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Posted by Alicia Schwieterman ● Sep 16, 2020 12:09:52 PM

Southeast Ohio Club Visits New Hocking Makerspace Wood Lab

NELSONVILLE, Ohio—Members of The Southeastern Ohio Wood Turners Club recently held a meeting at the Wood Lab Makerspace located in Nelsonville, Ohio, hosted by the Hocking Makers Network.

Chris Hedges, Wood Lab Director, introduced the group members to the newly created high-tech makerspace and discussed the numerous educational, entrepreneurial and service-oriented opportunities the Wood Lab hopes to offer people of southeastern Ohio. 

lid on bowl in bowl3After touring the facility, veteran wood-turner John Wolf presented his turned wood art to group members. Included in his presentation were: a spinning top made of maple, an ash globe in a multi-axis walnut bowl, and a cherry baby-rattle. Each was crafted using locally available woods. The wood-turners talked of the potential for craftsmen and businesses to become members of the Hocking Makers Network Wood Lab and to "turn" profit and production locally.

The group shared a common response to the needs of the community. Certifications are a growing way for entrepreneurs to gain the skills they need to enter the workforce or start their own business. The Woodwork Career Alliance (WCA) Passport Certification is well underway at the Wood Lab Makerspace and will be available to the public. 

"Let's say you are a young 52 years old, and you don't want to go back to college, but you want to get some kind of certificate," Hedges said as he explained the worth of the WCA certificate to the group.

The Hocking Makers Network offers alternative pathways for people with diverse needs and backgrounds to prosper and carve out a way-of-living that best suits them. The Wood Lab Makerspace is on-board with the mission statement of Hocking College "We serve as a pathway to prosperity, teaching and inspiring all who seek to learn, growing careers and changing lives." The presence of the wood-turners at the Wood Lab Makerspace is an encouraging sign of community engagement and the ethos of sustainable cultures. 

offset stained ash bowlOhio is home to more than 100 hardwood and softwood species, each with a different aesthetic and working properties. With this diverse forest ecosystem, Ohio is poised for leadership in the wood manufacturing sector. The Wood Lab and the Natural Resource Department of Hocking College work with local landowners to identify suitable logs and ensure that every log that moves through the shop is sustainably and responsibly harvested to keep the rich-biodiversity of the Ohio ecosystem flourishing. 

Logs are selected by qualified foresters, harvested by a team of responsible landowners and network members, then milled into usable lumber using state of the art technologies and practices. The "Forest to Furniture" program, being just one job opportunity pathway, encompasses these practices helping woodworkers become stewards of the woodlands. The wood industry is an emerging cluster in our Southeast Ohio Appalachia region for economic development. Given that the wood industry has direct and indirect links to other sectors of the economy it has the potential to propel local economies.

"If you have the gumption to be a business owner and start a business in woodworking, it can be a fulfilling and creative career," Hedges said. The Hocking Makers Network Wood Lab hopes to provide the Southeast Ohio Appalachia region's woodworkers the resources to become Makers! For more information on the Hocking Makers Network visit https://hmn.hocking.edu/.

Topics: community, events, Hocking College, Ohio, Natural Resources, blog, students, workforce development, Nelsonville, OH, things to do, outdoor, nature, activities, leisure learning, Ecotourism, environment, forest management, wildlife resources management, sustainability, timber harvesting & tree care certificate, hocking makers network, makerspace, woodworking