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The Ink & Gall letter

-- [ From: Broome County Public Library * EMC.Ver #2.5.02 ] --

I've received quite a number of requests for Polly and Dexter's letter, so I
think I'll just send it through the list. If anyone wants a paper copy,
please send me your snail mail address.

Here it is. Any typos will be mine (I don't have time to proof it right now,
since I'm on a break at work. On Ink & Gall letterhead...

Dear Friends,
During the hot and windy afternoon of May 5, 1996, a wildland fire -- later
named the Hondo Fire -- blazed across the Sangre de Cristo mountains from
San Cristobal through Lama to Questa, New Mexico, destroying all that was in
its path. This complete, total devastation devoured our house, marbling
studio, publishing office, library and their entire contents. We had only
enough time to save our cats, dog and llamas. All personal and work related
contents were completely destroyed. We are fortunate that no people suffered
serious injury or loss of life.

The destruction included all back issues of the marbling journal Ink & Gall
and the issue that was ready to go to press along with the inventory of our
edition of the seminal work by Joseph Halfer, The Progress of the Marbling
Art, and Marbling on Fabric and A Marbler's Companion by Polly Fox. Years of
world-wide correspondence, marbled papers and artifacts, rare books,
marbling lore and recipes fed the fire that turned the former home of Ink &
Gall and Mountain Marbling into ashes too hot to touch two weeks later.

We did not have fire insurance but immediately started building house and
studio ourselves with physical help from friends. Funds and materials have
been donated by those who are able to do so and continue to be appreciated.
Construction is, as always, slower than desired but our attitudes are good
and progress continues.

Winter came early and powerfully to our part of the world. The snow offers
us a chance to stop pounding nails and respond to many who have written and
called wondering where their marbling journals are or how rebuilding our
lives is progressing.

Except for brief interludes of housesitting (when it was -20 !) we have been
camping on the land during the building process. The second floor is closed
in and we're working on the first floor while the foundation for the studio
awaits walls and roof. We are able to sleep in the second floor which is a
great improvement over the tent and continue to cook and store tools in the
all-purpose 12'x12' shed built soon after the fire.

We have a temporary studio here and can marble with one or two tudents. A
September workshop is scheduled with the Taos Institute of Art. Personal
marbling time has been meager but it's inspiring to gather colors and papers
together while a batch of gall from a neighbor's cow brews in the tool shed.
Ideas run through my head but the focus continues to be finishing the house
enough to live in.

We would like to continue publishing Ink & Gall, perhaps in a new format,
but are still some time away from being able to make any firm decision so
the future of the marbling journal remains uncertain. Please be in touch
with us as your input will help determine our common future.

Apologies for our not being in touch sooner. The magnitude of the
destruction and loss requires a complete reconstruction of our lives and it
has taken this long to have enough peace of mind and physical space to sit
down and write a letter.

It is the second day of the New Year and so far it's a good one!

Blessings for the New Year!

                Polly Fox, Editor                          Dexter Ing,

Lavinia Adler

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