David Caris, artist and owner of Creative Healing Arts Studio in Oakhurst, focused on the clay piece he was shaping, while remaining attentive to answer any questions his customer, Kandy Wright, may have about specific art pieces.
"I'm one of David's repeat customers," said Wright, who purchased a wall vase a couple of years ago. "I'm interested in his clay work and in his pretties."
Caris was just one of the more than 100 artists featured in the 11th annual Sierra Art Trails, held last weekend in homes, studios and galleries throughout the Mountain Area. From early indications, this event is the best ever when it comes to public turn-out and revenue.
Jon Bock, one of the original founders of the Art Trails and owner of Stellar Gallery, is exhausted, but thrilled with the success.
"I estimate that between 1,200 to 1,500 guests came through gallery row over the weekend," said Bock, "and that's double from last year.
Bock attributes a small part of the large turn-out to the Visitor's Bureau recommending the Art Trails as an alternative to Yosemite.
"It gave visitors a chance to come and learn about our community, to know a little more about us, rather than passing through on the way to the national park."
With catalog sales tripling over last year, which is a pretty good gauge of the success of the event, Bock believes the word is spreading. "Prior to the Arts Trail, I received calls from all over California, from LA to San Francisco, and all areas in-between asking about it."
While the revenue figures won't be tallied for another week or so, Bock makes an educated guess that the artist intake will be more than $90,000 this year.
In 2011 the revenue was $45,000 and in 2012, it doubled to $90,000.