather permitting, we will spend one day in the forest gathering selecting and harvesting broom handles. Class fee: $300.
Herbal Apothecary 101
Plants have been allies to human beings throughout history. Remedies using plants were often referred to as simples