jack-martin-and-broomsA recipient of the Governor’s Arts Award in the category of Folklife Heritage, master broommaker Jack Martin learned his craft from his grandfather, Jack Hockaday, who in turn learned from his father, Will Hockaday. In addition to techniques and skill, he inherited his grandfather’s broom making tools and equipment and began making brooms full time in 1985. Once a prominent craft in McNairy County, today only two broommakers remain.  Martin adds, “I am one of only about 200 broommakers left in the USA.”  An avid and enthusiastic proponent of this tradition, Martin initiated a local broomcorn festival and has educated over a million school children about his craft. “I do exhibits, festivals, and public events, and many groups of all kinds come to me from all over to learn and watch this art,” Martin explains.  His apprentice Jack Tipton has been making brooms for 2 years, evincing a strong commitment and desire to learn.  The two plan to do two demonstrations at the tourism center and Martin’s Hockaday Broom shop at the culmination of their work together.

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