A month ago, Christa Assad, a fellow potter, broke her back when she jumped off of the second story porch of her house that was on fire. She lost all her possessions; she lost her clothes, documents, family heirlooms, everything. For the next three months at least, Christa is confined to a stiff brace, so that her back can heal.

Christa Assad plate
A plate for Christa Assad’s fundraiser which features a drawing of her teapot

The ceramics community is tight and operates like a close-knit family. It’s also the warmest, most generous community I’ve ever known and so when collectively we heard about about her accident, the first response most of us had was one of deep empathy and a desire to help someone who has has been such a dynamic, giving force within the community. Christa’s pots have soul, while still retaining technical perfection and a sense of invention. More recently, she’s been making socio-political sculptural work about the conflict in Syria and its connection to her own heritage. Not only is she a great maker, but she’s an amazing showman in the best possible way, giving style and life to what is often a fairly solitary pursuit. Whether you’ve only had the pleasure of seeing her on stage or have worked with her for many years, Christa is family.

For the next month, until April 1st, myself and a few friends have set up a donation page to go toward Christa’s living expenses, medical bills, and rehab costs for the near term. We’re also collecting money for artists who want to raffle off their work for Christa. The plate above, with the drawing of one of Christa’s classic teapots, is my piece for her raffle.

A big, fat thank you to the ceramics community and all friends of Christa’s for rallying around a friend who is family!

Update as of March 31, 2014: Christa is in great positive spirits and healing well! Her financial situation is still unclear, however. We have been amazed and blown over by the incredible financial support and are now at almost $48,00, well beyond the $15,000 goal we had set. Below is a picture I took during my demonstration at NCECA where the audience is making a C for Christa. We missed her presence there and took a moment to send her our love.

Christa Assad wave
C is for Christa! (taken at NCECA 2014)