so lots of rain = lots of water... and as some of you may already know.. parts of jingdezhen flooded. everyone has talked about last year’s flood.. but really i didn't think it would happen again. last year a dam up-river was opened and without any warning the studio was under about 5 ft of water within an hour. there was alot of damage due to the lack of time to prepare. that all happened about 11 months ago. with all the rain we've been getting, we all knew it was a possibility.
i woke up ready to shower wednesday... but there was no water. and the internet was out, i didn't think much of it.. but as i walked up to the studio, the family living in the building next door had a large cart full of stuff, and appeared to evacuating. I also noticed the lights on in the upstairs gallery. I then knew what was happening. walked into a mess and was told to start cleaning out my space and move anything i could to the upstairs gallery.
becky and i realized that it was the day to pick up our laundry at the cleaners on the other side of the river. li chao offered to take us. we hopped into his car and drove down... the river was up to the bridge. and the street the cleaner was down was flooded. i was just realllly happy when they were still open.
i was ready to bust out some last minute work. instead it was it was a serious work your ass off, up and down the stairs.. moving everything from the studio into the gallery upstairs.
the walkway was already ankle deep at 10 am. it was said that they were going to open the dam again and by 5 pm there would be 5ft of water. there were workers at the studio helping get everything upstairs.... all of the wheels, everything from our work stations, all of the glaze materials, most of the visiting artist's pots, everything from li chao's office, all of his sculptures, then the big stuff.. refrigerators, coolers, all of the kitchen stuff, then the furniture. everything went upstairs. by 11 the water started to enter the building... and soon after it was almost knee deep in water you couldn't see through.. and there was debris of all sorts. fish, frogs... and i even seen a dead bird. although i didn't see any, i was told there was most likely snakes in the water too.
on the walk back to the studio we spotted a scorpion, which brought us to the topic of snakes in china... apparently the little walkway through some trees right outside our dorm is known as viper-alley. yikes! and there are cobras and bamboo snakes that after being bitten your dead within two heart beats. luckily i have not seen any of the above.
the whole flood experience was alot to take in. at that point i wasn't concerned about my work, getting completed... let alone fired. i knew we would all be okay, but the idea of what damage could happen to the studio, and all of the work everyone would have to put in for clean up really broke my heart ugh.
we headed back to the dorms, hoping for a hot shower... and still no water. so we were put up in a hotel across the street for the night. it was a really nice hotel. which was a nice change from our dorm rooms. 10 mins into our stay, we lost power. i guess a hot shower in the dark is better than no shower at all. lol.
the dam was never opened, thank god. so the water only got about waist deep in the studio. and by the next day it emptied out. and clean up began. apparently they didn't need our help with that bc by lunch it had already been taken care of. everything is still upstairs, because the rain really isn't supposed to let up.
we were supposed to fire the soda kiln thursday, the day after the flood. at this point i just came to terms with the fact that my line sets weren't getting fired. which was okay, bc that means less i have to worry about getting back to the states and i know my work has benefited from experimenting with new techniques with my forms.
that's all for the flood...
we all went for a nice dinner downtown. it was so good. we had lamb, goose, donkey, and some veggie dishes, and a of course some noodles, rice and potatoes. it was sooo sooooo good. we headed across the street for some coffee. ordered some drinks we didn't even know what they were. then myself, nick, andres, and jake headed to the big beer place to meet up with chris and fei. patrick was walking passed and seen us so he came in. the night started slow....
then a couple walked in, the women was just screaming at the guy.. and he just sat there and took it. there were tears, umbrellas being thrown.. i think at that point we started drinking for him too. shortly after they left, a reallllly drunk chinese man came over to our table. and kept cheers-ing to chairman mao. im certain that was the only thing he would say in english. he was drooling and hanging all over the guys. he was even going in for kisses and ass grabs.
after closing down the big beer place, we headed down the street for some late night street bbq. super spicy, but sooo good. we got down on some goat on a stick, some green veggie on a stick, mushrooms, and more beer. we destroyed some major food.
the next morning was rough to start, we headed to tour the FRANZ factory. franz is a company that makes extremely gaudy and ridiculous ceramic dinnerware sets and other gaudy stuff. i was tired and a bit hung over... and completely uninterested. we went into the factory, and they asked for no photos again. this time they made us put all of our bags and stuff in our van. but it was pretty cool to see how the factory worked. all slip-cast stuff. going through each step was really interesting. but i was over it.
later that night was boomer's artist talk at the pottery workshop. it was again really interesting, considering the language barrier, there was an interpreter, who did a good job, i think lol. afterwards we went down to the coffee shop for boomer's meet n greet. after a german beer at the youth hostel, we had to take the rest of the group for some bbq. again ate so much. it was funny bc i didn't remember it being as spicy the night before. but it was still realllly good.
the next day there was talk about firing the small gas kiln. i wasn't getting my hopes up seeing as though we were leaving jingdezhen in two days. but after lunch we were told to go glaze... yikes! that didn't give me alot of time. but i used some decals and got it done. met the group in food alley for dinner... then headed to the big beer place again for our send off.
let me tell you. there is never a dull moment at the big beer place.
im in xi'an now.. and really behind on blogging, but i need some rest so ill pick back up on our send off as soon as i can.. it was a night ill never forget not remembering =)
peace and love, and safe thoughts for the rest of the summer to the jci/wvu studio. sending my hopes for a relocation so this wont happen again.