The sounds of drills and hammers could be heard throughout the Sawdust Art & Craft Festival grounds on Tuesday as artists worked to get their booths ready in time for the annual holiday treat — the Winter Fantasy.
This year’s festival opens to the public Nov. 18 and will span the following four weekends through Dec. 17.
One-hundred eighty artists from across the world will display and sell their original creations in a variety of media, including jewelry, clothing, fused and blown glass, ceramics, woodwork, forged metals, painting, photography, sculpture, clothing and textiles, all amid twinkling lights and festive decor.
The grounds have begun to look like a winter wonderland with a gingerbread house that eagerly awaits children and garland and ribbon wrapped around fence posts.
A snow machine will blow artificial snow during the fantasy’s run.
“It’s more winter-esque for Southern California because we don’t get that,” said artist Gina Lunn, who specializes in glass blowing.
Lunn, who has exhibited at the Winter Fantasy since 2008, took measurements of wooden shelves to fit inside her booth. Lunn, a San Clemente resident, creates ornaments, which she had hung at varying heights along one side of the booth.
She received help from friend Jennifer Gailey, who stood on a ladder while stringing white lights along the booth’s edge. Gailey said she met Lunn during a gemology class and volunteered to help prepare the booth for the fantasy.
Other artists, such as photographer Sean Brown, painted the insides of their booths.
Brown started exhibiting his work in the winter fantasy two years ago. He said the event offers customers opportunities to view work of artists they encountered during the summertime Sawdust Festival.
“A lot of customers ask, ‘After the summer, where will you be?’” Brown said, adding that he is excited about the extra weekend. “A lot of families come in and cruise around and the kids can do activities.”
A tree-lighting ceremony on Saturday will kick off festivities.
Guests will find a variety of attractions to enjoy throughout the fantasy’s duration, including daily photos with Santa, a children’s playhouse featuring puppeteers and a magician, a snow machine and free holiday-themed art and craft classes for artists of all ages.
If customers see a piece of art work they like, they can purchase it.
“People are looking for gifts at the fantasy,” Lunn said.
If You Go
What: Sawdust Art & Craft Festival’s annual Winter Fantasy
When: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday from Nov. 18 through Dec. 17
Where: Sawdust Festival, 935 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach
Tickets: $8 adults; $6 seniors, 65 and older; $4 children ages 6 through 12; free admission for children 5 and younger; $12 season pass.
Information: (949) 494-3030 or sawdustartfestival.org.