Like so many others in the Caribbean, the 2017 hurricanes Irma and Maria, “IRMARIA” impacted our studio in ways we could have never imagined. Truthfully it was horrible. It did however force us to refocus and since it wiped out our studio we had a somewhat blank slate to work with. We also had been operating in that location since 2013 so we had a really good idea on what changes we could make to really grow and expand our studio in a really good way! How to move on tho? There were so many factors to consider, when will the roads be a clear and passable? When will we be able to rely on food, propane, gas, diesel, parts for our cars, boats, and machines that everyone relies on daily to make life work actually making it to the islands on a regular basis?! Is is smart to stick it out? To rebuild? When can we expect tourisms, and should we choose to expand, increase our spending without knowing when we will have a steady return? WHAT IS THE RIGHT CHOICE? Simply that has been on our minds daily since Sept 2017.

I guess its your gut, right, we all know what that is, that feeling in your stomach that usually is ignored but can be very insightful. Choosing to trust yourself, to be able to quiet down enough to hear what you’re trying to say to yourself. To be able to hear criticism or everyones opinion on what you should be doing, and who can say what someone should be doing anyway, you don’t know what makes that person tick, what makes them happy… anyway how do you trust yourself enough to believe you above everything else?

WELL WE WENT FOR IT!!!! St John VI Pottery, Inc foramlly Maho Bay Clay Works took this opportunity to expand! We widened and finished our cement slab in our open air studio, we added another 40 ft. shipping container and covered the whole thing with a roof that we are hoping will stand the tests of time! More space has been created so wheel work, hand-building and glazing can all be done more comfortably making it more user friendly for everyone to be able work and to make their pieces.

Our pottery studio could not have done it without so many wonderful people helping and caring. from online FUNDRAISERS on youcaring, a grant from cerf+; to friends, Ayn and dale opening up their home to host more fundraising, donations and support from friends and family — financial, moral, services, items, time, materials, and labor. Thats the another wonderful thing that came out of this storm, small town support. its the small communities like the one on st john, they are so… personal, which in disasters is just what you need. watching from day one this amazing coming together of people, helping each other, giving, EMPATHIZING and working to fix whatever needed to be fixed. That is why we chose to take the risk, its our CHOSEN home. once you breath it in and let it settle, well its hard to explain it you have feel it. its your spot, you know what I mean? if you’re lucky and haven’t already you can find your spot too.