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Get in the loop about art tour this weekend

By: Elizabeth Speth, Loomis News Correspondent
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Area artists are busier than usual this week, gearing up for the Loomis Art Loop Mother’s Day Weekend Studio Tour. Twelve local artists will participate in the eighth annual tour, throwing open the doors to their creative spaces from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 7, and Sunday, May 8. Admission is free. Millie Beatie, a clay artist whose studio has been a stopping point on the tour for seven years, toils full-time as an independent insurance investigator. Chronically short on creative time, she usually fires up her kiln on evenings and weekends. But in the next few days, inspiration will smolder overtime. “I’m right here in my studio, working, trying to get everything ready. It gets a little stressful at this point, but once the tour starts, it’s very comfortable and very relaxed,” Beatie said. Last year, Beatie said she was “stuck in Oakland for several weeks” monitoring an insurance trial, and so “didn’t have very many new pieces for the tour. This year I’m making up for that.” Using a gas-powered kiln, which fires at a higher temperature than electric models, Beatie produces food-safe pieces of porcelain, patterned on natural elements. “Leaves, flowers, nature-inspired things,” said the artist, “are more beautiful than anything man creates.” Beatie called porcelain the “Rolls Royce of clays,” but said it is hard to work with, especially at higher temperatures, because it is extremely delicate. “But it produces the most brilliant, clearest colors,” she said. Beatie said she is looking forward to Mother’s Day weekend, when the work is finally finished and her Arcadia Avenue home studio welcomes visitors. “We have great refreshments, and lots of places to sit, and once people get here, they can get so comfortable they end up staying,” the artist said. Tour maps are available at many area businesses. For more information go to loomisartloop.com. LOOMIS ART LOOP What: Mother’s Day weekend art studio tour When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, May 7, and Sunday, May 8 Where: 13 Loomis and Penryn artist studios Price: Free Information: loomisartloop.com