One artist specializes in creating sculptures out of scrap metal and found objects. A local Laguna artist had a collection of earrings for sale. We spoke to another man who creates these brightly colored and hand painted clocks and furniture. One woman is a tile maker, and we chatted with her about art, and her son, the tattoo artist. It was all very neighborly.

Cash and credit cards are accepted for purchases. Interesting to me, each booth had a sign indicating that if an artist is not in his booth, customers should just take the item to the purchase window at the festival exit. Laguna artists are a trusting bunch.

One of the most interesting and popular booths was selling toe rings. [below]

At ground level, in the glass case, customers choose the style of toe ring they want. [For the unitiated, toe rings come in a variety of styles, widths, colors and metals -- and, like the lady from Banbury Cross, are worn on on your toes.]

When you're ready, climb a short staircase, to a platform, and sit on a long bench. Your feet are now at eye level with the vendors, who go to work, fitting you for the proper toe ring.

It's a clever booth design that not only saves the backs of the vendors, but increases interest. Lots of toe rings were being sold and almost every passerby stopped to watch.

Sawdust Festival offers a some food locations too. Along with popcorn, ice cream, cold sandwiches, we found some Mexican food. The burritos, taquitos and chips and salsa were fresh tasting and hot, and fairly reasonable price-wise. Seating at the food areas is limited, but we were able to score a location under a shade tree. Soft drinks, beer and wine are also served.

Did I mention relaxing? Well, it was. And one of the key factors is the way the venue is organized. While there is certainly a structure, the booths feel very random, the participants easy going, and overall, it was a very enjoyable afternoon.

We recommend the Sawdust Festival. Since it doesn't end until September 5, there's still plenty of time to go. This is one festival that won't leave you feeling frazzled and spent.

While we didn't find any art that we couldn't live without, Megan enjoyed a booth sponsored by the Boys and Girls Club, where, for a few dollars, kids were invited to create small craft projects. She painted a small, faux stained glass window.

As for Dianne and me, we decided to go the hippie route, and each got a toe ring. [below]

Sawdust Art Festival
935 Laguna Canyon Rd.
Laguna Beach, CA. 92651

Phone: 949 494-3030, Fax: 949 494-7390

Check out one of our Museum Madness stories
Dare to Visit our Tattoo Gallery
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