Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Buck Jackson, Melissa Jackson, November 29, 2011

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:00 - Melissa's background

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Partial Transcript: The interviewer is Amanda Fickey.

Segment Synopsis: Melissa (Missy) Jackson talks about her family and career background before returning to school to earn bachelors degrees in English and Spanish and a masters degree in library science. She talks about taking students on trips abroad to Europe.

Keywords: Abroad; Adults; Bachelors degrees; Children; Colleges; English; Europe; Librarians; Library science; Married; Owensboro (Ky.); School bus drivers; Spain; Spanish; Student teaching; Students; Travel

Subjects: Catlettsburg (Ky.); Education, Higher; Employment--Kentucky; Families.; Marriage

00:03:02 - Buck's background

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Partial Transcript: Um, okay well let's switch to you, Buck.

Segment Synopsis: Buck Jackson talks about his family background. He talks about his apprenticeship in brick laying, his career in a factory, and how he became involved in crafting after retirement.

Keywords: Apprenticeships; Brick layers; Chainsaws; Childhood; Colorado; Crafting; Denver (Colo.); Factories; Factory work; Family; Laying brick; Retired; Retirement; Seasonal work; Woodworking

Subjects: Artists.; Arts and crafts.; Employment--Kentucky; Families.; Handicraft.; Magoffin County (Ky.)

00:04:45 - Melissa's jewelry

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Partial Transcript: Um, now let me go back.

Segment Synopsis: Melissa (Missy) Jackson talks about how she became interested in jewelry-making after traveling in Europe. She talks about starting her own business and opening a studio in the Pendleton Art Center.

Keywords: Beads; Businesses; Costume jewelry; Craft fairs; Europe; Hand-made; Interest; Jewelry; Making; Mothers; Names; Pendleton Art Center; Souvenirs

Subjects: Artists.; Arts and crafts.; Employment--Kentucky; Entrepreneurship; Families.; Handicraft.; Small business--Kentucky; Small business--Ownership

00:06:41 - Giving away their work

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Partial Transcript: Um, well so let me--so now I know for you, Missy this is--this really is more of a entrepreneurial, you want to start your own business...

Segment Synopsis: Buck and Melissa (Missy) Jackson talk about why they sometimes want and need to give their work away.

Keywords: Crafters; Donations; Entrepreneurial; Fundraisers; Giving away; Hobbies; Hobby; Income; Selling; Studios; Supplemental income

Subjects: Artists--Economic conditions.; Artists--Social conditions.; Artists.; Arts and crafts.; Employment--Kentucky; Entrepreneurship; Handicraft.; Small business--Kentucky; Small business--Ownership

00:09:41 - Pendleton Art Center

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Partial Transcript: Um, so when did you--how long has it been that you've had your studio in the Pendleton Center?

Segment Synopsis: Melissa (Missy) Jackson talks more about her studio in the Pendleton Art Center and describes some of the other artists who have studios there. She explains how the Center's hours work.

Keywords: Ashland (Ky.); Brick and mortar; By appointment; Cafes; Car shows; Catlettsburg (Ky.); Commissions; Decisions; First Fridays; Hours; Lessons; Pendleton Art Center; Photographers; Studios

Subjects: Artists.; Arts and crafts.; Employment--Kentucky; Entrepreneurship; Handicraft.; Small business--Kentucky; Small business--Ownership

00:13:36 - Buck's work with Joe Salyers--Part I

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Partial Transcript: So do you have friends around here that make crafts too?

Segment Synopsis: Buck Jackson talks about how he learned to make Christmas trees with a chainsaw from his friend Joe Salyers. He talks about how Joe himself began making the trees. He talks about Salyers selling his trees at state parks and the Berea Artisan Center, among other places. Buck talks about selling one of his trees to a senator.

Keywords: Berea Artisan Center; Chainsaws; Christmas trees; Friends; Giving away; Joe Salyers; Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea; Kentucky state parks; Learning; Mentors; Mentorship; Self-taught; Self-validation; Self-worth; Senators; Woodworking

Subjects: Artists--Economic conditions.; Artists--Social conditions.; Artists.; Arts and crafts.; Employment--Kentucky; Entrepreneurship; Handicraft.; Small business--Kentucky; Small business--Ownership

00:16:31 - Missionary work

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Partial Transcript: Go ahead Missy. What were you gonna say?

Segment Synopsis: Buck and Melissa (Missy) Jackson talk about their missionary work building churches in places like Africa, Haiti, and Brazil. They describe how the missionary program works.

Keywords: Africa; Brazil; Brick layers; Brick laying; Building; Construction; Craft fairs; Donations; Economic development; Haiti; Missionaries; Missionary work; Offerings; Poverty; Red Bird Mission; Southern Baptist Co-op Program; Volunteering

Subjects: Artists.; Arts and crafts.; Churches--Kentucky; Families.; Handicraft.; Volunteers

00:22:55 - Challenges of opening a studio

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Partial Transcript: Well so to, to get back to your having a studio, what were some of the challenges that you faced when you set up your own studio?

Segment Synopsis: Melissa Jackson describes some of the challenges of opening a studio for her work. She talks about the costs of the studio, the lack of funds for advertising, and problems with the building.

Keywords: Advertising; Appalachian Artisan Center; Buildings; Cafes; Challenges; Children; Costs; Daughters; Decisions; Difficulty; Events; Extension agents; Extension offices; Funds; Hindman (Ky.); Issues; Jobs; Kentucky Craft Marketing Program; Locals; Meetings; Molly Maynard; Owners; Partners; Plumbing; Primitives; Problems; Rent; Space; Studios; Verndin Company

Subjects: Artists--Economic conditions.; Artists--Social conditions.; Artists.; Arts and crafts.; Employment--Kentucky; Entrepreneurship; Handicraft.; Small business--Kentucky; Small business--Ownership

00:29:26 - Quality of products

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Partial Transcript: We have a problem with people coming from the outside--

Segment Synopsis: Melissa Jackson says that there is no regulation on the quality of products sold by the artists at the Pendleton Art Center. She says that how she prices her products does not affect other artists.

Keywords: Costs; Craft fairs; Hand-crafted; Hand-made; Homemade; Jewelry; Juried; Jurying; Niches; Paintings; Prices; Quality; Quality control; Regulation; Rent; Selling; Sharing; Store-bought; Trade secrets

Subjects: Artists--Economic conditions.; Artists--Social conditions.; Artists.; Arts and crafts.; Employment--Kentucky; Entrepreneurship; Handicraft.; Small business--Kentucky; Small business--Ownership

00:33:52 - Demographics of artists

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Partial Transcript: Well, and you think you've got about fifteen.

Segment Synopsis: Buck and Melissa Jackson discuss whether the artists at the Pendleton Art Center have an interest in opening their own businesses. They talk about the artists' main sources of income and their age ranges.

Keywords: Ages; Ashland (Ky.); Attributes; Commissions; Contracts; Downtown; Features; Goals; Hindman (Ky.); Jobs; Pendleton Art Center; Photographers; Properties; Qualities; Retired; Sources of income; Studios; Young people

Subjects: Artists--Economic conditions.; Artists--Social conditions.; Artists.; Arts and crafts.; Employment--Kentucky; Entrepreneurship; Handicraft.; Small business--Kentucky; Small business--Ownership

00:37:46 - Buck's work with Joe Salyers--Part II

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Partial Transcript: Um, my friend Joe who I work with all the time, he's, he's marketing and building his own business.

Segment Synopsis: Buck Jackson talks more about Salyers selling his trees at state parks, and other places he tried to sell them before being accepted at the parks. He talks about the popularity of doing demonstrations for customers. Buck talks about how he himself only views his crafts as a hobby, not a business.

Keywords: Bob Evans Restaurants; Carving; Chainsaws; Christmas trees; Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc.; Customers; Demonstrations; Donations; Festivals; Guilds; Hobbies; Hobby; Joe Salyers; Juried; Jurying; Kentucky state parks; One-handed; Orders; Productive; Retired; Retirement; Tourists; Woodworking

Subjects: Artists--Economic conditions.; Artists--Social conditions.; Artists.; Arts and crafts.; Employment--Kentucky; Entrepreneurship; Handicraft.; Small business--Kentucky; Small business--Ownership; Tourism.

00:44:34 - Workshops and lessons

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Partial Transcript: Well, let me ask, let me ask you Missy, cause you're to the point where you've opened your own studio...

Segment Synopsis: Melissa Jackson talks about some of the classes and workshops she has taken to learn more about her craft and the workshops she hopes to someday attend.

Keywords: Awareness; Beads; Better; Guilds; Improvement; Information; Kentucky Craft Marketing Program; Kentucky School of Craft; Knowledge; Lampwork beads; Lapidary schools; Lessons; Ohio; Quality; Soldering; Wire wrapping; Workshops

Subjects: Artists.; Arts and crafts.; Education; Employment--Kentucky; Entrepreneurship; Handicraft.; Small business--Kentucky; Small business--Ownership

00:48:17 - Tensions between the craft industry and extraction industries

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Partial Transcript: Well let me ask you a--this is kind of like a, a big crazy question.

Segment Synopsis: Buck and Melissa Jackson discuss whether there are tensions between the craft and tourism industries and the extraction industries in the area. They talk about the interest in crafts in Appalachia.

Keywords: "Mountain people"; A.K. Steel; Ashland (Ky.); Beauty; Conflicts; Craft industry; Distance; Enthusiasm; Environmental concerns; Harlan (Ky.); Interest; Jobs; Joe Salyers; Kentucky state parks; Land; Refineries; Sales; Tensions; Tourists; Travel

Subjects: Artists--Economic conditions.; Artists--Social conditions.; Artists.; Arts and crafts.; Coal mines and mining--Environmental aspects; Employment--Kentucky; Entrepreneurship; Handicraft.; Mountaintop removal mining--Appalachian region; Small business--Kentucky; Small business--Ownership; Tourism.

00:52:06 - Setting prices for products--Part I

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Partial Transcript: Now I don't sell my beads, the hand-made lampwork beads, for what I should get for them.

Segment Synopsis: Buck and Melissa Jackson talk about why they often under price their products just to sell them. Buck explains the pricing for the trees they sell at the state parks.

Keywords: Attitudes; Chainsaws; Costs; Craft fairs; Hand-crafted; Hand-made; Kentucky state parks; Lampwork beads; Markup; Prices; Products; Sales; Selling; Stores; Undervalued; Value; Woodworking

Subjects: Artists--Economic conditions.; Artists--Social conditions.; Artists.; Arts and crafts.; Employment--Kentucky; Entrepreneurship; Handicraft.; Small business--Kentucky; Small business--Ownership; Tourism.

00:56:37 - Need for marketing crafts

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Partial Transcript: And you know it surprises me, so many people will say, "Do you have a studio?"

Segment Synopsis: Melissa Jackson talks about the lack of awareness in the community of the artists and crafts at the Pendleton Art Center. They discuss the possibility of using the internet to advertise and get feedback on their work.

Keywords: Ads; Advertisements; Advice; Awareness; Etsy.com; Feedback; First Fridays; Guilds; Improvements; Internet; Joe Salyers; Learning; Newspapers; Online; Pendleton Art Center

Subjects: Artists--Economic conditions.; Artists--Social conditions.; Artists.; Arts and crafts.; Employment--Kentucky; Entrepreneurship; Handicraft.; Small business--Kentucky; Small business--Ownership

00:59:43 - Setting prices for products--Part II

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Partial Transcript: But I think one thing that we've already went through but I'd like to reiterate--

Segment Synopsis: Buck and Melissa Jackson talk about the cost of time and materials that go into making a craft and how their prices often do not reflect those costs. They talk more about why they sometimes want and need to give their work away.

Keywords: Accomplishments; Chainsaws; Costs; Economy; Giving away; Hours; Materials; Money; Prices; Products; Reasonable; Self-worth; Time; Value; Wood; Woodworking

Subjects: Artists--Economic conditions.; Artists--Social conditions.; Artists.; Arts and crafts.; Employment--Kentucky; Entrepreneurship; Handicraft.; Small business--Kentucky; Small business--Ownership

01:03:21 - Future of the craft industry

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Partial Transcript: Um, well you know so--so just one more question.

Segment Synopsis: Buck and Melissa Jackson discuss whether people will continue to value handmade products made in America and whether young people will continue making crafts in the future. They talk about what the city of Ashland needs to do to support the craft industry. The interview is concluded.

Keywords: Appreciation; Ashland (Ky.); China; Craft co-ops; Craft cooperatives; Craft fairs; Craft industry; Crafters; Difficulties; Economy; Extension agents; Future; Hand-crafted; Hand-made; Income; Money; Museums; Poage Landing Days Festival; Time; Younger generations; Younger people

Subjects: Artists--Economic conditions.; Artists--Social conditions.; Artists.; Arts and crafts.; Employment--Kentucky; Entrepreneurship; Handicraft.; Small business--Kentucky; Small business--Ownership