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March 29, 2018 at 5:03 pm

Alumni News | Hedges Named ‘Master’ Woodworker at Major Show

Chris Hedges with spicebox in the AedanWorks workshop.

Chris Hedges with spicebox in the AedanWorks workshop.

Ohio University alum Chris Hedges ’99 ’02M was recently featured in The Athens News story headlined “Local woodworker deemed ‘Master’ in major show.”

Hedges earned an M.A. in Sociology from the College of Arts & Sciences.

In the world of woodworking, the Master Woodworkers Show is one of the most prestigious, and Chris Hedges of Athens is the show’s most recent best.Hedges recently walked away with t

he top prize at the annual event in Knoxville, Tennessee, and it wasn’t the first time. He has participated three times and twice won Best of Show.“I felt honored, validated (about winning the award)… thankful, humbled,” Hedges said in a recent interview.

Hedges is the owner, designer and craftsman at AedanWorks, a tenant of ACEnet’s new Wood Manufacturing Center in Nelsonville.

Career Choices and Changes

When he was an undergraduate student at Ohio University, Hedges imagined he would have a career as a deli owner. “Because I loved deli food!” he explains. “My parents did not see that as a profitable future.”

At the same time, even as a child he had always thought he would end up teaching. The first chance to teach came during his time in the Sociology master’s program. Interestingly, his path into grad school was by way of a game of pool with one of the Sociology faculty, who recommended it to him.

His first opportunity to teach came while he was in his second year as a grad student, when he was asked to teach for OHIO’s Zanesville campus. He ended up teaching there for four years.

Hedges then went to the University of Rio Grande’s Fine Woodworking program. After graduation, he started his woodworking shop and sold industrial woodworking equipment. It was during this time that he began entering woodworking competitions; he started winning in 2007 with the fourth piece of furniture he ever made. It was also the final project for his woodworking degree.

All of this woodworking experience – and award-winning – resulted in the offer to write for Woodcraft Magazine in 2015.

“I grew up in a house of antiques that my great-great relatives had made,” Hedges explains, “and was always fascinated by such crafting being passed down generation after generation.

“Just before my daughter was born, I decided I wanted to create something for her. So I jumped in. I made a Craftsman style dresser for her and have been hooked ever since.”

The Best Part

What he enjoys most about writing about woodworking for Woodcraft Magazine is the opportunity to share what he has learned. Which he sees as similar to his enjoyment from teaching sociology, which gives him a way to share not only what he learned while in college, but also all that he has learned since then with the “sociological lens” that his education provided.

He sometimes teaching Intro to Sociology on OHIO’s Athens campus or leads a Learning Community.

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