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Q & A: Farmers Market - Fresh Takes


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Jennifer Willhite | The Republic
Shawn Bentz and his wife, Donna, display their wares Saturday at the farmers market in downtown Columbus.
Jennifer Willhite | The Republic Shawn Bentz and his wife, Donna, display their wares Saturday at the farmers market in downtown Columbus.


Since Shawn Bentz’s father introduced him to woodworking 12 years ago, it has become his passion. Bentz, a full-time instructor at the International School of Columbus, joined the Saturday Columbus Farmer’s Market in downtown Columbus last year as a way to supplement his income while doing something he loves. He hopes to one day pass on his woodworking knowledge to his 4-year-old son, Jackson.

Q: What do you sell?

A: Puzzles, pens and pencils, display boxes, cutting boards, and necklaces.

Q: What inspires you?

A: Books, photographs, ideas that people pass on to me; some are completely random.

Q: What are your most popular items?

A: Currently, cutting boards and puzzles.

Q: Where do you find the time to do your woodworking?

A: Most of the time, I stay up late and work after I get home from teaching.

Q: What is your favorite thing to make?

A: I think the items I enjoy making the most are the wooden puzzles because I am able to be the most creative with them. While I have a general pattern for many puzzles, I can alter these on a whim and do something completely different.

Q: Why has woodworking become such a niche market?

A: It is just like sports and music. There are so many people who will push the limit of what can be made. The quest for a more artistic and quality item has made this a more specialized hobby.

Q: What does Jackson think of your hobby?

A: My son already follows me down to the basement and acts like he is cutting and hammering on his little workbench. I want to expose him to as many different creative experiences as I can.

Where to go

Columbus Farmer’s Market — 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturdays downtown in the Cummins Inc. parking lot, 501 Brown St., across from Mill Race Park.

Columbus City Farmers Market — 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturdays, FairOaks Mall parking lot, 2380 25th St., between Carson’s and JC Penney stores.

Jennings County Farmers Market — 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, North Vernon City Park on North State Street.

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