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Early morning on January 18, 2010, my wife awoke next to me hearing a popping sound and then got my attention to a strange light coming through the windows of our home. I came downstairs to investigate and I could hardly believe my eyes: my handmade studios of 40 years were completely ablaze. By the time the local volunteer fire department arrived, there was little they could do. I was completely devastated. The cause of the fire was determined to be the wire from the utility pole pulled off at the front of my studio from a heavy wet snow that night causing sparks and then fire.

My community of family and friends rallied to my support and the news spread fast. The next day Les Snow from CERF+ arrived at our home with a grant check. In speaking with him I found that they have a wealth of information and support for artists facing disasters of all kinds. One thing I learned about insurance is that my studio was an attachment to my homeowners policy and that the contents and all artworks in process and finished pieces (for me that was 36 pieces) were not covered as a business needs to have a commercial policy, which I now have thanks to CERF+.

Thanks to all the global supporters of my work, I now have two beautiful, extremely functional studios and am back to work.

Jon Brooks online