Beachcombing for Little Pieces of the Past
Posted by Jody on July 19, 2012
Catalina Island, one of our favorite haunts, offers up some really fun and colorful one-of-a-kind beach treasures!
We begin with a short history lesson: From 1927 to 1937, Santa Catalina Island (located 22 miles off the coast of Southern California) produced richly colored pottery and decorative tile. In the beginning, Catalina Clay Products manufactured only building materials such as bricks and roofing tiles from reddish-brown clay deposits found on the island in the 1920′s. In 1932 white clay was imported to increase the durability of an expanding product line. Today, artistic, stylish decorative pieces and colorful dinnerware made after 1932 can be identified by their white clay bodies. Known as Avalonware (aka: Catalinaware), intact pieces are collected by enthusiasts for the history and uniqueness of this colorful Catalina Island art form.
Now to the beachcombing: It’s always fun to comb Catalina’s aptly named Pebbly Beach. You can still find little bits and pieces of that decade of Catalina Island’s rich history on its shores, just around the bend from the shopping district of the little town of Avalon. Decorated tile pieces, wave tumbled pottery, sea glass and Wavy Turban seashells are all easily discovered on the pebbles and rocks of this section of Catalina Island’s picturesque coastline.
Keep your eyes open as you walk along Avalon’s Crescent Avenue and/or head to the delightful Catalina Island Museum, located on the ground floor of the Casino Building, to see many, many more examples of the famous Catalina Tile.
If you would like to read more, eCatalina.com has a wonderful article on the history of Catalina Tile and Pottery.
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Catalina Island: Wavy Turbans, Tile & Lots of Fun!