artsy fartsy,  Beach Bits,  corona virus 2020,  Family Matters,  out out out of the house!

A Perfect Day Out


Even though we haven’t been in strict quarantine for months, it still feels like we’ve been cooped up since forever. We do get out these days to enjoy the alfresco dining that is popping up everywhere but we haven’t really been out out for a long time. So yesterday, when we spent the day in Laguna Beach, it felt like we were on vacation. Like really on vacation! If I squinted really hard and forgot that we were only a half hour away from home, I could almost feel like I’d flown thirteen hours and I was back in Italy. Laguna Beach feels like Italy sometimes. It’s just such a quaint touristy sort of town like that. I love it.


Yesterday we took a pottery class at Artime Barro studio in Laguna Beach.   I booked it a few weeks ago and carted the whole family off whether they wanted to go or not. At first the girls protested. They usually like to meet up with a few friends at our local shopping center in our neighborhood. It’s a habit Payam and I are not that fond of, given the risks of covid AND the fact that they are both starting to think that hanging out with a passel of boys is the cool thing to do. We fight them on it but give in regularly. Parenting, it is not for the weak.

After a few eye-rolls and sullen sulks with headphones in the back seat, they gave in and started to get excited too. It felt so good to be back as a crew having an adventure again. I LOVE love love when all four of us do something fun together. I guess, that’s the meaning of family after all. Now all those adventures my mom used to drag my brother and I off to make sense. These are the things that makes moms happy! Like really really happy! I should plan these sorts of adventures every week.

Of course everything comes with a price and a pottery class was $40 per person BUT you get to make two things each, you learn a new skill and it’s really really fun.


Bug is taking ceramics in highschool already so she’s a pro. I took a sculpture class at the local community class years ago but throwing pottery on a wheel is completely new to me. It is so relaxing. I found staring at the spinning clay almost hypnotizing. I could have stayed there for hours.


We took turns. Two of us making pinch pots and two of us learning how to use the pottery wheel.


Pinch, pinch, pinch.


Spin, spin, spin.


I defied the instructions and made a fox instead of a pot. I thought I’d get in trouble but the instructor said it was perfectly fine. As long as I had a hole for the air to escape I could totally make a fox head instead of a pot. And that is why I like Laguna Beach and artists in general: It’s okay to break the rules and be creative! If Laguna Beach didn’t have such traffic problems I would seriously consider moving there. It is definitely my kind of town. Maybe someday…


The studio is so nice and open, you almost feel like you are out doors. There are several doors and all of them are open with the gentle ocean breeze wafting through. In the back is the classroom area and off of that there is another outdoor seating area. In the front where you check in and out there is a little shop where you can buy locally made pottery. Lots of really cool gift items.


Of course it’s decorated crazily.


My favorite part is the interactive wall map where you can write on a broken shard of pottery and glue it to the wall with stucco.


I really hope this studio lasts forever. Firstly because I want to go back and make more pottery and secondly because I put SAJ up own the wall and I want her to live there forever.


Just fun all around. I think I should get a job here. Too bad I am a newbie at ceramics.


In true laid back Laguna Beach fashion, dogs are, of course, allowed. I would not bring Cody here though. His sweeping giant tail would costs me hundreds of dollars.


There is a cute little pot on the check out counter. I want to make one of these one of these days.


After our pottery class we walked down to the beach. When in Rome… You can’t really visit a beach community without at least putting your feet in the water. I miss living by the ocean. I’m only 15 minutes away now but you’d be surprised at how rarely I leave my little sunny town to go find it.


Covid or no covid, I’m so glad to be out and about with my crew.


Then to top off the day we got gelato. Because that’s what you do when you go to Laguna Beach!


I even had some, which if you know me is a pretty big deal. It was such a perfect day.


  • Gingermog

    Heyyy the best kind of Monday’s are when they begin with reading an update from SAJ! I took the FB app off my phone ( more space for photos) so missed the update. Laguna Beach looks great, another place to visit when I’m next over in the states (still dreaming of that big trip when Covid is over, or we have vaccines or something). Throwing pots looks super fun, I’ve not done much pottery since Art School but I loved it it. There is a potters wheel here at the farm, amongst the jumble of stuff but so ancient not even Harvey’s expertise can get it to work. My sister in law has a wee kiln, it doesnt do porcelian though and I fancy making some tiny, wee stuff. I need to be serious about it though as they are not cheap.

    I would cheer you on though if you added another string to your bow and began making pottery. With your talent and imagination I imagine you’d make some beautiful, quirky stuff. I wish air drying clay was more durable.

    Glad the girls went with you, we all hit this phase when we’d be rather hanging out with our friends then been seen with our parents. Le sigh. like you I’m so glad I have memories of car trips to castles and places with my parents to look back on, even if I know I slunk into the back seat of the car with bad grace. My Dad got ill and house bound by the time I was in my late teens and we used to look back on those days with pleasure.

    Thought of you guys at the weekend, we drove down narrow countrylanes lanes to Gloucestershire and passed tiny, villages and an old castle (for Payham) even a tiny, jail you can visit. Beautful views of the whole of the shires and all is golden, green and red. We’ve bought a new car, she’s purple and beautiful :) Sending love xxxx

  • Gingermog

    P.s. Boys schmoys. Must be scary for you as parents. I hope they don’t meet any one who is into “negging”. I learnt this term through my friend Tor, guys who put you down to make themselves feel great. I like the story that Rebecca Woolfe wrote, about her stucking her head out of the window, whilst passing a group of teen girls looking on at group of teen boys skateboarding or somesuchness and shouted, “Their not that great, girls.” I may be parphrasing her ancedote here but that’s the gist.

  • Cathy

    That *is* a perfect day and what cool little pottery spot. I would never get my guy to come and try this but I did get my kidlet and some some of our friends together for a day on the wheel but ours was $50 for two pieces! Bay Area, man. And we didn’t have gelato nearby either. Glad you had a great day out with the fam. I want to see your finished products!

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