GALLIPOLIS, Ohio — Some people took the COVID-19 pandemic as a time to cultivate new hobbies to fill the free time they suddenly found they had during lockdown.
Some started baking bread. Some became gardeners. Eleven-year-old Joel Pearce started making clay models, and even turned his hobby into a successful business.
Pearce, a rising sixth grader at Gallia Academy Middle School, decided to start making figurines of his favorite superheroes like Iron Man, during quarantine, using modeling clay and wire.
“It was just for fun, to have something to do,” he said.
Now, over a year after the pandemic began, he still has fun with this hobby.
“I like seeing it turned from a block into a character,” he said.
Pearce started selling figurines at a table outside his grandmother’s house in Gallipolis. Law enforcement officers and pedestrians have stopped by to check out his work, and he started selling his creations.
Doing this, he has made over $500, turning his quarantine hobby into a successful business.
As for what he’ll do with the money, he’s not sure.
“I really don’t know,” he said, maybe, “make more clay figures.”
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Sharla Moody is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. She is a graduate of River Valley High School and attends Yale University.