There is so much fun stuff going on in the Bay Area over the next few days. (And where will I be? Driving my kids to baseball and softball, taking my turn in our monthly Friday-night childcare swap with friends, passing out Popsicles at my kids' school walkathon, and then hosting a gaggle of squealing 10-year-olds at my daughter's birthday party. You all better go out and do something fabulous, since I can't.)
In San Francisco Thursday evening: The opening of Portland artist Betsy Walton's Sacred Spring at Rare Device. The artist's reception runs from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, May 1, and the show will be up until June 1 at 1845 Market St. at Guerrero. (Not in the area? You can purchase the original pieces Walton painted for the show here, see more of Walton's gorgeous paintings here, and browse her prints for sale on Etsy.)
On Friday, May 2, the Heath Ceramics Factory Store in Sausalito kicks off a weekend of festivities by marking everything off 15 percent. So go and snap up some of the sublime Heath tile, tableware, and home goods you've been coveting. The sale continues Saturday and Sunday, May 3 and 4, when Heath will also hold one of its semi-regular Open Studio events. Heath owners Catherine and Robin (whose awesome home can be seen here) and their crew of talented artisans will be barbecuing, giving factory tours, offering hands-on tile glazing activities, and hosting a vintage sale and silent auction of Edith Heath originals. Heath Ceramics is located at 400 Gate Five Road in Sausalito. The hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 to 5 Sunday. (Can't make it? Heath is offering free shipping on online orders from May 1 to 8.)
Friday night is, of course, the monthly Oakland Art Murmur at the galleries centered around 23rd St. and Telegraph Ave. in the burgeoning Uptown area. Opening: Dress Form Dialogues and Reading History at Mercury20 and Ready to Pop at Blankspace. The event starts at 6 and goes until about 10 p.m. (More on the Murmur later today.)
Emeryville ceramist Sara Paloma is having a studio sale on Saturday and Sunday, May 3 and 4, from noon to 4 p.m. Paloma will be selling new designs, old favorites, seconds, and one-of-a-kind items. Her studio is located at 4333 Holden St. #54 in Emeryville. (If you're not in the area, check out Paloma's Etsy shop, where she also sells seconds and other assorted -- but still totally drool-worthy -- items.)
In nearby Berkeley, stop in at the Fourth & Clay Seconds Sale. The west Berkeley ceramics studio will host a liquidation of slightly imperfect pieces by studio denizens Rae Dunn and Josie Jurczenia and pals Whitney Smith and Diana Fayt -- as well as handmade bags from Susannah Schnick and Nancy La Rose. The studio is located at 2390 Fourth St. at Channing, and the sale runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, May 3, and from noon to 5 Sunday, May 4.
For her part, Fayt is earmarking proceeds from the sale of her seconds this weekend -- as well as from this amazing yellow pottery set in her Etsy shop -- to help her sister, who recently lost her home in a terrible fire. (By the way, out-of-towners: Smith and Dunn have Etsy storefronts as well.)
Also Saturday and Sunday, May 3 and 4, the Maker Faire will celebrate DIY in all of its incarnations at the San Mateo Fairgrounds. There will be live music, craft and MAKE magazine demos, a Bazaar Bizarre marketplace featuring hip, handcrafted items from dozens of vendors, and lots more. Tickets are $10 to $25. Download the Faire program right here.
Starting Saturday, May 3, and running through Saturday, May 10, longtime Oakland orchid grower Fiori D'Amore hosts its annual Orchid Sale featuring dozens of rare and beautiful varieties. Trust me, these make incredible Mother's Day presents. (Nick and the kids, are you reading?) The sale takes place at the Fiori D'Amore owners' home at 4526 Fair Ave. at Carson in the Oakland hills, and is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day until May 10.
Finally, don't forget: Friday, May 2, is No Pants Day, which I just learned about from my buds over at Design Boner. There's a No Pants Day Dance Party on Friday night at 9:50 p.m. at 1817 Woolsey St. in Berkeley (pants, obviously, are optional). And Saturday, May 3, is World Naked Gardening Day!
Now these two, I might actually be able to do ...