I remember firing Brickell Brac during a cyclone

I remember sitting by the Rollo under the Happily Ever After sign talking with Riccardo about glazes, his knowledge and enthusiasm, a recipe. 

I remember we were keeping the fire low to dry out the kiln, its bricks sodden, saturated from many days of rain. Slow, solid, waiting. Inside the kiln, all the Brickell Brac pots, also waiting.

I remember drips of rain all around, a symphony of rain, on the corrugated roof. The sounds of the cyclone.

I remember the flames and looking after them, breaking a few small pieces of wood, doing the work.

I remember the drive up with Laurie, stopping at Pot Rock to rescue the remains of the big pot to be glazed and fired and put back there. Good chats and laughs.

I remember arriving to a DCR feast, eleven of us around the big wooden table in the kitchen.

I remember Anneke’s cherry pit spitting competition. 

I remember the wind picking up, carrying with it all the questions and blowing embers out of the firebox.

I remember the smell of wood, train oil, wet things. 

I remember Karl putting up some plastic to shelter us from the storm. 

I remember him saying, “Sometimes you just have to do what Brickell Brac demands.”

I remember Riccardo, quiet and open, asking about my novel and not being able to formulate what I was trying to do with it. 

I remember going down to the carriage to get a few hours sleep before my 4 - 5am kiln shift.

I remember being in charge of a very hot fire at 4.34am.

I remember water cascading down the steps, down everything. 

I remember trying to see the chimney flame in the mirror up on the clay bank. 

I remember thinking - whose idea was it to fire during a cyclone?

I remember stoking and sweating and feeling like I was dreaming. 

I remember Frederick showing up with a cup of tea in his hand at 4.57am to take over from me. 

I remember the soda + sugar + turmeric + garam massala + clove mix that went onto the radiant, sweaty pots around 3pm.


I remember the smell of it bursting white hot through the firebox as it landed, sweet and spicy.

I remember meeting new friends.

I remember feeling grateful.