Didn’t think I’d have to post this…

I didn’t think I’d have to post this

I’ve been patiently waiting for my workshop for more than 2 years now. I really thought it was all going to work out. I was wrong.

If you’ve been following my blog, or you’re one of my Facebook friends, you know what happened to Charlotte…my kiln. I don’t think I mentioned who did it though, I don’t remember. You can read some of what happened in…”A Lot Can Happen In A Year”

https://ravenhillpottery.com/2015/11/07/a-lot-can-happen-in-a-year/

I’m sorry, that I never gave you an update, like I said I would. Sorry, it took so long. I was really upset, and wasn’t ready to talk about it. My Scorpio volcano had erupted and I wanted to sting, but I thought that it might be a good idea to bite my tongue for a while, and wait until the time was right, or when I was ready. I’m ready to tell you now.

U-Pack is the company that destroyed my kiln

And put me out of business

U-pack is the largest brand in the family of ABF Moving

A division of ABF Logistics

They lied from the get go. They lied to my husband (more than once, I might add) about the insurance that they assured us we had. I bugged my husband about the insurance, and I heard him ask on at least two different occasions. Half of the truck contained my pottery shop. They told my husband that we were covered for $75,000.00 if there were any damages. Well, guess what…that didn’t happen. The real story…in fine print on the insurance claim form said, that the insurance was $65,000.00 if the truck was in an accident or caught fire…“not for negligence”.

They lied!!! 

If they had just told us the truth, I would have made sure I purchased insurance from somewhere…anywhere. Then I would be covered for all the damages that we incurred…it wasn’t only my kiln that got damaged, they damaged our furniture too. Everything was dirty, covered in sand (it was like they drove through a dust storm…maybe they did?) and everything smelled like rotten food. It was terrible.

I will never…ever use that company again!!!

Look how dirty our furniture was…it was so gross, and it was covered! Thankfully, we have a slipcover sofa and chair and I was able to wash it.

They broke my desk chair. Thankfully my husband was able to fix it.

Look at the sand and dirt and scratches, these were new end tables.

After cleaning the end tables with some baby wipes, you can really see all the marks and scratches. Good thing they can be painted.

My husband built these solid wood bookcases, they were in perfect condition

I still don’t understand how everything got so dirty and scratched?

The bookcases were repaired and got a new coat of paint. I think they look awesome now. Paint works wonders!

I think they look better now, then they ever did.

I was upset about this!

It’s my grandmother’s table. I was refinishing it…it only had a primer coat on it, and they broke it! One of the points was gone, and a bolt was missing. But my husband came to the rescue again, and fixed it as best as he could. It’s not like it was, but it looks nice.

What do you think about the color?

They were so negligent, driving the truck with all of our belongings. The boxes that my husband put on the top had holes in them, and were smashed. These boxes held my photography lamps, they were at the top of the truck. The truck had to be going really fast over bumps or something to do this. Thankfully my lamps look okay, but I still don’t know if they work.

Most of the boxes looked like this

We have moved across the country 10 times since 1986. My husband packed and drove a moving truck 9 times, and everything was okay. My grandmothers table came with us everywhere we moved, and it was in perfect condition. The first time we decide to have someone else drive, so we could drive together…was an experience I never what to repeat.

My pottery inventory boxes

I still don’t know if everything is okay. I haven’t opened any of my pottery inventory boxes. What’s the point? I don’t have a working workshop yet anyway.

I wasted a lot of time filling out all the insurance claim forms. In the end…they refused to pay for the damages to my kiln, virtually putting me out of business. They told my husband, “Sue us!” I wanted to, I really did! I was really upset, mostly about my kiln, and my grandmother’s table. Everything else can be replaced or fixed. My husband said it would cost too much money to sue them. So we didn’t.

This is what Charlotte looked like right before we moved. It was my last firing

She was in really good condition. It makes me sad when I see these photos

Even after all this time (August 2015), I’m still really upset about this. All they had to do was tell the truth. How hard is that? My pottery shop was not only my passion, my business, it was my physical therapy. Making pottery helped my Fibromyalgia. It kept my muscles strong. I was lifting 25 pound bags of clay, heavy kiln shelves, loading and unloading my kiln. It’s very physical work. It really helped with the pain, I have less pain when I make pottery. Now, since I don’t have my workshop, I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole. My Fibromyalgia gets worst by the day. I have more pain now. Everything I do causes me so much pain and it makes me angry, because I know I would feel so much better if I was making pottery.

When we first got to Arizona, I had money for my workshop, but not to replace my kiln. But then, my husband had a health scare. We had a 7 month rollercoaster ride of hospital stays, doctor visits, and tests. In November of 2016 we finally got some good news. Thankfully we had insurance, but the co-pays and the out-of-pocket fees add up. My pottery shop budget dwindled down to almost nothing. Before I new it…it was the holidays. I was able to save a little more money but, unforeseen things came up and I had to tap into my pottery budget again. My pottery budget is down to $320.00. But I wasn’t worried about it, because my husband was going to get a nice bonus check for Christmas that would cover everything. I was going to get my pottery shop soon.

I started designing my workshop floor plan, and sketching new designs.

I couldn’t wait!

But then, a few weeks ago…we found out he wasn’t getting a large bonus at all. So, that means no pottery workshop, no business, and no feeling better. I’m not sure what I’m going to do? Maybe I should start a GoFundMe page? I didn’t really want to do that, but I might not have a choice.

For now I’ll just keep working on my book series. You can find out more about what I’ve been doing here…on my writing blog.

https://melindamariealexander.com/2017/12/19/its-all-a-blur/

I really hope that 2018 will be a better year and somehow, someway I get a miracle and get the money I need to have my workshop again, so I can make pottery and feel better.

 

 

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Kiln

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This is my kiln…Charlotte Skutt. Yes, I named my kiln, and I think it’s cute!

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Here’s a little peek inside!

Usually I’m so busy loading my kiln, I forget to take photos. Then when I’m done, I remember. “Shoot, I should have taken photos!” Then one day, I finally remembered, and I’m so glad I did!

Hopefully I’ll remember to take photos more often.

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Bottom row done, on to the next row.

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Pieces ready to load.

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I start with the largest items first.

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The next row is done.

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More goodies ready to load.

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I had a lot of ornaments in this load.

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One more row, and then I’m done.

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Had some room for some test tiles.

Time to fire it up!

Loading My Skutt Kiln

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This is Charlotte Skutt…my kiln. I’m not exactly sure why I named my kiln, but I did and I think it’s cute!

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I think this is the first time in almost 24 years, that I’ve actually taken photos while loading my kiln. These items are going on the bottom shelf of my kiln. I’m doing a bisque firing, so I can get a whole lot more stuff in this load, then if it was a glaze firing. I can actually stack pottery on top of each other, unlike a glaze firing…they would fuse together.

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The kiln posts are in place, and I’m ready to start loading the bottom shelf.

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The bottom row is loaded, now the next row.

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The next row of items, ready to load.

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I usually start with the larger items, and then fill in the rest of the space with smaller pieces.

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This row is done, now onto the next row.

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Items ready for the next row.

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Oooops! I dropped a leaf and it broke.

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This row is all done, two more to go!

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Some new ornaments!

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The next row is done, one more to go and then I can turn it on.

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Top row is done…Yay! Now I can rest and let Charlotte do her job!

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And approximately 36 -38 hours later. Everything is bisque fired, unloaded and in my workshop.

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Now it’s time to put all these goodies away.

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But before I do that, I need to decide which pieces are getting glazed first.

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Yay! Everything is put away, now it’s time to start waxing and glazing.