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Snap, crackle, pop!

But the fire is so delightful

As I write, rain discreetly falls outside, lamps cast a warm glow over sofas and blankets, a grandfather clock reminds us that time exists on a Sunday afternoon, and a fireplace crackles with the crisp smell of birch.

Welcome, my friends, to the Art Factory.

This building has a long history.  Built in 1838, the factory used the town’s natural clay deposits to make roof tiles.  Nearly a century later, the factory was severely burnt by a fire with unknown origins.  Locals believed the National Socialist Party–in power at the time–caused the fire, so that needed repairs would provide jobs for people.

The inscriptions below were added during the rebuilding of the factory:

Over a doorway to the other half of the building

The text over the doorway reads “Arbeit und Wille Formen die Welt”, or “Work and will shape the world.”

A griffon on the front of the factory

“Glueck Auf”, which loosely translates to “Good luck” was an encouragement for miners.

After the war, the need for clay dwindled.  The building changed hands several times and its use took different forms.  In 2006, Rick and Mary Beth were able to buy half of the building, and began the process of converting it into a non-profit art facility. (information taken from the Holladays’ brochure)

The Holladays excavated an old brick wall on the property. They now use it for a garden.

A shot of the tower. Sorry for the overexposure; it was raining outside.

The patio below was built from their store of firewood.  Instead of just stacking the wood, they built two walls for private outside dining.

Notice the tiny window in the background

Used to read a children's book where the pansies had faces

A flower pot in their front patio

Inside, they have refurbished the entire first floor as living space.  They also rent out a few apartments upstairs to help cover costs.  The rest of the second floor and all of the third floor is either storage space or waiting for redesign.

Books, clock, and coziness

Just a little peek into their living room

Mirror, mirror, on the wall

The Holladays combine colors and styles throughout their home.

Although I’m only here for a few weeks, my task is to help them organize their storage, so that they will have easier access to their equipment in the upcoming months of restoration.  In the short time I have stayed here, I have already seen how neighbors and local artists have benefited from the Art Factory.  Many visitors have stopped by to work on their art, or simply visit with the Holladays.  Their ministry is clearly a blessing to an art-oriented community, and if you’d like to donate, you can do so online.

In the kitchen (the other side of this column houses the mirror, pictured above).

On the second floor, a peaceful and solitary spot for artists.