Ray FentonHub Staff 

The Grey-Bruce Woodturners Guild will be hosting its first ever Grey-Bruce TurnFest Exhibition in Port Elgin. There will be a symposium for guilds and their members across Ontario but the organizers wanted to include the public so an exhibition will take place at Cathy's Flowers & Treasures, downtown Port Elgin from Friday, August 14th to Sunday, August 16th. 

The exhibition will display unique, small and large, functional and artistic pieces by woodturners from across the province. Admission to the Grey-Bruce TurnFest Exhibition is free, although a non-perishable item for the local food bank will be accepted as a donation. 

The Grey-Bruce Woodturners Guild was established to provide an open, informative, and relaxed atmosphere where any person with an interest in woodturning would be able to develop their skills, increase their knowledge, and enjoy the company of others with similar interests.

Guild member Ray Fenton said he got into woodturning after his granddaughter had taken a woodturning course from the guild six or seven years ago. “You never know what's going to come out of a piece of wood until you turn it,” he said.
The Grey-Bruce Woodturners Guild has approximately 50 members from all across the two counties. “We have some excellent, really world class turners,” said Fenton.

Guild President, Carl Durance said they wanted to involve the public rather than just guild members. Each guild member that has registered for the symposium has been encouraged to bring some of their artwork to put on display, which they can choose to sell if they wish. There will be a wide range of items at the exhibition from plates and bowls to pepper mills and pens.

Durance explained that he belongs to, and is very active in, several woodturning guilds across the province but at this point there is no sharing of knowledge between the guilds. “I've always wanted to have some way of bringing them together and really sharing our knowledge for the better of all,” he said. “We're one of the only guilds that operates in July and August as well, everybody else shuts down for the summer so I thought it would be kind of neat to invite everyone up in the summer some time and just put something together.” Durance explained that on the technology side, the symposium workshops have been organized for the turners to share and admire each other's technique and work; but in order for the craft to be fully appreciated they wanted to include something for the public. “We thought it's kind of a shame to have all this talent here and the public not see it so we decided to have some sort of an exhibit in order for people to bring in their works and show off their talent.”

Durance said that they don't look for perfect pieces of wood but rather pieces of scrap in the hopes that there's something interesting inside it that will give a finished piece its unique and interesting characteristics. “After you've turned a bowl you are no longer just looking at the bowl... it's the flaws in the wood that make the piece.”Carl DuranceBowl FullPens FullArtwork