Artist uses ashes of burned homes to create art

Posted at 1:57 PM, Nov 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-26 14:57:18-05

The Camp Fire is just the latest fire tragedy in California. Residents are still rebuilding in Wine Country more than a year after the destructive wildfires there.

In the one year since Kelly Bracewell's Santa Rosa home turned to ash, she's figured out how to be happier. She’s also learned how to live without some of her most cherished possessions.

As she rebuilds her own home, she works to help others who lost everything.

"As an interior designer, it’s been a great distraction,” she says.

She says she wants to help put the community back together.

Another community member, artist Gregory Roberts, is also using his talents to help people heal.

One artist is using the ashes to help the people who lost their homes heal.

“I was standing in the studio during the fires, and ash was falling all around,” Roberts describes.

Roberts was certain that he, too, would lose his home. Fortunately, his house and pottery studio survived, but the ash raining down over Wine Country gave him an idea.

“I wanted to be able to give people back something to let them know that your memories are not actually lost; your memories are all still intact,” he says.

Roberts started collecting ash from lost homes. Ashes from 140 homes appeared in a plastic bin on his front porch, some with handwritten notes, of people wanting him to create art from their lost homes.

"Something from their home, because this idea that everything is lost is a hard one to overcome," Roberts says.

Roberts says the ash remnants of homes are different, so the patterns and colors are never the same.

"I really want each one to be sort of its own unique animal,” Roberts says. “In the same way that each person's home is unique."