A new beginning…

February 7, 2012

After 5 months of working on the house, in the last 2 weeks I have been very glad shift my focus back to my pottery studio.  I have spent a number of days building tables and shelving, installing my kilns and cleaning flood silt off tools.  I was very fortunate to have received grants from several generous organizations including CERF+, Central VT Community Action, REbuild Waterbury, Frog Hollow and Burlington City Arts.  These grants allowed me to purchase the materials and equipment that I lost in the flood, bringing me up to speed much more quickly than i would have been able to on my own.

This week I have actually been able to get my hands dirty and make new pottery. I am making new work in preparation for spring but I am still balancing my time between throwing new pots, making glaze and finishing the installation of kilns.

February 6, 2012

It’s been 5 months since I have paid any attention to my pottery business including this blog.  My studio, home, neighborhood and town were all severely flooded on August 28 when Hurricane Irene raised river levels to epic proportions here in Waterbury, VT.

My pottery business was a total loss.  My equipment, including kilns, wheels and pug mill, among many pieces of smaller equipment were ruined. My tools, collected over 20 years were mostly ruined. My materials, glaze materials and clay were lost.  My stock of sellable pottery was a partial loss – many pots were chipped or cracked.  I recovered some pots, which went to some galleries where I sell my work.  I spent 5 months working as the general contractor in the recovery of our home, which is my grandfather’s home, which was his grandfather’s home and has been in our family for more than a century.  This house and my grandfather also made it through the flood of 1927.

Over the last five months we have done a complete overhaul of the first floor and basement studio.  Reframing, drywalling, refinishing wood floors, rewiring, updating plumbing, painting and fully re-insulating the house as well as rebuilding the kitchen and bathroom including building cabinets and tiling has taken up all of my time.  It has been an insane amount of work, but as I write this post on February 4th, we’re basically done.  I have a long list of small things to attend to but overall the house is back in great shape.

The series of photos here shows the flood waters on our street as they were receding on the morning of August 29th, the view down the stairs into my basement studio the day after the flood, some of the post-flood chaos in my studio and the attempts to clean up and recover some my pottery from the summer months.