George Watson turns the wood of the Tree of Eternal Life into art

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Felled trees really get a new life


Bolivar – Local woodworkers are working with the remaining wood from the Tree of Eternal Life in the village of Zoar, planted in 1929, ensuring that its spirit truly lives on.

High winds swept across Northeast Ohio on Saturday, March 23, snapping off the top of the Tree of Eternal Life, the third tree to be planted in the historic village.a norwegian spruceoriginally located in . garden of happiness It served as the venue for many weddings, events, festivals, etc.

more: Zoar’s iconic ‘Tree of Eternal Life’ replaced after storm

George Watson spent the majority of his life living and working in the Memphis, Tennessee area. He is originally from Canton, moved with his parents when he was in first grade, and returned to Ohio in 2014 to live in Bolivar, where he “got divorced, moved, and retired, all within three months of him.” he said. He lived with his older brother and his wife for a while, running a woodworking shop in their garage, until he found his current retirement home in Bolivar.

His interest in woodworking began early in his retirement. After watching a demonstration of woodworking using a lathe on YouTube, he said: “I can do this, I need a hobby. I saw a guy on PBS spinning his ink pen and I thought, oh, this is so cool.”

After looking for tools to get started, Ms. Watson drove to Mississippi to buy a used lathe and drill press, but now has a new one she bought as a retirement gift for herself from Keim Lumber of Millersburg. The wood is turned on a lathe.

From his initial interest and focus on ink pens, he graduated to small bowls and toppers, and eventually to larger bowls and hollow shapes such as vases and toothpick holders. He was able to sell some of those works primarily on his Facebook to his friends and acquaintances. He then found and became a part of his Stars of Zoar Creative Co-op, where he has been selling products for two years. The co-op is located in one of his garment factories in the historic village of Zoar. 221 W. Third Street.

Watson’s work is a partnership with fellow artist Nancy Wilson, who only does the lathing and polishing, not finishing.

“I don’t have enough patience to finish,” he said.

Watson said Wilson is also a woodburner, which is an art in itself. So when he finishes a particular piece, it is handed over to her for her finishing.

Because Norway spruce wood is wet, it is particularly susceptible to splitting and cracking during lathing. “It’s very bendable, but it can chip,” Watson said. To remedy this, instead of waiting years for the wood to harden, apply a thin coat of superglue and lightly sand the areas where the buildup has built up. George said a disclaimer was posted at the co-op warning that the finished product could break.

more: ‘Great job. ‘Schioman is an excellent chainsaw carver.

There seems to be a high demand for handmade art. Watson said she has sold 150 so far and donated a portion of the proceeds to help replace the tree. “Some weeks we sell out. And some weeks we have to pivot multiple times to meet demand,” he said. Special orders can be requested through the co-op.

According to the company, no other interests have been expressed in the remaining supply of significant timber. Zoal Community Association President John Elsasser.Unless salvaged, many of the branches will be burned in the next annual special ceremony. Zoar Civil War reenactments will take place on September 16th and 1st.7. However, a significant portion of the trunk that does not fit into Watson’s bubble is left for other future uses.

If you are interested in donating to Tree of Everlasting Life’s replacement fund, please visit their GoFundMe page. close to a shutout, Elsasser said. “This tree will be replaced between the Zoal Community Association and the Ohio History Connection.”

There are also plans to replace the 12 Apostles tree to bring unity to the garden itself and create a more historic look.

TR staff photographer Andrew Dolph can be reached at 330-289-6072 or via email.

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