It is the beautiful work of Jim Perkins that welcomes both staff and visitors into the warm embrace of Makers Mill. Jim has been a dedicated participant in setting up the Makers Mill center with his inspiring construction work. It is work that invites visitors and participants into the center to nurture, cultivate, and exchange the creative process, to build a community of interactive artists and creators. It is this vision of community that Jim so values, appreciates, and supports.
When asked about his motivation to join Makers Mill, Jim cites his small town beginnings which inspired him to seek out and contribute to a lively and truly interactive community.
Jim was born and raised on his family’s dairy farm during the post war years. The family farm was located in a small town of fewer than four hundred people, people who, as Jim describes them, all “knew and cared about one another.” In turn, hIs family was highly respected in the community and often looked to for guidance and support which his family “gladly” provided whenever possible. This formative experience fostered in Jim a deep appreciation of the genuine, interactive community dynamic. It taught him the value of helping others and showed him that through such service “we find greater joy in life.” Jim’s wife, Sandy, was also a farm child who shared with him many of the same memories of positive and interactive community life. This formative experience motivated both of them to give up promising careers in Stamford, Connecticut, and seek out a new life in the Lakes Region where their children could experience the same small town childhood they had so much enjoyed and appreciated.
Jim reports that before Sandy passed over fifteen years ago, she thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful life they were able to embrace in Wolfeboro. The same is true for their children, now successful adults, who still maintain a strong connection to this area and to the values it continues to support and nurture in present time. Jim admits he is deeply saddened by fact that in recent times he has watched many towns lose what he considers to be the values and relationships that make up a truly supportive and interactive community. As he observes, “I see ‘community’ as a town where people get together often to enjoy cultivating friendships, sharing knowledge and teaching others skills that have been acquired over time, skills that others can benefit from in the future.” He feels that one of the reasons so many people are now suffering from depression or feelings of loneliness and isolation in our society is because they have lost the feeling of being needed, a feeling nurtured by opportunities to get together with others to make friends and to learn, teach and share skills and understanding. In essence, he is saddened by the fact that many people today have lost contact with a place where they can find greater purpose and joy in life.
This dedication to community life and to the sharing of this greater purpose and sense of joy is what drew JIm Perkins to Makers Mill. As he affirms, “I want to see Makers Mill succeed, because I see it as a place that will provide us with hope for a better tomorrow.” Jim communicates and shares this positive and inspiring vision through his beautiful construction work at the Mill.