down a winding country road, past a shimmery silver lake, thirty minutes from my home, lived the mama of dada, american artist and studio potter, author of 'i shock myself' beatrice wood
. we made a day of visiting ojai valley and the home and gallery of wood....
lake casitas, ojai, california
but first, a stop in meiners oaks, and a bookstore, 'bookends bookstore & other curiosities'
a beautiful former church
we met the owner, sipped ginger ale, and perused the shelves
there were charming surprises around every corner
and perfect cozy reading nooks
and outside, we found yarn bombing!
hello handsome :)
our next stop, was just a short drive outside of ojai, in the upper valley...
welcome to beatrice wood center for the arts
outside, workshops were in progress
more of beatrice's art
we were graciously welcomed into her studio, and given a tour
the kilns! my friend karen, also a potter, was thrilled to see these!
beatrice's tools, still in use...
with great care
and some of her glazes
work of new students
a view of happy valley, from beatrice's home, she looked out on this landscape until she passed at the age of one hundred and five. it's difficult to write about a visit like this, about someone so legendary. feels incredibly special, every bit a privilege.
back in ojai, after the excitement and awe of the studio visit we were hungry! time for lunch!
temperatures were in the high eighty's in the valley, it was hot, thirst quenching sangria was in order!
tapas too, yum!
my bag again!
and here is where i shock myself...
i rode a camel! i think it may have been the midday sangria, or maybe it was the indescribable inspiration of beatrice, she was a ground breaker, a risk taker. but while we were having lunch, i saw the camels across the street (it was ojai day) and had to ride one. now i don't have to go to the sahara. hee hee.
our last stop was at infamous bart's books
. this is one of my favorite places on earth.
Bart’s Books, at the corner of Matilija and Canada streets in Ojai, CA, is the home to the largest independently owned and operated outdoor bookstore in the U.S.A.
each time i come here, i plan to take photos, but after arriving i just want to look at the books! it's a huge place, there are so many sections to get lost in. there is always a resident cat to pet and penny candy in old fashioned glass jars. and bookmarks (a favorite when my children were small). outside, there are more books on rustic wooden shelves. if you arrive after hours, you may take any that you like and throw your coins through the fence. the honor system!
at home, a little piece of beatrice wood is here now, smiling over my woolly knitting room. for a small donation at her studio we were able to bring a poster home.
when i dropped my friend karen off at her home at the end of the day, she gave me pottery she and her husband made! mama and papa bear bowls, with a place for chopsticks! LOVE!
and another yarn bowl. which i put to immediate use. LOVE LOVE LOVE.
thank you for coming along, it is always a pleasure!