I am probably going to move down to Los Angeles inside the year, but
I just looked on a map and I guess that isn't very close to Ventura
at all. Regardless, I'm interested in what you find out. I've driven
90 miles to attend SCA events in the past.
Have you asked around for metalworkers in your local group? Ventura
is in the Shire of Darach, isn't it? Their Arts & Sciences page makes
it sound like they've got a pretty good woodworking group. When I
found the last shire I was in, one of the woodworking guys there
happened to be a wax carver who made pewter castings, and both he and
his brother liked to dabble in blacksmithing.