Masters at Work: Woodturning Competition & Exhibit

The Forest Heritage Center Museum and Oklahoma Forestry Services, a division of the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry will kick-off the annual fall exhibit, “Masters at Work” with a competitive flair. The turning competition will be held September 12th – 13th, 2014 in the courtyard of the Museum. Artists will arrive with a piece of wood, their lathe and tools and let their creativity take over as they turn the wood into a beautiful work of art for the Beads of Courage Program.

After an intensive selection process that encompassed woodturners from Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Kansas, New Mexico, Louisiana, Tennessee and Missouri, demonstrators have been chosen to compete in the Master’s at Work: Woodturning Competition. These demonstrators will participate in four different “turn-offs” and multiple workshops creating an immense wood “shaving” match worth viewing.

While partnering with the Beads of Courage Program, our demonstrators will provide arts in medicine for children with serious illnesses while designing and turning four different types of boxes. The Beads of Courage Program is designed to support and strengthen children and families coping with serious illness. Through the program, children tell their story using colorful beads as meaningful symbols of courage that commemorate milestones they have achieved along their unique treatment path. The turnings created by the competitors will be presented to the children as a safe-keeping treasure box for their beads. As an added bonus, one child from the Oklahoma City program will be a judge for the competition.

“The Forest Heritage Center has been working diligently towards increasing awareness of woodturning as an art form. By implementing a competitive twist while working with the Bead of Courage Program, we hope to bring the art form to an even greater level,” said Doug Zook, FHC program director. 

The Southeast Oklahoma Woodturners will also sponsor two special contests at 2:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. A woodturning project chosen at random will be announced for members of the American Association of Woodturners to participate in. Additional prize money will be awarded each day for these winners.

This year's woodturning competition will also coincide with a Basket Making Workshop and an Art Retreat & Outdoor Painting Workshop: "Capturing Nature's Beauty," giving visitors and participants the chance to watch some serious lathe wrangling in between brush strokes. “Capturing Nature’s Beauty” is available for adult beginners or advanced painters on Friday & Saturday. For more information click the link above, visit or call Jamie Carter at 903-674-2018 to register.

Experienced basket maker, Linda Lou Alexander will be providing a workshop to teach her famed basket weaving skills. The workshops will be held at the Forest Heritage Center Museum on Friday, September 12th from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturday, September 13th from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Two different types of baskets will be offered. For $10 guests can choose to make a Double Wall Western Cherokee Basket or for $15 you can make a Pine Needle Coiled Basket. There’s no need to register for this workshop; just come as you are. It’s a workshop for people of all ages with supplies provided.

All this will take place as gallery visitors seize the opportunity to interact with the artists as they compete. When the bell tolls, signaling the competition is over, judges will evaluate the techniques, artistry and craftsmanship to award the prestigious blue ribbon to the winning artists on Sunday, September 14th , 2014 at 1:00 p.m. during the opening reception. The turnings created during the competition will be added to the Forest Heritage Center’s permanent wood art collection and be on display until October 19th in the Wood Art Gallery.

In addition, each demonstrator’s represented club will have numerous woodturnings displayed in the wood art gallery and many of the artists will be on hand sharing their turning techniques and tricks of the trade. This is an excellent opportunity for the public to gain first-hand knowledge about woodturning from some of the region’s most talented woodturners. 

"As the Wood Art Capital of Oklahoma, the Forest Heritage Center Museum makes a perfect venue for this type of art experience," stated Doug Zook, FHC Museum director."This should be an exciting weekend for all ages while showcasing the unique form of wood art."

This exhibit is made possible in part by Oklahoma Forestry Services, Oklahoma Arts Council and the Forest Heritage Center Advisory Board and staff. 

Exhibit Open to the Public: September 12th - October 19th, 
Gallery Hours: Wednesday – Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. & Sunday 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m
For more information contact the Forest Heritage Center Museum at 580-494-6497 (office) or click to email the museum.