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3 local companies turning trees into trendy wood furnishings

Mitch Hooper

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Living in Ohio, we don’t have the city skylines like other states do. Instead of tall buildings filling the air above, we have trees and wildlife. Whether you’re in Cleveland, Columbus, or Cincinnati, our Midwestern state has maintained and stayed in touch with Mother Nature. And this connection to nature has found its way inside our homes, as well.

Places like Urbn Timber, Pathway Tables, and Edgework Creative have found ways to preserve the natural beauty of wood plus add touches to enhance the final product. From large scale dining room tables to a stand for your office space, these products are just as much a work of art as they are a functional piece for your day-to-day lives. (614) had the chance to catch up with these three Columbus designers to get a better understanding of the trend of trees and how to go about getting these in your homes.

URBN TIMBER

(614): What are some of your favorite designs you’ve made recently?

We are always trying to innovate with new designs and concepts for our live edge furniture. A recent favorite of ours is a vanity completed for a couple in German Village. It features a live edge cherry counter and backsplash with a clear glass sink atop, and a stainless-steel base with a lower cherry shelf. Creating furniture that is both aesthetically appealing and functional is most important to us. Another favorite is a thirty-foot black walnut bar we built and installed for Nocterra Brewing in Powell, OH that showcases two waterfall miters and looks like it is growing up the wall!

The site also includes different pigment sets, glitters, and oils. How can someone who owns a wooden furnishing use these to elevate what they already have?

Along with providing fully finished furniture to consumers, we also sell raw live edge slabs, epoxy, pigments, wood finish, and steel bases separately so individuals and other local businesses can create their own furnishings. Sustainably salvaging trees from the Columbus region and offering them back to our community as usable products is the core of Urbn Timber’s mission.

(614): What are some mistakes you see people make when it comes to decorating their wooden furnishings?

When it comes to fine hardwood furniture, it is important to remember it is a natural product and needs to be built and maintained for longevity. Purchase your live edge furniture from a reputable company with professionally trained craftsmen. Make sure the wood has been properly kiln-dried and your furniture is built to allow the wood to expand and contract through the seasons. Your furniture maker should provide a proper cleaning kit based on the finish they used to help maintain the wood overtime.

(614): What are some ways people could use your furnishings in their homes or offices?

Being a fully custom woodshop has provided us and our clients the opportunity to design and create some truly unique furnishings. Kitchen tables, islands, coffee tables, bar tops, sofa tables, counter tops, desks, vanities, and shelves are among the most common designs we create. More creative pieces we’ve made are a vertical ash wine rack and a maple bookshelf that featured three steel and glass shelves. The possibilities are nearly endless!

PATHWAY TABLES

(614): Can you also talk about the transformation the wood goes from from starting as a log and into a finished table?

The transformation from log to a finished table, we try to find the oldest, ugliest, most twisted and knotted trees we can that no one else wants. Those trees have the most character and unique grain patterns inside of them. Once we have the trees in our yard, we decide which way we want to mill it into table top slabs, really that’s just looking at the tree to decide how it’s going to yield the best character slabs.

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Once we have it sawed, we photograph each slab, sticker and band it together to be put away for one to two years of air-drying time. Once its air dried, we bring it into our kiln to finish the drying process. Finally, we’re able to get our creative minds working and start finding the pieces we want to use to make tables, from there it’s a multiple step process from flattening and sanding, filing any cracks or voids with resin or glass, to finally applying the finish to the wood.

(614): What about the natural wood grain do you guys love?

Each and every piece is different, the way we slab the wood ensures that we don’t ever have two pieces that are the same. The natural wood grain allows you to be creative and utilize the flaws and characteristics that each slab has to showcase its natural beauty.

(614): What are some ways your tables could be used in a home? Or in an office?

Our pieces are functional in their purpose, they can be used as formal dining tables, conference tables, coworking desks, coffee tables for the living room.

(614): Can you talk about the different approaches you take to making a table? (i.e. the walnut river table compared to the maple dining room table)

The different approach to making a table really depends on the wood being used, if we have slabs that have a lot of character such as holes, knots, wild edges that’ll lend itself to a river style table. Where as slabs that don’t have those voids and character are still great and can be used to create a more traditional dining table that is made using two solid pieces of wood. In the end depends on how creative you want to get, the river table is more functional art and the standard dining table is more traditional.

EDGEWORK CREATIVE

(614): What are some trends you are noticing with wood furnishings?

We’ve been seeing a big trend towards wood countertops and kitchen islands. It’s a nice way to incorporate a natural material into a sometimes cold and sterile space. We have also been doing a lot of whitewashed finishes on dining tables and desks. It provides a crisp and clean look but you can still see the wood grain.

(614): How can someone get wood furnishings into their decor scheme that doesn’t have much wood?

Mirrors, mantles, beams and shelving! These are simple and small ways to incorporate natural materials into your home.

(614): What are most of your clients using your wood furnishings for?

We build lots of dining and kitchen tables. There’s an intimacy that you share around a table. It’s where you spend quality time—it’s the hub of the home. Your table is where you share in life’s small moments and create new memories. Hearing about the memories being made at our tables is the highlight of what we do.

(614): What is a big mistake you see people make when purchasing something wooden?

Staining walnut. It’s the most incredible wood species- the movement, color and richness can’t be touched. Our preference is to let the material shine and not stain it

To find your wooden furnishing, visit edgeworkcreative.co, pathwaytables.com, or urbntimber.com.

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Cedar Point, Kings Island are suing to get you back

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It just doesn’t seem fair, does it? Columbus Zoo & Aquarium are allowed to re-open but Cedar Point and Kings Island have been snubbed in Gov. Mike DeWine’s most recent announcement that Ohio’s entertainment venues were allowed to re-open.

After being left out of the party, Cedar Point, Kalahari Resort and Kings Island sued the director of the Ohio Department of Health Thursday, arguing that Dr. Amy Acton doesn’t have the authority to keep the state’s amusement parks and waterparks shut down and in doing so is violating the park’s rights.

The lawsuit was brought by attorney Maurice Thompson, executive director of the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law. The county health departments for both parks were also named in the lawsuit.

No word yet from the Ohio Department of Health as to when, or if, either amusement park will be allowed to open in June.

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Updated hours for North Market as first Farmers’ Market of the season opens Saturday

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Get excited Columbus foodies - this Saturday marks the beginning of North Market’s Farmers’ Market season! The Farmers’ Market will tantalize your taste buds every Saturday this summer through October, from 8 a.m. until noon at the North Market outdoor plaza at 59 Spruce Street.

During the coronavirus pandemic, North Market provided customers with fresh pick-up bundles. Now they’ve updated their operating hours to give consumers who want to shop again a chance to pick their own culinary delights.

"The hope is that a gradual reopening will strike a balance between the desire to serve the public and still respect the very real health concerns still shared by merchants, public, and staff," said Rick Harrison Wolfe, North Market's executive director, in a press release Thursday.

The updated hours, which will go into effect this Sat., June 6, are as follows:

  • Monday - Tuesday: closed
  • Wednesday - Friday, Sunday: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Saturday: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

All of those in attendance will have to observe the following guidelines as outlined in a press release by North Market:

  • North Market's mask requirement that applies to indoor merchants and guests will also apply to all outdoor vendors and guests.
  • Access to each farmers' market booth will be limited. Markings on ground will indicate this requirement and will show the distance required between people. Only one person/group traveling together may be in each box at a time.
  • Several farms and vendors will offer contact-free shopping and pre-orders. North Market asks that guests pre-order and plan out shopping trips when possible. This helps keep crowds to a minimum and lines moving smoothly.
  • Farms and vendors will provide hand sanitizer for guest use.
  • North Market farms and vendors are committed to helping prevent the spread of illness by washing hands frequently, covering coughs/sneezes, staying home when sick, and avoiding exposure to others who are sick. We ask that all guests follow the same protocols and do not visit North Market or the Farmers' Market if feeling ill.
  • North Market farms and vendors will continue to strictly follow all local public health guidelines, safety protocols, and best practices.

If you’re interested in which merchants will be open on what days, North Market has been dedicated to providing you with that information during the pandemic. You can find the list, which is updated daily, here.

Although there are still limitations on indoor seating, outdoor seating on the porch and the farmers’ market plaza are currently available.

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Weekend Getaway: Ohio State Park lodges reopen

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Cooped up inside of our homes for the past few months, everyone could use a change of scenery. Luckily for those that love the great outdoors of Ohio, the perfect getaway is now possible once again.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources announced on May 28 that all nine Ohio State Park lodges would be reopened by June 5.

The places where you can escape to are listed below in order of closest proximity to Columbus to furthest:

  • Deer Creek
  • Burr Oak
  • Mohican Lodge
  • Salt Fork Lodge
  • Shawnee 
  • Hueston Woods
  • Maumee Bay
  • Punderson Manor

Director of State Park Lodges Tom Arvan had this to say in the May 28 press release:

“Our staff has been working diligently to ensure that guests return to a safe and sanitized environment following the CDC safety guidelines. Our goal is for our guests to feel comfortable as they enjoy the fun activities and relax in the natural beauty of the lodges and all the state parks have to offer this summer.”

Visit https://www.greatohiolodges.com/ to secure your much-needed wilderness adventure today.

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