Cal Fire stopped the Caldor Wildfire from reaching any neighborhoods in Pollock Pines, but we live on the outskirts, on the edge of the national forest. Our modest home and workshop are gone. We were able to save two potter's wheels and the de-airing pugmill, and all clay and glaze recipes. New adventures await.
We are staying with our friends Steve and Jayanne in Placerville, California. Steve mentioned that Jayanne needs new planters, so I threw a few big ones on August 20 or so. Geri has been painting glaze stains on them energetically. to fire in Steve's electric kiln. Steve is a sculptor and painter, and has earned a living for his family as a carpenter for over 40 years. We met in the the Graduate of Arts program at CSUS in the early 80's. Steve taught me enough construction in 1994 to be effective when we built the first studio almost 30 years ago. We intend to do it again over the next couple of years.
Geri and I, and our 2 dogs Doc and Piper are very lucky to have a safe, private place to live, with good friends and peaceful surroundings. The smoke in Placerville can be quite thick, depending on the wind direction. Pollock Pines was evacuated on August 17, and it was fully open for repopulation on September 4.
We have enough equipment left to resume making pottery gradually, while we make and purchase the necessary tools of the trade. After some challenging clean up, we intend to begin the rebuilding process. I hope to find some subscribers to my Patreon page, to move this effort along. I began throwing on September 4, largely as thank you gifts for subscribers. I have posted throwing videos of 3 new pieces below, plus one more on Patreon.
I will be posting regular updates here and on Patreon every week or two, of significant accomplishments. I hope to begin visiting the Bay Area with increasing frequency before the new workshop is ready.
I threw 4 pieces of pottery on September 4, the first day I started sorting after the Caldor Wildfire. These videos show 3 of them. The other video is on my Patreon page.
In the next few days we will begin emptying most of the equipment out of the pump house, and set up a little throwing area inside, out of the wind and rain.
I will build a temporary structure to store equpment, and for drying pottery carefully. It is invigorating to be back at work on our property.
Somehow the pump house was unscathed, and a few important pieces of equipment surrounding it. Our water and electricity supplies are intact, as well as the Soldner clay mixer just outside. The most delightful surprise is my small raku kiln, in which I happened to store about two dozen pieces of unfinished raku pieces in April, waiting for the rains to resume before finishing them. Below is a slideshow of of the kiln unloading. Below that is another slideshow of each piece individually, then a few scrolling photos of pieces too tall for these slideshows.