James Santhon carefully makes a goblet during a demonstration for visitors to the OC Fair's crafts exhibition hall. (Don Leach, Daily Pilot / July 26, 2013)

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How long has she been into carving?

"I think about 20 years," she said. "How long have I been retired?"

Still, said Lake Forest resident Tom Deutsch, it's important for kids to develop "tangible skills, working with your hands, not with a keyboard."

He says his last time "wood working in a shop was several years ago in high school," but he makes furniture at home, and he lets his kids help out.

Deutsch explains the different steps in Hodgin's turning process, while Lauren, 9, and William, 6, stand rapt.

Lauren murmurs that curls of dust forming as Hodgin holds a wire against the spiraling wood look like confetti or silly string.

"I was thinking about making my dog a dog house," she says of her next project.

William, she says, had made a toy boat.

Deutsch lets them watch for a few more minutes before gently herding them away.

"No, I want to stay," William says, his eyes fixed on the lathe.

Woodworking glossary

Lathe: A machine that rotates a piece of wood or another object on a horizontal axis. A woodworker or other craftsperson can work on the rotating piece with a stationary shaping or sanding tool.

Marquetry: A decorative technique in which wood or another material is inlaid into another surface and veneered in place.

Intarsia: A decorative technique in which pieces of wood are fit together like a puzzle. There is usually more definition between pieces of an intarsia pattern, as opposed to marquetry, which forms a smooth surface.

To learn more, go to the Orange County Woodworkers Assn. website at ocwoodworkers.com. For more information about carving, go to the California Carvers Guild website at cacarversguild.org.