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Laguna Beach is Southern California's premier seaside destination, midway between Los Angeles and San Diego. A year-round retreat for art lovers, nature enthusiasts and beach goers, Laguna Beach features seven miles of soft sand and surf.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Sawdust Art Festival 2011

The 45th summer Sawdust Art Festival is here!!! As always, my entire family was eager to head over to the festival to see what this year’s show had in store.  With over 200 artists, 30 of them new exhibitors, I knew that we would all find something to enjoy.

For the kids their all-time favorite Sawdust Art Festival activity is the Ceramic Canter’s potters wheel. Here, they get to have a hands-on experience with throwing clay. We opted for the $15 option, so we could get the clay fired, glazed and shipped to our home. The kids are now starting a collection of bowls and cups that they've made over the years at Sawdust.

I always look forward to seeing what the new theme will be at the Patch Toe ring booth. This year it is 'Toe Story.’

See if you can find all the toe rings.

This year I brought my sister along for her first visit to Sawdust. She fell in love from the moment we crossed through the front gates. The Sawdust Art Festival seems to have that affect on people. You get transported to another place while inside…its walls under the canopy of eucalyptus trees, the feeling of wood chips under your feet and music floating in the air.

My sis gravitated toward the Earl Reid booth where his sterling silver and gold hair comb clips are one of the most popular items at the festival.

By far, the most exciting part of our day at Sawdust was learning about rings that were passed down to us from our Mother. When I began writing for the Laguna Beach Visitors Bureau my mom told me that the rings she had given my sister and I were purchased at the Sawdust Art Festival in the 70s. So this year my mission was to find the jeweler that made those rings. And we did! John Skaggs has been exhibiting at Sawdust for over 40 years making beautiful jewelry. His stylized rings are recognized by Laguna Beach locals and as soon as we walked up to his booth, we knew that we had found the jeweler that made our mom’s rings.

John Skaggs’ stylized rings

Mom’s ring from the 70’s

Another family favorite are the sculptures of Dion and Ruth Wright. We enjoy seeing the creative ways they manipulate sterling silver utensils and other common items into all sorts of sculptures. My twins especially liked the Pegasus and fish. You can often find Dion and Ruth working right in their booths manipulating metal.

After our first of what I am sure will be many visits to the 45th Sawdust Art Festival, it looks like it's going to be an exciting year!

Open now through August 28th
10am to 10pm Daily

Mark your Calendars for these special events:

Wine-tasting Wednesdays - Every Wednesday, 6-10 pm
Hawaiian Surf Day – Saturday, July 9
Green Day – Saturday, July 23
80s Day – Thursday, August 4
Artists' Benevolence Fund Auction - Sunday, August 7, 2-5 pm
Beatles Day - Saturday, August 20
Original Collectors' Panels Auction - Sunday, August 21, 3-5 pm
Honda Car Raffle - Sunday, August 28, 4 pm

For complete listing of Special Events HERE 

A Passport to the Arts season pass can be purchased for $19 and allows unlimited access to Art-A-Fair, Sawdust Art Festival and Festival of Arts all summer long. You will also receive a free, one-time parking pass and various merchant discounts around town.

By Anne-Marie S.

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