Success Story

  • Edgar Farmer using woodworking lab at OriginLabs
  • Finished wood carved art piece of a Masai warrior from east Africa

Local artist uses woodworking lab at OriginLabs

UNIVERSITY PARK – Edgar Farmer, professor emeritus of education at Penn State and local artist, recently started using the woodworking equipment available at OriginLabs to enhance his wood-carving process. 

OriginLabs is an all-new prototyping and fabrication space located in downtown State College in the Eric J. Barron Innovation Hub. Users gain access to materials, equipment and lab spaces including benchworking, woodworking, metalworking, surfacing, welding, digital fabrication, and additive manufacturing. 

Most recently, Farmer utilized OriginLabs to work on a wooden art piece that was displayed at the Art Alliance Community Gallery at Kish Bank throughout March 2024. 

Farmer took advantage of the free equipment training available at OriginLabs to learn how to use the sander and the drill press to create the wooden piece, which represented a Masai warrior from east Africa. 

He worked with Shop Manager Jose Nunez to cut in the inner circles that would become the warrior’s earlobes, as well as to create the overall curvature of the piece. 

Farmer said he has enjoyed working with Nunez on his wood carving pieces because Nunez provides suggestions for the best tools and methodology to use for each of his projects. 

“Jose knows how to use all the equipment, so he is able to listen and see what I’m trying to make or do, and then make suggestions from there,” said Farmer. “I have taken all of his suggestions thus far, they’ve all been positive and have worked out for me, so that’s been great.” 

Farmer says he appreciates how much care OriginLabs takes to ensure everyone gets proper safety training and supervision so anyone can use the equipment and be safe while doing so. 

“I’m preparing for an exhibit with the Central PA Arts Fest, so I’ll be using the woodworking lab again real soon to create more pieces for the Arts Fest,” said Farmer. “I’m looking forward to continuing to work with Jose and to get training on the band saw.” 

Local artists, creators, and innovators looking for prototyping or fabrication assistance are encouraged to contact OriginLabs to learn more and get started. 

About OriginLabs 

Located at the Eric J. Barron Innovation Hub in downtown State College, OriginLabs provides access to world-class prototyping facilities to students and faculty from across campus, as well as members of the public from State College and beyond. The OriginLabs facilities enhance the suite of resources available to researchers, innovators and entrepreneurs in the region in the form of sophisticated equipment, free workshops, and expert advice and technical guidance. 

This project was financed in part by a grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Community & Economic Development.