John Marcum: Cherry Ridge Wood Products


If you’re in the market for one-of-a-kind, artisan-crafted wood pieces for your home or to give as a gift, this is it! John Marcum of Cherry Ridge Wood Products, located in Jackson, Kentucky has had his hand in the business since a young adult. Growing up, he studied Industrial Arts in High School and thus began his love for all things woodworking. He enjoyed the craft so much that he’d spend 3 hours a day as a teacher’s aide expanding his knowledge and learning to work with wood.

Work History: Natural at Woodworking

After high school, John continued in the business. He worked in the cabinetry industry and installed cabinets commercially for a major company. John even did a little cabinetry work on his own and owned a small cabinet shop. He did a variety of jobs as he honed his woodworking skills over the years. John did everything from installing interior trim and moldings in high-end houses to wood trim installations on houseboats and building parts for furniture.

The economy shifted, and the need for specialty furniture wasn’t in big demand and the company went out of business. Perhaps it was a blessing in disguise because from this career hurdle John came across the Development in Wood Products Entrepreneur program through the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture at the Wood Utilization Center in Quicksand, Kentucky. He was given access to use the equipment from a friend in the Forestry Department at the university. This technology and the knowledge he gained through the training in the program allowed him the opportunity to form Cherry Ridge Wood Products.

John started by making cutting boards, engraving gospel hymns on wood pieces, and lined wood boxes. On a personal level, creating the engraved gospel hymns is near and dear to him and his beliefs as he was ordained as a minister over ten years ago. So, it only made sense to create this particular item.

Member of the Kentucky Arts Council


John is a member of the Kentucky Arts Council. This state arts agency is responsible for developing and promoting support for the arts in Kentucky.  They are publicly funded by the Kentucky General Assembly and National Endowment for the Arts, which is an independent agency of the federal government. The mission of KAC is to create an environment for the people of Kentucky value, participate in, and benefit from arts. For more information on KAC- learn more about this fantastic organization here!

John Hits the Road to Showcase His Art

John regularly takes his handcrafted products on the road. He gets his products out in front of people as often as he can by attending festivals throughout the area. It was at a festival in Johnson City, KY that he got one of his big breaks. He met someone that sold subscriptions boxes and wanted to include his lined boxes in them. He was surprised when she contacted him and asked for 2800 of them! Making sure to include a business card in each of the boxes, from there his business has grown drastically. He began to do business with the company that runs the subscription boxes and has seen a steady flow of business ever since.

Check Out His Latest Work

John offers a wide variety of pieces and wood finishes. A new piece he’s now offering is a personalized cutting board with an engraved recipe or special sentiment. This is a fantastic piece to honor the memory of a loved one’s coveted recipe, quote or a unique way to display a favorite family recipe. Either way, it’ll make that special someone feel very loved this holiday season or any time of year! Visit John’s gallery on Got Mountain Life and see what he has to offer. You may find that one-of-a-kind piece you haven’t realized you’ve been looking for!

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