[Clayart] fire reminder

Fredrick Paget fredrick at well.com
Wed Nov 30 16:24:55 EST 2016

  There ;is a good reason why we like wood houses here in Callifornica . If you are in a wood house with earthquake  reinforcement it may  not fall on. you . May be thrown off the foundation however!  Fire preparedness is  part of our fire department’s emergency preparedness  program. The mountainside north of us burned in 1929 taking 200 houses. It was almost into downtown when the wind changed and the rest of the town was spared. That mountain is now covered in houses on its lower slopes and heavily wooded.with second growth redwood which burns poorly plus plenty of other species that do burn well.
There are escape routes and paths for evacuation if required.
  A life time  friend, now sadly  passed on,  built a house  down in Santa Barbara, that I called his fort.  There was a terrible fire there about 40 years ago just about the time he retired from his job as NASA  Earth Orbital Director.  That fire was blown down into the northern part of the town by the Santa Anna wind  from the east and a swath of houses burned right down to the sea.

   He was a superb engineer and the walls were all reinforced, foot thick concrete in a Spanish courtyard design, Copper under tile roof. His rebar was extra heavy and the concrete was a mix to his specs and they had to prove the mix with strength testing. That house will be still standing  500 years from now unless an atom bomb hits the city.

  There used to be a big brick company north of here right in front of San Quentin prison, It was still there but no longer running when Clint Eastwood starred in his first Dirty Harry movie and caught the bad guy in the old quarry there. 
  The quarry is now filled in and site of a housing development and market place.  The Brick yard  is still there and site of an office park in the big brick factory. There is a restaurant inside the kiln. It is a monster brick oval about 50 yards long and had numerous chambers around the oval. lhey fired around the  oval so the air from the chambers still hot fed the new one, Firing was from an interior space from overhead, the chambers were filled with green ware bricks and fired,  then the next around and around. It is a German design kiln -was owned by a countess. They tore out a lot of the insides to make the restaurant. The monster brick chimney still stands and is a state historical landmark.

  As far as I know there is a small red brick maker at the quarry at Paradise Point on the bay north of here. They take any clay from here excavated in new construction free of dumping charge, Lots of good clay around here.

Fred Paget

On Nov 30, 2016, at 7:59 AM, mel jacobson <melpots2 at visi.com> wrote:

there was a great pix in national geo about ten years ago of a bad fire in cal.  it was six houses burned to the ground, all made of redwood.
there was one house standing.  just a few black smudges.
totally made of brick...yes, clay and concrete. and a tile roof.
the family moved right back in the next day.

if i lived in a fire area i would build with concrete or brick, but those houses seem to be rare.  like building a house next to a big river. you are going to flood one day.

there are almost no brick companies left in america.
they all moved to mexico.
it is sad to think of that great industry gone.
tim fredrich visits all of them.

clay has always been the best building material on the earth.  even the wolf could not get at the pigs.

i live in an all cedar house.  but, there has never been a forest fire in minnetonka..ever.  in fact, our yard has not been dry for the entire summer.

this is just a brag letter about potters, clay lovers and it is good ammunition when folks think we are silly dorks.
i did hear a rumor that koehler is building big kilns again. (several years ago, think they are done now.)
are they bringing toilets back to wisconsin?  i know the product was very poor being shipped in.

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