Please Help! Beloved Potters' Studio Burned Down!

From Brant & Karen Barnes:

'Riverwood Pottery is the face of our family's clay business, but our barn was the heart of it.  It was where the alchemy happened, where we built our kilns and glazed & fired our ware.  It's where we started out in 1984 and where we were planning to retire.  Watching it burn was beyond heartbreaking.

We had been firing our wood kiln since 5:00 am, something we love and have done so many times over the years.  After we reached temperature and finished salting, we went through our shutdown routine and headed to the house for showers and dinner around 6:00 pm.

At 8:30 we heard an explosion and looked out to see the whole barn in flames.  It was already obvious that it was beyond saving, but the fire department was able to keep it from spreading to our 330-gallon propane tank (!) and our truck (the taillights were melted, but can be replaced). They got it put out around 11:00pm. 

The destruction was complete--but our house and the neighbors were OK, so we're hugely grateful for that.  The wood kiln we think we can repair--it was at the edge of the fire--but our glaze kiln was in the middle of it and we'll need to rebuild it, along with our studio.

There are a lot of things we can't replace:  our glaze & firing notebooks, our favorite tools and our pottery collection are gone.  But we can build new kilns and a nice little studio to come home to--it's all we need, so that's what we plan to do."

49566750_1594656576681643_r.jpegBuilding the Barn, 1984.

49566750_1594656439506678_r.jpegThe Barn, pre-expansion, 1985

49566750_1594658661597527_r.jpegZan at the wheel (age 3)

49566750_159465662528945_r.jpegLoading the kiln, (l-r): Zan, Brant, and Karen  1985

49566750_1594844634485964_r.jpegJug by David Barnes

49566750_1594844671315585_r.jpegFace Jugs by Karen Barnes

49566750_1594845722513238_r.jpegRaku Jewelry


49566750_1594843057254264_r.jpegNot the kind of firing we had in mind, but...

49566750_1594843126552705_r.jpegLook at those pots!!

49566750_1594488906776396_r.jpegWhere we start again.
  • sylvia smythe 
    • $100 
    • 3 mos
  • Tom and Emma Wertenberger 
    • $250 
    • 4 mos
  • Grayson Cooper 
    • $100 
    • 4 mos
  • Janet Panebaker 
    • $100 
    • 6 mos
  • Elizabeth Mainwaring 
    • $50 
    • 6 mos
See all

Fundraising team: Friends of Barnes Pottery (3)

Lori Theriault 
Raised $495 from 9 donations
Asheville, NC
Karen Barnes 
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