Amy Callaway Watercolorist at the Branson Mill Craft Village

compressed amyTowards the back of the Branson Mill Craft Village most days you will find a quiet lady intently painting. Don’t let her quiet, peaceful, demeanor fool you…as you walk closer you’ll be greeted with a joyous “Hi, how are you today?” This is the work station of award winning watercolorist Amy Callaway.

Amy Callaway knew she wanted to be an artist at age eight. Amy was voted the most artistic of her high school classmates (Libertyville, Illinois). One of her etchings won a Congressional award and was displayed in the Capitol Building in Washington D.C. for one year. After high school Amy received an art scholarship while attending Northern Illinois University. After completing her B.F.A. Degree in Art she had many art related jobs to support her and her art. Some of her projects include: paintings featured in “Splash 6,” a book published by Northlight Books, paintings in the “Far Side Calendars” and working at a studio making botanical models for dioramas of Natural History Museums. Amy is also a Signature Member of the Missouri Watercolor Society. Amy has won various awards with her art since high school to the present.

The Branson Mill Craft Village is excited to have an artist of such a high caliber as Amy Callaway. Amy has been painting with watercolors for thirty-one years. How exactly did Amy get started in such an art medium?

watercolor by Amy Callaway“My mother was always creative, she was sewing, crafting or glazing ceramics,” said Amy. “My dad would help her to make frames or other wooden structures too. Then one of my high school art teachers was a great influence with watercolor painting, his name was Ross Shellenberger. After high school I continued art schooling at Northern Illinois University. While attending NIU I had a summer apprenticeship with NIU Watercolor Painting Art Instructor Win Jones.”

Amy’s studio inside the Branson Mill allows you watch her create her latest masterpiece. She is always happy to answer any questions you may have.

“I hope all can enjoy my visions of favorite moods, places, things, and shapes,” said Amy. “Watercolor painting has given me a great deal of pleasure over the years and I hope the demonstrations at the Branson Mill will help you appreciate the Art of Painting too.”

Come by the Branson Mill Craft Village and visit Amy Callaway’s shop. You’ll find her shop filled with a gallery of originals, prints, greeting cards, painted gourds, and gift products. Amy is available for commissions of paintings and drawings.

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Christmas Shopping Made Easy at the Branson Mill

christmas shoppingDo you have someone on your Christmas shopping list that you put off year after year to shop for because they seem to have everything and just don’t know what to purchase for them? We challenge you this year to make shopping stress free! At the Branson Mill Craft Village we think Christmas shopping should be about bringing joy to your loved ones, not just about putting a pretty package under the tree.

Among our 40,000 square feet of shopping you will find unique handmade items, we are certain you can complete your shopping list…even for the hardest to buy Gaylen Montgomeryfor. Our shops in the Branson Mill have everything from leather goods like holsters, belts and guitar straps to hand carved fishing lures and handmade pens.

If you are looking for something that is truly one of kind make a special order. From textiles to water color paintings or even one of kind sculpted hands you can find everything you need to finish your Christmas shopping at the Branson Mill! Cut out the stress and make Christmas shopping about truly bringing joy to your friends and family.

The Branson Mill Craft Village…Where shopping is a show!

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When Shopping in Branson Stop By Crooked Sky Trading Company in the Branson Mill Craft Village

crookedNo visit to the Branson Mill Craft Village is complete until you stop by Crooked Sky Trading Post and visit with the legendary Rattlesnake Eddie! Rattlesnake got his name back when he was traveling on the rodeo circuit bull riding. While taking a break from bull riding a couple of buddies talked Eddie into going to Oklahoma for a Rattlesnake round up. And that my friend is only the beginning of the rest of the story.

Ole’ Rattlesnake now spends his time at his store Crooked Sky Trading Post inside the Branson Mill Craft Village. He is a featured artist at the Mill and you can watch him hand craft custom leather products like gun holsters, guitar straps, and belts. Rattlesnake has crafted custom guitar straps for many local and national entertainers. RattlesnakeKids, we recommend stopping by to visit Rattlesnake and have your picture taken with him. If you think you have what it takes to beat a champion bull rider in a stick horse race Rattlesnake is always up to the challenge. Just ask him!

Some other items at Crooked Sky Trading Post are authentic Native American products, vintage turquoise jewelry, hand crafted copper jewelry, old west style toys, pioneer period clothing and Rock Mine kids toys.

There is currently a movie Bald Knobber, a motion picture about the story on a 1880s vigilante group that terrorized Taney County Missouri currently being filmed in the Branson Area and Rattlesnake is one of the actors in the film. Crooked Sky Trading Post is an authorized retailer of movie memorabilia and merchandise, like caps, t-shirts and movie posters.

Stop by the Mill and say hello to Rattlesnake and the rest of the demonstrator! The Branson Mill Craft Village…Where Shopping is the show!

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“It’s All About The Tone” Branson’s Newest Music Store Has Custom Hand Made Guitars

Rich and Jim make sure each guitar is perfect!

Rich and Jim make sure each guitar is perfect!

When Rich McCarver met Jim Glaspy, he had no idea that chance meeting would affect both their lives. Rich and Jim have been repairing guitars for a combined 52 years and Jim, an accomplished musician, playing anything with strings for as long as he can remember. Jim was the 2005 Texas State Flat Top Picking Champion! It was soon apparent they both dreamed of owning their own music store.
525711_146994382175506_1507187135_nTheir love for string instruments has led them to opening a shop inside the Branson Mill Craft Village. Together they own Hickory Hollow Guitars Shop and are building guitars under the Hickory Hollow Guitars brand producing custom guitars that have a tone all of their own. The one of a kind tone has caught the attention of many pickers. Their guitars come in different price points; the traditional model has a solid wood Tilia body and a Sitka Spruce top. Higher end models can be special ordered with rosewood and mahogany bodies. So what makes a Hickory Hollow Guitar unique…”It’s all about the tone.” Rich and Jim say their tone is different. “It’s rich, crisp and true all the way down.”

Hickory Hollow sells many other brand names like Kona guitars, Stelling Banjos, and custom made Davis Guitars, Fiddles and Mandolins. They also repair stringed instruments and sell accessories like strings, bridges, and Tune keys. Every Tuesday and Saturday at 10am, you can join other locals and pick your favorite Bluegrass and Gospel tunes on the Hickory Hollow Pickin’ Porch. You can take this opportunity to hear the distinct tone of the Hickory Hollow Guitar! This is an ACOUSTIC ONLY jam session. Bring your favorite instrument and do a little picking and grinning!

The Branson Mill is a 40,000 square foot craft village with working demonstrators and item galore for purchase!
While you are at the Mill visiting with the boys at Hickory Hollow you might want to visit Rattlesnake Eddie over at Crooked Sky Trading Post and check out his custom leather guitar straps.

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Celebrate Labor Day at the Branson Mill

The Branson Mill Craft Village is a perfect example of the contributions US workers make on a daily basis to the well-being of our country.

“The Mill is home to over a dozen crafters and artists who make their goods by hand and then sell them to our visitors,” said Branson Mill General Manager Myranda Zimmerebner. “This Labor Day Weekend we are truly celebrating the work of our hands.”

web thumbnailDuring the Labor Day Holiday Weekend the Mill will offer a free entertainment tent beginning Friday morning and continuing with music all day Saturday. Friday morning will also feature a Farmer’s Market from 8:00 am to 12:30 pm. Fresh Kettle Corn will be available in the parking lot all weekend.

“I think to be a full-time crafter it’s got to be more of a passion than a job,” said Branson Mill Leather Crafter Rattlesnake Eddie Wood. “Not only do I take extreme pride in every piece I create because it’s really made from my efforts, but I get such a kick out of meeting the visitors to the Mill. Every day is a new adventure.”

The demonstrating artists who call the Branson Mill home will be on-hand to show visitors their crafts. At the Branson Mill we say; Where Shopping is Show. Everyone is invited to come by Labor Day Weekend and learn what this really means. What could be better on the Labor Day Weekend then celebrating the work of human hands creating goods that are truly made in the USA!

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Artist Feature: Jeff Martinique

compressed sculptureNear the entrance of the Branson Mill Craft Village you will see framed sculptures of hands. Often, we see shoppers standing, staring with their heads cocked to one side inspecting these unusual pieces of art. These sculptures are the work of Jeff Martinique.

Jeff has been sculpting for 23 years and it all started when a customer asked if Jeff thought it was possible to make one of his drawings into 3 dimensions. Jeff works specifically with human hands. Each piece he creates is in limited quantities.

“My intent is to express the mystery of our human emotions strictly with hands,” said Jeff. “I believe that historically better and more talented artists have done everything possible to draw or sculpt human heads and bodies. The hands are those magical tools that we all use to express our moments of life. Whether it be playing a musical instrument, performing surgery, building a piece of furniture, or simply tapping the keyboard of a laptop. These strange human handles with fingers seem to be my natural media and our emotions are my canvas.”

Jeff MartiniqueJeff sculpts an original piece out of standard modeling clay, next making a mold of it. The molds are then poured in Hydro-stone or Bronze. Limited quantities of each design are then poured, polished, mounted on final frames, etched and numbered. Once the predetermined quantity of any design has been completed, the mold is destroyed and new creations are born.

Jeff says he enjoys most about being an artist, “The freedom and ability to do what I can imagine. It is the only life task I’ve encountered that totally fulfills my day.”

Jeff Martinique hopes each person who sees his art at the Branson Mill Craft Village can experience and appreciate the hopes and fears that we often want and express with our hearts but show with our hands. These things are really amazing tools! See more of Jeff’s art at

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Hickory Hollow Guitar Shop at the Branson Mill Craft Village

Rich and Jim make sure each guitar is perfect!

Rich and Jim make sure each guitar is perfect!

The Branson Mill Craft Village is proud to add Hickory Hollow Guitars as one of the newest vendors. Hickory Hollow Guitars is the work of Rich McCarver and Jim Glaspy. Rich has been repairing guitars for over twenty years and Jim has been an accomplished musician, playing with many stars. These two gentlemen now pour their talents into each Hickory Hollow Guitar they create.

So what makes a Hickory Hollow Guitar unique…”It’s all about the tone.” Rich and Jim say their tone is different. Its rich, crisp and “true all the way down.”
Their instruments don’t just sound good, they are beautiful as well. Currently, they are building guitars within their Traditional Series. The body is made of Teka wood with a Spruce top.

Hickory Hollow Guitars also repairs instruments and sells brands such as Kona. By bringing a shop such as this to the Branson area Rich and Jim hope to provide a valuable service with instruments and supplies for any musician level from just starting out to professional. Stop by and see the guys of Hickory Hollow Guitars!

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Calling All Fiddlers

fiddleAre you heading to Branson for the 25th Annual Fiddle Festival that takes part in the historic downtown? Each week area musicians take to the stage of Hickory Hollow Guitars inside the Branson Mill Craft Village on Tuesday and Saturday mornings for some ole’ acoustic bluegrass and gospel music pickin’.

IMG_0773In honor of the tremendous fiddlers that will come from all around for the Fiddle Festival on Saturday, August 3rd at 10am we invite you join our jam session. Jim Glaspy, Texas State Flat Top Champion will be right there alongside you, plus other great area musicians will join in. This is a free entertainment stage…and you’re invited whether you play or just like to listen!

Hickory Hollow Guitars is one of the Branson Mill’s newest vendors. They make by hand quality guitars that are all about the tone! Rich McCarver is the hardworking hands behind each instrument and Jim Glaspy gives the input from a musician’s point of view as to what the guitar should sound like.

Rich, Jim and all the Branson Mill Craft Village artists and crafters would love to meet the Fiddle Festival contestants…so come on by for a great Branson shopping experience. The Branson Mill Craft Village…where shopping is a show!

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Super Summer Car Cruise, August 8-10, 2013

Super Summer Car Cruise
Plan your trip to Branson, Missouri for the Super Summer Cruise August 8-10. See over 500 street rods, hot rods and classic cars. Each day of the event spectators can see these awesome rides up close at the show and shine from 9am to 5 pm at the Shepherd of the Hills Homestead.

The fun really revs ups Saturday night with the famous Midnight Cruise. The cruise begins at The Shepherd of the Hills Expressway and Hwy 76 and continues down Roark Valley Road. The Branson Police Department will begin closing down the road around 11 pm. If you are looking for a place to stay and also get a great seat for the cruise we suggest Whispering Hills that sits right in the heart of the action.

During this fun event you will find many of the shops within the Branson Mill Craft Village will have specials! Stop by our stores and visit with our demonstrating craftsmen. The Branson Mill Craft Village…Where Shopping is a Show!

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Christmas Shopping at the Branson Mill Craft Village…starts in July!

Christmas-shoppingWe realize Christmas is 160 days away, but it’s never too early to start your shopping! The Branson Mill Craft Village is giving you the perfect reason to start your shopping early…Christmas In July. July 18th through July 21st the shops within the Branson Mill Craft Village are giving shoppers and early gift. Enjoy special offers and prize drawings.

In addition to the gift incentives for shoppers, we will be serving complimentary cookies and cold hot chocolate. Plus, we’ve heard from the North Pole that Santa will be making a stop by the Mill. Friday, July 19th a special treat for kids…FACE PAINTING! The Branson Mill Craft Village wants to make your Christmas shopping, whether in July or any other time, easy and stress free.

Here are our top 3 shopping tips!

1. Make a list and check it twice! – Make a list of each person you need to find a gift for. Its extra helpful to include what you have in mind for them and how much your target amount to spend is. After shopping don’t forget to update the list with what has been purchased.

christmas shopping2. Start early! – The earlier you start your Christmas shopping the more time you have to find unique items. If it’s the thought that counts…then be thoughtful! Do you have an avid shooter or gun collector on your list? Crooked Sky Trading Company, a shop inside the Branson Mill, would be a great place to start!

3. What to do for the hard to buy for? – Gift certificates to unique stores like the Branson Mill Craft Village are a great place to start. Gift certificates are not for everyone though. Seeking out a shopping center like the Branson Mill can be helpful. We have over 40,000 square feet of unique items. This includes things you never even dreamed of putting on your list! You can find gifts for sports lovers, collectors, funny signs, Christian gifts, art, handmade items, clothing, specialty foods and much much more!

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