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What's going on in California this May?

Hello Orchid (Californians),

I’m venturing to/around San Fransisco, Monterey, and L.A areas in
California May 19-May 26 this year. I was wondering if anyone can
tell me any workshops, shows, museums, metal/jewelry suppliers (I’ve
jotted down a few mentioned from previous threads), events or things
I “must” put on my to do list. Historical, cultural, artsy
stuff…anything! I’m easily entertained.

This will be my 3rd time to Cali and I did some of the fun historical
touristy type stuff when I was younger thanks to my mother waking the
whole family up at 6am with her itinerary in hand…though I find
myself planning the same way now. I’m welcome to any suggestions. Who
know I might have missed something before. I will have access to a
car during my trip so distance isn’t too big of an issue though gas
prices and time might be.

Another main reason I’m venturing there is to scope things out. I’m
eventually trying to move out to California within the next year or
so crosses fingers. I’m still debating on which area to settle down
to and if anyone is up to conversing with me (privately through email
might be better) about the art scene, studios, what it’s like being
artist/metalsmith/jeweler resident there, pros, cons etc. I’d gladly
appreciate the guidance.

Lauren Anabela Beaudoin

Hello Lauren - have a seat, get comfy-- First off, the online
version of the San Francisco Chronicle is

The page of “for Visitors” is here:

but there is much more on the site elsewhere about stuff to do, too.
Specifics? Monterey Bay aquarium and Monterery Bay in general, Carmel
is overrated for tourism, but check it out - lots of art. Pebble
Beach is fine, as is 17 mile drive, but it’s for pay and the ocean is
free. South of there is Big Sur - northern California coastal forest
at it’s finest (watch for poison oak!), and you won’t have time to
drive down highway 1, but it’s one of the top ten beautiful drives in
the world (believe it!). North from there is Santa Cruz and lots of
fruits, flowers and vegetables in between. Around the Bay Area, as we
call San Francisco Bay, there are many museums and galleries which
will be on SFgate. I would say, though:

  1. Walk across the Golden Gate Bridge. Trust me. 2) Alcatraz is
    pretty cool. 3) There’s a new Bloomingdales mall downtown that’s
    seriously great for the shopping thing. There’s a great park right
    across from MOMA. Golden Gate Park is great fun - see the arboretum.
    Boulevard is not cheap, but it’s consistently voted best restaurant
    in SF, and it’s not so Chi-Chi either. Everybody does Fisherman’s
    Wharf, Pier 39 and Chinatown - depending on your tourist index you
    could miss those or enjoy them. Chinatown will have the best Chinese
    food, obviously. North Beach is Italian, and has a lot of the
    "Roaming" night life and action/hang out stuff. The great dance clubs
    are scattered around - also SFGate. Downtown SF is the Phelan
    Building, 760 Market Street. That’s Otto Frei, Revere Academy, and
    Us, among others. Within 3 blocks of us is Tiffany’s, Cartier,
    Boucheron, Hermes, on and on. Downtown SF is a thriving
    shopping/entertainment district - there’s lots to do - theaters are
    within a few blocks, too. It’s fun. Go into any of the fine hotels
    and have a drink in the bar - my faves are The Mark Hopkins and the
    Fairmont. It won’t be cheap… Going north a bit, take Highway 1
    north just after Sausalito for about 5 miles and you’ll find Muir
    Woods. There are more pristine and magnificent redwood forests, but
    for one that’s accessable it’s just spectacular. Then of course you
    get into wine tasting in Napa or Sonoma - buy a map and plot a
    course, if you do that. Most wineries in Napa charge for tastings,
    many in Sonoma do not. Farther west is Tomales Bay and Point Reyes -
    big beaches, oysters, great ocean views. Understand that you won’t be
    swimming in the ocean around here unless you’re really courageous or
    stupid - cold water, rip tides, great white sharks, and don’t mess
    with elephant seals… By the way, if you should want to just go to
    Sausalito as a destination from SF, don’t drive, take the ferry -
    which reminds me - there’s a nice Farmer’s market and other things at
    the ferry building. Finally, if you’re into baseball, the Giants play
    at AT&T park, not far from downtown, and it’s as fine a ballpark as
    you’ll ever see. I guess that’s probably a couple of month’s worth of

P.S. - If you do go to Fisherman’s Wharf in SF, get a crab, a
baguette of sourdough, some clam chowder and a drink and go eat it
by the boats. Better than the restaurants, though they’re ok, too.

Masterpieces of French Jewelry
February 10, 2007 - June 10, 2007
Legion of Honor
Lincoln Park
34th Avenue & Clement Street
San Francisco, CA 94121


John did a great job on SF. He missed one though- The San Fanancisco
Museum of Craft+Design. 550 Sutter by Stockton. It is close to Union
Square. Right now they are having a show called ‘Tool as Art’.

In LA right now at the Freehand gallery is a Gallery Show featuring
some of the jewelers in the ‘Craft in America’ Series presented by
PBC. May 30, @8pm. The owner of the Gallery Carol Sauvion is the the
creator. There is a traveling exhibition and book accompanying the
documentary. Check


One addition: I used to live in southern Cal., but I haven’t been
down that way for quite awhile. I do remember, though - Somewhere
just south of San Luis Obispo - I don’t remember exactly - is a seed
farm. I think it’s Burpee, but I’m not sure. In the right season,
which should be when you’re around, it’s just flowers as far as the
eye can see. An acre of yellow, an acre of blue, on and on. It’s
quite a sight…


I live near San Luis Obispo and I believe that John was referring to
Lompoc. They have been planting less and less flowers for seed over
the last few years so one might check with their Chamber of Commerce.
This week I am heading south, and am planning a stop at the Freehand
Gallery as already mentioned. I am also going to the Sculpture of
Ruth Asawa; Contours in the Air Exhibition at the Japanese American
National Museum in LA (this exhibit was organized by the Fine Arts
Museums of San Francisco). In San Diego I am going to visit the
Mingei Museum where there is the Symbols of Identity -Jewelry of Five
Continents Exhibition.

What fun!

John mentioned a lot of good stops to make in SF, but he left out
the place I always head to after I walk the Golden Gate Bridge which
he did recommend. I always drive up into the Marin Headlands on the
Sausalito side of the Bridge. There are some amazing views from up
there and if you drive in to the area eventually you come to a place
where you can walk down to a really old lighthouse. To get to the
lighthouse you have to walk across a rickety suspension bridge (only
two people allowed on at a time) over the cliffs and water. Some of
the most amazing bay and ocean views you’ll ever see (well unless you
head down to Big Sur).

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Daniel R. Spirer Jewelers, LLC
1780 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140

I don’t know the start of this thread; but if it applies to CA in
general, check out giant sequoias preferably in the Sierra Nevada.
You must be in the living presence of these trees; one, the General
Sherman, weighs more than five blue whales. Pictures don’t do it. The
unamed trees are just as impressive and if you’re willing to walk 15
minutes from the road it’s special

I used to collect morels in May in the Sierra Nevada and cross
country ski in the winter.


I don’t know the start of this thread; but if it applies to CA in
general, check out giant sequoias preferably in the Sierra Nevada.
You must be in the living presence of these trees; one, the General
Sherman, weighs more than five blue whales. Pictures don’t do it. The
unamed trees are just as impressive and if you’re willing to walk 15
minutes from the road it’s special

I used to collect morels in May in the Sierra Nevada and cross
country ski in the winter.


I always drive up into the Marin Headlands on the Sausalito side of
the Bridge. There are some amazing views from up 

Yeah, Daniel, I thought of that, too. The only reason I left it out
was because it’s tricky for a newbie to find their way to/from/in
it. It IS the very best place in the Bay Area to watch the sunrise
from, though. Old missile silos, WW2 bunkers - you could even see
whales, I guess. And the raptor society does their hawk watch out
their. Speaking of whales - look for the dolphins in Monterey Bay,

Orchidians are always invited to visit the Revere Academy of Jewelry
Arts, when in San Francisco. Check our website for location and
details. It is always best to let us know you will be stopping by.

Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts, Inc.
760 Market Street Suite 900
San Francisco California 94102
tel: 415-391-4179

I believe that John was referring to Lompoc. They have been
planting less and less flowers for 

Yes, Jeanie, that’s it - and I haven’t been around there in years, I
had my fingers crossed that someone like you could take it further.
I went to Lompoc COC site and they mention “The Valley of Flowers”.
Kevin Kelly mentioned Sequoia National Park, and I thought of that,
too, but it’s off the coastal route. For those of you who don’t know

  • there’s a fallen tree on it’s side with a tunnel through it for
    the road - that’s how big they are. If you want to get into the rest
    of Cal. - the #1 place that everyone should see in their lives is
    Death Valley. What a strange, cool, fascinating, alien place it is -
    if you go take a gallon of water each at least - seriously. Mono
    lake is nearly as strange, and of course there’s Yosemite North and
    South, Mount Shasta, Mt. Lassen, the gold country, any place in the
    Sierras - Big Bear Lake, Lake Arrowhead, skiing, fishing, hiking -
    I’ll say again, too, that Northern California has more than it’s
    share of poison oak, anytime you’re out there keep your eyes peeled
    for it. Nasy stuff. It’s interesting to trade off sights here on the
    left coast, but the original writer, Lauren, will have her hands
    full - between San Diego and Mendocino there’s only a trillion
    things to do. And don’t forget the obvious - Disneyland IS the
    happiest place on earth - one of the best meals I ever had was in
    the main dining salon on the Queen Mary, pop over to Catalina, dance
    in the Avalon Ballroom…

Also, check out The Crucible. They are an Industrial Arts
non-profit. Jewelry, Enameling, and Glass are among the many classes
they teach. They have open tours on Tuesday and Thursday evenings
but would be glad to give you a tour almost any time.

If you are around in July, the have their infamous Fire Arts

The Crucible
1260 7th Street
Oakland, CA 94607
Phone: 510-444-0919

Denise Taylor
Jewelry Dept Intern, youth program volunteer, and student

Likely the original questioner is already on her way here, but
something jogged my memory and I realized that nobody had mentioned
the coolest thing of all - The Exploratorium. Here is the web site:

Founded by Dr. Frank Oppenheimer of atomic bomb fame in 1969, it is
the world’s biggest science fair, and you get to play with
everything. Light, lasers, gravity, sound, motors, electricity, DNA
and genetics, machinery, physics, astronomy - 400 exhibits, plus they
are very active with films, demonstrations, education and more. It is
way, way cool and great for kids, too. BTW, ILM is just a hop away in
the Presidio, if you’re curious, though you can’t go inside without a
pass (no tours) - look for the Yoda statue.

You can go to the I Madonnari festival in Santa Barbara this
Memorial Day weekend.

The I Madonnari Festival is a fundraiser for the Children’s Creative
Project which sponsors art workshops in 150 schools. The main aspect
of this festival is chalk paintings. About 200 large scale paintings
will be created on the ground at the steps of the Santa Barbara
Mission. Many of these paintings are carefully done by important
artists from the area. It is popular to reproduce the work of famous
renaissance painters. I am sponsoring a space for drawing at the
festival for church members and it just occurred to me to invite
Ganoksin members too. You can participate even when nobody else from
my group are there, just bring your own chalk.

Below is a copy of my original invitation: I am pleased to invite the
church and friends to participate in an art project. It will happen
at the I Madonnari Festival in Santa Barbara this May 26 to 28.

The art project that I am inviting you to is part of this festival,
but involves a chalk painting that is radically different from the
others. We have a designated 4 by 6 foot space for our painting. You
will easily locate it because it will have the title, “United Church
of Christ, Simi Valley”. The theme of our painting is, “There is room
at the table.” I invite you to come to Santa Barbara during the long
weekend and draw something in our space. You may draw a self
portrait, or perhaps an object that will illustrate something about
yourself. Draw a picture of your pet or a personal possession. If
your pet can draw, invite them to draw too. I invite children and
adults to draw in this space. Feel free to build on what others have
drawn before, just don’t obscure it. It is not important that you
draw with great skill. It is good to see contrast with different
skill levels and different styles. After you have drawn, take a
picture of the 4 by 6 foot space. I will collect the pictures to make
a collage showing how the image grew with time.

I will be there Saturday morning and will give chalk to anybody who
meets me there. If someone plans to go at other times, please let me
know. I will give them chalk ahead of time. We need others who can
hand out chalk to those they see there. I will return on Monday and
if there is a lot of unused space, I will leave chalk on the ground
so passersby can draw if they choose.

There is no way to predict what our final chalk painting will look
like. Later we can look at a picture of the final image to see how we
all fit together at the table. Depending on the weather and traffic,
the paintings may stay at the foot of the Santa Barbara Mission for a
couple of weeks.

Calvin Smith

I just wanted to say thank you for the suggestions everyone had on
what to do and see in California. I wish I was able to do everything
but time flew and before I knew it I was back in the East Coast. I
had a wonderful time and miss the West Coast already.

Thanks Again!