Basket makers John and Anna Lee Hampton feature not only their own work but the work of many other local artisans in their log gift shop just north of Lurton on Scenic Byway 7.

One of those who’s work merits a place of honor is Mt. Judea chairmaker Charles Christian. His cane-bottomed chairs have been presented to two Presidents, are displayed in the Smithsonian, and brought him an invitation to tour Japan as a guest of the country’s largest department store to exhibit his craftsmanship.

No nails, screws or glue are used in the construction of the five-slat ladderback chairs, sewing rockers, captains chairs, woven-back rockers and other chairs. They are built of Ozark walnut or oak and have caned seats of hickory bark. Wood is purchased from local sawmills and cut into posts and slats. Using techniques honed by generations of chairmakers, he cuts and sands, turning all posts free-hand and following his feeling for the correct measurements.

Back posts are boiled in water for 45 minutes to an hour and then put into presses to rest for 72 hours. Backs are paired up according to their curve, then sanded. Three-quarter inch dowels are dried in the kitchen oven. A mortise and tenon joint is used to fit pieces together, a technique in which a notch is cut in the wood. The protecting end, or tenon, of another wood piece is shaped to fit the mortise and posts and rounds are driven together. The rounds are dried, but the posts still have moisture so they shrink to fit as they dry. The chairs are then ready for a seat. With a drawing knife, he pulls strips of inner bark from hickory poles. One end is notched and the other shaped to fit like a key in a keyhole. The key fits into the notch to secure the starting point for the over-and-under weaving that creates the chair bottom. After the seats are caned, they stand about 24 hours to dry.

John Hampton is no mean furniture-builder, either. His old fashioned pie safes with punched metal doors and dining room sideboards are heavy, attesting to the solid wood construction. No thin veneers, here. Another furniture maker is also featured, who constructs oak pieces such as a high backed, mirrored, hall tree and bench with under-seat storage

Everything at Triple Oaks is locally hand made. That’s all they carry. Period. You won’t turn anything over and find a Made in China sticker and John and Anna Lee can give you the name of the craftsman, tell you what the materials are, name the pattern in the quilts, many of which Anna Lee made, and demonstrate the basket-making process. The range on quilt prices is $269 to $499.

Their baskets fill the shop and almost no one who enters can resist the temptation to take at least one along with them. Basket prices range from $10 to $40. There are also dolls, walking canes, turkey calls, denim jumpers, tea towels, wooden birdhouses, and, even, some good things to eat like green tomato relish and sorghum molasses.


We invite phone orders

Aaccept Visa/MasterCard

And will ship anywhere in the nation, except the largest furniture items.

Credit
MasterCard, Visa
Cash
MasterCard, Visa

Open Year Round


For more information and prices, call them, or stop by the shop when you are in the area.

Triple Oak Crafts
John and Anna Lee Hampton Owners
Hwy. 7 North
Pelsor, Arkansas 72856
Phone: 870-294-5290 or 888-293-6331