Makers, lend me your ears

Published 9:27 am Tuesday, January 14, 2020

With Feb. 18, I’ll have been at The Selma Times-Journal for one year.

Sometimes, when I try to reflect on all the stories I’ve written here, they all run together into a tornado of county government, cook-offs and campaign announcements.

Some of the most exciting work I’ve done here at the Times-Journal though, involves talking to people who make things.

I’ve long had an appreciation for craftspeople.

My dad was, and still is, a woodworker and I grew up turning wood scraps into weaponry used to vanquish imaginary foes.

When I got older, I tried my best to be a helping hand, though I don’t know if my dad would say I was any kind of asset in the shop.

After the past year, sitting behind a desk and typing away, I’ve longed to return to some sort of craft, but the life of a reporter leaves little time for such things.

Earlier this week, I walked down to ArtsRevive to meet a quilting group.

The looks of concentration on their faces as they turned pieces of fabric into a comfy, cozy cloud of security was nothing short of inspiring.

“It’s fun to see what prettiness you can make from scraps,” said one of them.

After some coaxing from ArtsRevive Board President Rex Jones and the rest of the quilters, I got behind the sewing machine for a brief moment.

I hadn’t been behind a sewing machine since I made myself a pair of pajama pants in my 8th-grade home economics class and I have to admit, I was not very good at it.

Nevertheless, I got behind the sewing machine and attempted to sew together pieces of scrap and, for about 30 seconds, I scratched my itch to make something.

Maybe one day, I’ll find myself with enough extra hours in the week to make my own quilt or even build a canoe.

Until then though, I’ll just have to enjoy living vicariously through the people I meet as a reporter who have the skills to make something with their hands.

This brings me to my point – I’d like to talk to more people who make things and share their talents with the readers of this newspaper.

If you’re a butcher, baker, candlestick maker, potter, painter, sculptor or luthier, I’d like to talk to you.

If you make things out of clay, glass, stone, wood, metal or even macaroni, I’d like to talk to you.

The importance of making things with your hands can’t be overstated and I think a lot of Times-Journal readers share my fascination with craftspeople.

I know Selma has plenty, so if you or someone you know makes cool things, let them know I’m interested.

Shoot me an email and tell me what you make and I’d be happy to tell your story.