Rachel Pollock is a costume crafts artisan with PlayMakers Repertory Company. She began sewing masks for registered nurses and their teams across the country in late March. Pollock has also sewn masks for friends and family’s personal use and has additionally uploaded an accessible, "jargon-free" mask-sewing tutorial to her Instagram and blog. Staff writer Kristen Jones talked with Pollock about this project.
The Daily Tar Heel: How long have you been sewing?
Rachel Pollock: I was maybe 12 or 13 years old when I learned. My mom and dad both worked when I was a kid, so for a while, before they felt I was old enough to be a latchkey kid at home by myself, I would go to the girls’ club after school. They had a sewing room in the girls’ club, and I learned to sew there.
DTH: How did you come up with the idea to begin selling these masks?
RP: I read an article that Deaconess Hospitals in Evansville, Indiana was calling on the public in their general vicinity to sew masks for the hospital. It was around March 18. I thought that was interesting and wondered whether UNC Hospitals would put out that kind of call at some point. At the time, we were mid-extended spring break, and were going to have to teach all our classes online. I teach a class this semester called Masks and Armor — ironically — and I was trying to figure out how to translate my syllabus to a digital paradigm, so I didn’t immediately start sewing. Also, we didn’t have as many cases in our area so I thought, well, let me focus on figuring out what’s going to happen with the digital delivery of Masks and Armor.