For me, one of the highlights of summer is the Palo Alto Clay & Glass Festival. It is always surprisingly good but the high goodness factor shouldn't be surprising. Palo Alto is the cultural capital of Silicon Valley – or, probably, more accurately – the Haute Culture capital of Silicon Valley and Silicon Valley has a lot of young, educated, hip, very rich people.
In many ways, Palo Alto is an mid-America city with shady residential streets and a small Art Center. Except that, per square foot of lot and house, it is one of the most expensive places in the known universe. Behind the trees are alot of very wealthy people and the Art Center reflects that by putting on very sophisticated shows.
My first taste of the Craft Movement came at the Renaissance Faire – note the classy "e" at the end of Fair – which featured very primitive crafts. One glass artist I talked to, reminisced on how his first glass teacher could barely blow glass. Forty five years later, the artists have become very good.
The ceramists – ceramics being my first craft love – are getting especially good. Some of them are making forms that highlight the nature of clay and some are making exquisite bowls.
At this point, Michele and I have enough handmade bowls and plates to last usd for the rest of our natural lives but it is still a treat, on a summer afternoon, to wander under the trees looking at all the goodies.