Looking at the Studio

The new session of ceramics class has begun. There have been some problems that have not yet been resolved. During the 4 weeks when the studio was being dismantled, a sewer pipe burst on the main floor. It occurred on a Sunday and no one was around to notice. The ensuing flood caused the ceilings in the lower level bathrooms to cave in. The ceiling in the photography studio collapsed. The ceiling in the jewelry studio leaked. The ceramics area was not spared. The ceiling in the ceramic studio is very tall and crisscrossed with duct work, pipes, and conduit. It is also cement. There was runoff from the other areas which damaged some students’ work. Mostly the pieces that hadn’t been bisque fired turned to mud, cardboard boxes turned to pulp, and sewer water filled the bisqued and glaze fired work. It caused a very rank odor in the studio. We fared better than the other areas. The photography studio lost most of its stuff when the ceiling fell, crushing the enlarger and the dark room developing equipment, and ruining the chemicals, film, and paper. The jewelry studio was soaked with sewage. They ended up just tossing most of the beads (you really can’t wash poop out of seed beads).

The pipe was fixed but the damage hasn’t been repaired. There are no restrooms on the lower level – they are off limits. The photography studio is closed (possibly permanently). The jewelry studio is still cleaning but the hazmat crew has allowed the students back into the space. They are complaining that it smells like bleach. I’d take bleach over what it must have smelled like before! The ceramics studio reorganization happened. The shelves were dismantled and reassembled to uniform heights. I have it on good authority that it didn’t go smoothly and there were heated exchanges, some lost screws, and several “reinforcements” were pressed into duty to complete the shelves. The shelves look a little cleaner. The tables were recovered with some canvas, the wedging table was refurbished, and the supplies reorganized. The glaze room was scrubbed and the buckets cleaned off on the outside. The sewer contamination forced some Summer session folks to abandon unfinished work. Thankfully my pieces were in the kiln so they were safe! You would think that in 4 weeks, with the help of a hazmat team, the floor would be cleaner…

23 thoughts on “Looking at the Studio

  1. Goodness, Muri! What an awful stinky mess. I’m distressed by the damage to the space, equipment, supplies, and especially people’s artwork. How lucky that your pieces were in the kiln. 🙂 Hopefully the Hazmat team will get things back up to snuff and you will again have a pleasant, relaxing place to make art. Another friend’s cat got into a tiff with a skunk over the weekend, so she also has a stinky mess on her hands, even after giving him two sponge baths with hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and dish detergent.


    1. To deal with skunk you need the professional stuff – she can probably get it from her veterinarian “Skunk-Off” it really works. The Hazmat teams have completed their work and we are OK in the jewelry and ceramics areas. The photo studio is decontaminated but the ceiling is gone and the equipment was destroyed beyond repair. It is basically empty space waiting for structural repair.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I guess that’s one way to get the studios reorganized during the summer. I’m glad you weren’t enrolled during the summer, and that your pieces were spared by being in the kiln! What a shame for the students in the other studios, though — I hope they can recover!


      1. About 25 years ago there was a wildfire that took out a large part of Laguna Beach. My.favorite potter there lived in the canyon, and his house and studio were both lost — except for the pots that were sitting in the kiln while it cooled. All the rest of his completed work was lost when the wooden shelves burned! Because the kilns were still intact, he was able to get permits to rebuild the studio — had they gone, he probably couldn’t have rebuilt!


    1. Me too! It could have been a lot worse. The areas hardest hit (photo studio and the restrooms) have been decontaminated but there hasn’t been any movement to repair the damage – yet. I’m hoping it starts soon as I’m getting tired of guessing how much time I have to get to the restroom before my bladder goes into red alert! (have to travel a long distance where as before it as 3 doors down from the studio!)


  3. Oh no..what a mess..awful. I’m glad your creations are safe. I do feel for the photography and bead studios too. I hate that the photography studio may be forever closes. And..well bathrooms are very much needed. Hopefully, it will all be back to working order soon. Hugs


  4. This has to be a huge hit on the spirits of many artists. I am glad your works were spared. A note about floors- they are usually the last parts of a disaster area to get scrubbed. I say this, having helped in recovery projects here in the southwest, and years ago, in Maine.


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