For several years Ben Helms has sold his handmade wood working items at the Guymon Farmers Market. The beautiful items (pens, knives, cutting boards, toy tops, and yoyos) have been a conversation piece for many a person while they shopped.
Helms, who professes to not be good at idle conversation, is more than willing to tell you about his wood working hobby, which is what he will be doing at the Golden Crown on Thur., Nov. 5, from 4 to 6 in the evening. He is taking his lathe, which he uses to make many of his items, and will be giving demonstrations on how that works for those who come by.
“I can turn anything from pens, bottle stoppers, salt and pepper shakers, to rolling pins on the lathe,” says Helms. “I enjoy the peace and change of pace woodworking gives me from my full – time job. It’s a time to be creative without any pressure. And any of the pieces offered for sale at the Golden Crown would make awesome and one – of – kind gifts for Christmas.”
Helms learned about working with wood in the shop with his father, Hue, who is the Industrial Arts professor at Oklahoma Panhandle State University. Raised in Goodwell, working in the shop with his father and gardening with his mother were part of his life. He and his wife, Olivia, and their four children keep up the traditions.
The wood worker graduate from OPSU in 2007 with a Bachelors of Science in Biology with a minor in Chemistry. He also attained his Associates in Fire Prevention and Applied Science. He is a full – time firefighter with the Guymon Fire Department.
Helms is busy right now getting gifts for the shelves and some of his customers made, but after the holiday season he plans to make several game boards (checkers, tic – tac – toe) to give to the Heritage Community for the residents and their guests to play.
Ben Helms is one of the five artists in the new Main Street Guymon program Bringing Creativity Downtown, which is sponsored by TCEC.