I fell in Love with Beatrice Wood

I knew I liked the famed potter but after visiting the Beatrice Wood Center for the Arts in the Happy Valley of Ojai, I fell utterly, completely in love.

Beato would like that. She was a hopeful, hopeless romantic who had two crappy unconsummated marriages and a lifetime of hot and heavy liasons with men like Marcel Duchamp and Henri-Pierre Roche -- sometimes simultaneously. In fact, this love triangle was said to have inspired Roche's novel Jules et Jim and later became a Fellini film of the same title.

She has been called the Mama of Dada and even though she didn't learn to throw a pot until the age of 40 (after enrolling in an adult education class at Hollywood High), she went on to become a master ceramicist known for her lustrous glazes that magically shift and change with the light.

She was a bohemian, vegetarian, meditating environmentalist, who followed Guru-du-jour Krishnamurti, and was captivated by the promise of an idyllic society where education, art and eastern spirituality were the cornerstones of her little piece of heaven in Ojai.

She collected folk art.

That naivete greatly influenced and freed her own craftsmanship.

She had a fabulous library.

She wore saris and silver.

She ate chocolate.

She didn't take herself too seriously.

She wrote well (she said she was encouraged by her friend Anais Nin).

And she loved life.

 She lived it fully until the age of 105.

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