Wood Turning Competition to provide toys for kids in need



Wood turning competition to provide toys for kids in need

Masters at Work annual woodturning competition and festivities will focus on creating toys for children in need. The public is invited to attend the event, which features a weekend full of woodturning demonstrations, an art exhibit and other activities, at the Oklahoma Forest Heritage Center in Beaver’s Bend State Park, near Broken Bow on September 11- 13.  Woodturning is an art form requiring vision and skill and utilizing a lathe to create wooden objects, such as toys.

“We encourage people to visit the Forest Heritage Center during the Masters at Work competition and enjoy watching the artists turn a block of wood into a work of art,” said State Forester George Geissler.  “And it’s great to be able to combine a fun event with doing something good for kids who need help.”

Toy Makers of Hugo, Oklahoma, will receive the toys created through the competition, as well as the hundreds of toys that the participants have been working to make over the past six months.  The toys will be distributed by Toy Makers to organizations that use them to provide comfort and help children in difficult situations better cope.

Additionally, each of the competitors’ woodturning clubs has been working to make spin tops that will be donated to Doctors Without Borders through the Central Oklahoma Woodturning Association.  Several thousand tops are expected to be donated to the organization, which uses them to help put children who are undergoing medical procedures at ease.   

Master woodturners who are competing in this year’s event represent multiple states.  Participants are Les Brandt, Woodturners of Southeast Missouri; Hayes Copeland, River Valley (OK) Woodturners; Richard Duval, Dallas Area Woodturners; Fred Groves, Hunt County (TX) Woodturners; Roger Tipton and Don Barfield, Ark-La-Tex Woodturners.   The woodturners will participate in two competitions on Friday, September 11 and two competitions on Saturday, September 12.  The winner will be announced at a reception on Sunday, September 13 at 1:00pm which kicks off the exhibit opening. 

Other activities that will take place on September 11 and 12 include and a basket-weaving workshop, Dutch Oven cooking demonstration and an outdoor painting class.  Oklahoma Forestry Services will have foresters on hand both days to visit with people about their tree and forest concerns.

The exhibit, which opens on September 13 and runs through October 18, will feature toys from the competition and toys donated by the competitors’ woodturning clubs.  Also featured will be part of the Jim and Barbara Wilkerson Collection of Wagon Master Originals detailed hand carved miniature houses.  Gallery hours are Wednesday – Saturday, 10:00am – 4:00pm and Sunday, 1:00pm – 4:00pm.

For more information about all of the events call the Forest Heritage Center at (580) 494-6497 or email at fhc@beaversbend.com.  Additional information can also be found at Oklahoma Forestry Services’ website www.forestry.ok.gov/fhc.  This event is made possible through the Oklahoma Arts Council, Oklahoma Forestry Services and Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department.