Masters at Work: Woodturning Competition & Exhibit

Wood turning competition to provide toys for kids in need

Visitors to the Forest Heritage Center are in for a treat during the Masters at Work: Toys, Toys, Toys for Kids Without Toys competition. The halls will be filled with the sights and sounds of master woodturners creating works of art from simple chunks of wood using lathes, a few tools, and their imaginations during four competitions, and the woodturning fun will spill over into the courtyard with mini competitions. The event will be at the Forest Heritage Center in Beaver’s Bend State Park on September 14 and 15 with an opening reception on Sept. 16. Competition pieces and wooden toys will be on display in the gallery through October 21st. Also displayed will be a private collection of fanciful ironwood figures, acquired by Ron and Carolyn Engel-Wilson on their travels around the globe.

Master woodturners will be coming from three states to compete, including Sammy Thomason from the Hunt County Woodturners, Sue Meyer-Dyer and Sarah Mantooth from the Central Oklahoma Woodturners, Janice Levi from the Brazos Valley Woodturners, Richard Duval and Marion McDaniel from the Dallas Area Woodturners, and Roger Tipton from the Ark-La-Tex Woodturners.

Smells of bubbling stew and freshly baked bread will delight guests as they watch local Dutch oven chef Calista Stephens and her “Dutch oven friends” cooking on the outdoor plaza. The cooking will take place from 8:00 am until 12:00 pm on Friday and Saturday, with opportunities for visitors to join in the fun and to sample the traditional, made from scratch cast iron cookin’.

Along with the competitions, the Forest Heritage Center will host an art retreat. Talented artist Jamie Carter will have a Painting Workshop: “Capturing Nature’s Beauty” for adults, beginners or advanced painters on Friday and Saturday, September 14-15. Participants may take the painting workshop for one or both days. For more information or to register, visit or contact Jamie at 903-674-2018.

The exhibit will open to the public with a special reception on Sunday, September 16 at 1:30 p.m. to announce the winners of the competitions. This is an excellent opportunity for the public to see wood art being created from start to finish, interact with some of the area’s most talented wood artists, and to purchase some great wood art gifts.

 Other activities that will take place on Sept. 14 and 15 include 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.

2018 Exhibit Open to the Public: September 14th - October 21st

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  This event is made possible through the Oklahoma Arts Council, Oklahoma Forestry Services and Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department.