Western Ohio Woodworkers honor
Rio students

Fine Woodworking student Kevin Peterson makes a cut in the Fine 
Woodworking Annex.

RIO GRANDE, Ohio – Fine woodworking is a timeless craft, and every bit an art.

For Augustus Unverferth, mastering his craft requires going above and beyond. The University of Rio Grande/Rio Grande Community College sophomore commutes from Dayton for the opportunity to study in the nationally renowned Fine Woodworking Program.

That commitment paid off earlier this month when Unverferth was one of two Rio students honored by Western Ohio Woodworkers. Unverferth was awarded the WOW Scholarship, while fellow sophomore Kevin Peterson was awarded the Harris Bartine Scholarship.

“When you take something that’s completely raw and produce something that people want, its super gratifying,” Unverferth said. “I live two hours away, so it definitely helps. I drive 1,000 miles a week. So that’s a lot of gas.”

The scholarship was established to honor George Reid, the only honorary member of WOW. Recipients must be a sophomore or higher in the Rio Fine Woodworking Program, maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 and be from Ohio. All applicants are reviewed by the WOW Scholarship Subcommittee, which includes reviews of their work and in-person interviews.

Unverferth will make a presentation regarding his work at WOWs general club meeting in April.

“The primary objective of this club is to promote education and to foster craftsmanship in the art and technique of woodworking,” said Bartine, who serves as WOW’s Scholarship Chairman, Awards Chairman and Shop Tours Chairman. “I believe the scholarship is an excellent means to help promising young students while promoting fine woodworking and honoring the memory of George Reid and other club founders.”

Bartine said WOW’s goal is to develop a $40,000 endowment that will provide two $1,000 annual scholarships. The WOW endowment currently stands at more than $13,000.

Corey Rader was the first recipient of the WOW Scholarship in 2006. Fellow recipients include Scotty Williams (’07), Nathan Roberts (’08), Bryce Wilson (’09), Isaac Chester (’10), James Fisher (’11) and Unverferth.

“Western Ohio Woodworkers is an amazing organization, full of individuals who are deeply passionate and dedicated to the craft of fine woodworking,” Professor Eric Matson said. “The entire Fine Woodworking Program is extremely grateful for their continued support on so many levels.”

Matson said WOW also hosts Artistry in Wood in Dayton, in which one piece is auctioned off each year with the proceeds benefiting the Rio Grande endowment.

It all started with a casual stop into the Fine Woodworking Annex in 2005, when Bartine found Matson working late with students.

“I had heard about the program before, and I was on my way back from a trip in the Carolinas and decided to stop in,” Bartine said. “It was really something; I was very impressed. … It is one of the best woodworking schools in the country. I believe in this school so much that I started my own scholarship.”

Peterson was the recipient of this year’s Bartine Scholarship.