The Ventura County Fair is our major summer activity. The Fair is a 10-day event occurring at the beginning of August. Members of CIW are present daily from 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM to demonstrate woodturning. This provides us a wonderful opportunity to raise our community’s awareness of woodturning as an art and craft.
Working in the woodturning booth at the Ventura County Fair is one of the most rewarding activities of CIW. We share a booth with Channel Islands Carvers in the Home Arts Building. While we are there, we make tops and medallions for kids of all ages. There is a safety shield between the lathe and the visitors. It’s a joy to see the kids up close with their noses flattened against the shield watching us turn rough wood into a finished, decorated top just for them. While we are turning their tops, the kids choose the colors for us to use to decorate their tops. We have such a great time interacting with the kids and the adults. The tops and medallions are free. We do, however, solicit donations for our work in the Cabrillo Middle School Woodshop. The money is used to augment the shop’s wood supply and tools or to help needy students pay for their project materials.
Our members also participate in the Fair’s woodturning competition. Members compete for awards in 12 different woodturning categories. The prize-winning woodturning entries are set out in display cases for visitors to see.
We also maintain a display of many of our members’ past works to show the vast array of possibilities in woodturning. Many Fair visitors are unaware of the variety and complexity of the woodturning field. It is our goal to have the visitors to our booth come away with a small treasure and a better understanding of our craft.