Ozark Hickory Baskets

Real Photo Postcard, circa 1915 — “Hand Made Baskets Shadowrock Basket Shop Forsyth MO”


Basket-making was a pioneer necessity that became a commodity for early souvenir shops. This selection of handmade baskets of split hickory is not only beautifully made, the composition of the photograph and its technical qualities are excellent.

Ozark crafts had some reinforcement from benevolent institutions and government programs, but it was much less and more sporadic than it was for Appalachian craft industries. 

The crafts business seems to have revolved more around roadside souvenir shops, with some encouragement from School of the Ozarks and later WPA programs. 
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Silver Dollar City was an early supporter of the original souvenir-shop products and provided an environment where people could see these and other traditional handmade items being fabricated.  

Handmade baskets are still produced but they join additional arts & crafts technologies like glassblowing, woodcarving and pottery making. 

An original Ozarks craft centered in Hollister was the making of concrete yard ornaments and flowerpots decorated with drip paint, invented by Harold Horine. 

(This feature is courtesy of Leland and Crystal Payton at Lens & Pen Press, publishers of all-color books on the Ozarks. Their new book, James Fork of the White, was published in 2017. Some pages from this book can be seen on www.beautifulozarks.com. Their earlier river book, Damming the Osage, can be at seen www.dammingtheosage.com)

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