On a glowing August evening in Over-the-Rhine, artists, designers, writers, community activists, and tastemakers gathered at Rookwood’s OTR Flagship Store for drinks, lively discussion, and a behind-the-scenes tour at its Spark Series. Hosted at Rookwood’s historic ceramics factory, the space fell quiet as Dr. Alex Bandar, a Columbus-based entrepreneur and founder of the Idea Foundry — lauded worldwide for its innovative approach to the makerspace — took the stage to talk about the critical impact creative innovation can have on communities. Bandar is also one of the faces behind Cincinnati’s CoMADE, an organization dedicated to embedding the maker culture in the local region.
“Dr. Bandar’s vision for the maker movement echoes the mission that Rookwood has had since the late 1800’s when we first opened our doors,” said Ian Burt, Director of Sales at Rookwood. “There’s something powerful and poetic about hosting the series in our studio, surrounded by handcrafted pottery and tile.”
Merging themes of art, technology, design, education, and inspiration, Bandar discussed how the modern maker movement can spark disruption, spurring positive change socially and economically. “Our Spark Series is all about nurturing creativity, forging new connections and redefining what’s possible through creative pursuits,” said Alain Pummell, Rookwood’s resident tile specialist and design coordinator.
Spark Series will return on October 17 with Danae Wolfe, a macro nature photographer and conservationist whose work reveals the untold stories in nature and wildlife. Most recently, she appeared at TEDxColumbus to discuss her bug and botanical portraiture in a keynote called “Ew to Awe.” “Wolfe’s photographs capture the intricate beauty in everyday life,” Pummell said. “We’re inspired by her lens on the world, and we know others will be as well.”
Image: Danae Wolfe
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