STUDIO C2
Gregory Roberts
O mag.jpg

The Sonoma Ash Project

The Sonoma Ash Project

After the destruction of last year’s Sonoma County wildfires, ceramicist Gregory Roberts launched the Sonoma Ash Project, wherein he turned ash into meaningful ceramics. Roberts asked his neighbors to donate ash from the wildfires they personally experienced. To his surprise, more than 140 people have donated thus far, some leaving notes explaining the value of what they left with him. The diversity of color and texture is astonishing. Roberts goal is to give everyone back a piece of pottery glazed with the ashes they saved. The Project had multiple goals to achieve. One of the most important was to present homeowners and community members with a creative object made from the material left behind; acknowledging the loss they have felt. A second was the to provide the community of participants with an opportunity for a shared commemoration of the fires. When the fires displaced families from their home, they also tore through long-standing community bonds. The unveiling of the 140 plus objects would be part of an event, where new community bonds can be formed. The Tubbs fire was devastating on many levels but hopefully, by offering a meaningful object; the participants can remember that their community will heal, bonds will re-grow and the ash will keep us all connected.

 Paella Dinner Event at Church of the Incarnation, Santa Rosa - June 1, 2018

Paella Dinner Event at Church of the Incarnation, Santa Rosa - June 1, 2018

Since the fires cooled in November, members of the Sonoma community have been dropping of plastic bags, mason jars and Tupperware containers of ash from their homes to my front porch. The ash sample is entered into a database then numbered and processed for use in a ceramic glaze. In October 2018, all 140 plus objects will be exhibited at the Museums of Sonoma County in Santa Rosa CA for the one year commemoration exhibition. Each person who has dropped off ash will receive a porcelain object made from the ashes of their home, in the likeness of the iconic Round Barn, which was also destroyed in the fires.

 Throwing a Round Barn

Throwing a Round Barn

The Sonoma Ash Project has multiple goals to achieve. One of the most important goals is to present homeowners and community members with a creative object made from material left behind, acknowledging the loss they have felt.
Second is to provide this community of participants with an opportunity for shared commemoration of the event. When the fires displaced families from their home, they also tore through long standing community bonds.

_DSC0080.JPG

Tax deductible donations to the Sonoma Ash Project are greatly appreciated and can be made via the project’s fiscal sponsor, the Museums of Sonoma County. 

How to Contribute : Museums of Sonoma County is a proud fiscal sponsor of the Sonoma Ash Project. Support this project by clicking here and selecting “Sonoma Ash Project” from the program drop-down menu.

https://museumsc.org/donate/

Media Coverage

ABC7 (10/18): https://abc7news.com/4464056/

ABC7 (2/18): https://abc7news.com/ashes-from-north-bay-fires-turned-into-art/3018731/

Radio Interview: http://www.kalw.org/post/sandip-roy-village-potter#stream/0

Channel2 (Fox) News: http://www.ktvu.com/news/366023152-video

Press Democrat: https://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/8300759-181/santa-rosa-sculptor-turns-ashes

Youtube: https://youtu.be/CAjPZ0Aa5Lo