We have been without power for the best part of a week, as all the power poles and wires were burnt down for 15 km. So I could only post to the blog from my phone. No email letters.
Sadly we were burnt out in the catastrophic bush fire that swept through Balmoral Village last Saturday. Luckily I was able to save the house, but the Pottery, kiln shed, the kiln factory and the wood shed were all burnt. I have started to clean up the mess, but it will take some time – and money. I think that it will take 12 months to get all this cleaning up done, get building plans passed through Council, then build a new pottery, and then finally collect some pottery equipment to get re-startted and build a new kiln. This last part I can do!
We have been offered several bits and pieces of pottery equipment, two kick wheels, a slab roller and a shimpo, so we are well on our way.Thank you to all of you who have donated money or offered help or equipment.We are very gratefull to you all. I don’t like the idea of receiving charity, but in this instance, I know that my time and resourses are limited. This is the third pottery that we have lost to fire in our 45 years together. I dont want to spend the next 5 years scrounging 2nd hand materials and building almost everything myself, like I had to last time.I was just 32 , so much younger back then, and with plenty of energy. I had plenty of time, but no money. I assume that I only have 10 to 12 productive working years left in me. I need to get this done faster this time, so that I can get back to my real work.
I’m also aware that the national Park is not going away. The global heating crisis is going to keep on getting worse. Each fire is getting bigger, hotter, more devastating, lasting longer.Another fire will come back in the next decade, and next time it will be worse. I need to start preparing now. We will build entirely in metal.Our first pottery was a rented weather board shed. It burnt.We moved to Balmoral and decided to build with 2nd hand vertical galvanised iron sheeting for the walls. it burnt.This last pottery was built out of mud bricks, surely that will be safer? but the roof was framed in timber. It burnt! So this time it will be a cheap, kit-form gal iron frame farm shed barn. Cheap and ugly, but hopefully, more fire resistant.We need to design and build something that can withstand this kind of fire in the not too distant future.
Thank you for all the messages of good will. I’m sorry that I can’t reply personally to each of you individually. There are just so many of you. At least I’m feeling well enough again now to be able to write this. My lungs got a bit affected from the heat, ash, soot and smoke.
We anticipate that we will have a couple of working bees to get some of the tedious cutting, clearing, carting and stacking done. If you are interested, please send me an email. Thank you all for your kindness and support.
There is a ‘gofundme’ site that our friends have set up for us. see below.
The title ‘Burnt out’ is not a description of our buildings on this ocation, but more an apt description of me at the present time.
My very good friends, Len Smith and Warren Hogden, help me clean up the old wood shed site. There is nothing there except the vertical stand of the brand new hydraulic wood splitter and some burnt iron.
My front lawn and the street outside the house