Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Fire

The latest news was the studio fire we experienced just before dark on the evening of July eighth, lightning struck a tree near our studio,  followed a gas line into the studio wall arcing into the wiring inside the wall, causing a fire that completely destroyed our production area.  It burned through the wall, ceiling and roof in very short order and would have completely burned us out if not for the fact we were home and alerted the Seagrove Volunteer Fire Department immediately. Although the first truck arrived in minutes it took a good while to extinguish the flames and watch for "hot spots". Thank you Seagrove VFD one and all!
Cleanup is under way and progress is slow and steady. Details of debris removal, cleanup and rebuilding have yet to be completed, but we will be rebuilding on the same foundation we built on in the early nineties. We have lost some things and we have saved some things and overall I can say it could have been much worse. Our kilns suffered no apparent damage. Kiln furniture is intact. Much of our bisque ware is ok that will need to be re-fired to clean off the soot.
Our wheels took a big hit but the mechanical parts are ok, Mud Boxes burned, plastic buckled and electronic controls fried.
It's been a month since the fire and I thought I would update folks on how things have progressed. First I have to tell you we were working in shock for two weeks. We were on automatic pilot. We got up everyday and took care of what needed to be done.
We ordered a dumpster ( which is very freeing). We went through everything and either put in on the carport or in a storage trailer we rented or tossed. Our kids came and helped us out. Our son, Joel and his future bride, Katie were here to carry and lug and throw away. Our Daughter, Anna came and I put her on the computer and used her skills to put all the loss in a spread sheet for us. We laughed at one point when she and I agreed to never hire the other, she is not a potter, although I think she could be, and I am a mess on the computer. Don't ask her about my files! She will tell you! Thanks Kids! you are wonderful people.
We had friends who showed up with food or fed us dinner at their house, brought us take out. We had friends who called with support and some who came and helped.
Then we washed walls in the hallway, closed off a section and put a door up. We painted and cleaned everything we could. I was able to obtain a loan on a wheel.
Mark was "adopted" by the folks who run STARworks about 10 miles down the road. He is there while I am here---- it's been a month. We are throwing pots while talking with someone about rebuilding, finishing up with the insurance and moving on.
I had started a web Blog for recipes and it is now for pictures of before and after. I will get a before up when Mark's computer is back from a trip to the Doctor's ( stay away from service pack 3--).
We hope to fire in the next 10 days.
Otherwise- come see us we are still making pots

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