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Why is the Metlox Dog Now Painted Blue?

May 19, 2015 07:20PM ● Published by Jeanne Fratello

It's been one of the biggest questions in town for about a month now: Why is the landmark Metlox dog sculpture, which most people around town know as the "red dog," now painted blue?

The answer is rooted in history, according to Martin Betz, cultural arts manager for the city of Manhattan Beach.

The Metlox complex is built on what had been the site of the Metlox pottery company from 1927 until 1988.

In the 1930s, Metlox pottery created a line of small Cubist-style dog figurines, which the now-iconic Metlox dog was modeled after. Those original figurines were painted in turquoise blue, black, and white.

When the Metlox dog sculpture made its first appearance in 2004, it was painted red. But over time that paint degraded, due to regular wear and tear, and also due in part to the dog being improperly used as a skateboard ramp, according to Betz.

As the city prepared to repair and repaint the dog, Betz researched the original Metlox dogs and learned about the authentic colors. "I thought, why don’t we just paint it in one of the original colors?" Betz told DigMB.

The Metlox dog is now repaired and boasts a new coat of a special turquoise epoxy paint, which is expected to be sturdier and longer-lasting than the red paint. As a blue dog, it gives a proud nod to both its "creator," Metlox, and to the history of Manhattan Beach.

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