Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Katrina the Killer

Hi All, Special Hello to James Gilbert, Gregg Todd and many more at

I just had to write… I know a lot of the folks at Stuller read
this group, to say nothing of all the Gulf Coast Orchidians that no
doubt took a big hit from Katrina.

Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims of Katrina. We wish all
of you to find your loved ones alive and unhurt. If we can send
anything or help in any way please contact us immediately.

I volunteer to coordinate such efforts as we can muster from
Southern California.

Write us and let us know what you need.

Daniel Ballard

If there is anybody in Orchid land who lives in New Orleans, my heart
goes out to you. If it is all possible to see if Tom Mann has been
seriously affected by this storm, I would appreciate it.



Karen Christians
50 Guinan St.
Waltham, MA 02451
Ph. 781/891-3854 Fax 3857
Jewelry/Metalarts School & Cooperative Studio

Count me in on any volunteer plans Dan. I have close friends in New
Orleans, and a Gallery owner that may have lost all. Still waiting
to hear.

If any of you need anything at all, please let us know. We are all
praying for you.

Lisa, Topanga, CA USA

Thank you for your sincere thoughts and prayers Dan. The folks who
live in Lafayette were fortunate, as Katrina missed us for the most
part. Many here at Stuller have family and friends that were not as
fortunate. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all others who have
been affected by Katrina.

James Gilbert

Dear Orchidians,

While South Florida took nowhere near as massive a hit from
Hurrucane Katrina as the Gulf Coast did, thousands here have lost
their homes due to wind damage and flooding. Thousands are still in
shelters with no place to go. I was extremely lucky and lost
practically nothing. However, my phone (and therefore Internet) is
out for an undetermined time as I type this message via webmail at
work. Because of this, I am suspending my Orchid subscription until
conditions recover here.

Thank you all in advance for your prayers to the unfortunate people
of South Florida and the Gulf Coast. These are the nightmares we all
expected for generations that have come true. For now, I’ll be
praying for my girlfriend and companion who was visiting her parents
in Gulfport, Missippi when Katrina struck. It may be weeks before I
hear anything.

James S. Duncan, G.G.
James in SoFl

To all,

I am forwarding to you an email from my cousin who works for the
state gov’t in LA. This is more of an accounting than we are getting
on the news.

Jennifer Friedman
Ventura, CA

  Well, I am without power and it is cooler here. We have to
  staff the emergency operations center; every state Dept must
  have a representative. Our ER personnel are in New Orleans
  trying to assess what hazardous clean up will be needed. 

  We did not have any damage. We don't know how Maggie's house
  is because marshall law is in effect in St. Tammany Parish. 
  The communications lines are all down. Cell phones don't work
  and there are no land lines. Her cats are in her house. We
  are hoping they give us one day to get in and get them and get

  New Orleans is gone. It will be at least a year before anyone
  can get back in. Of the people left in NO some have decided
  to loot. They now have guns. On the way in there was news of
  a gang of looters outside Children's Hospital and the director
  was scared they will try to break in. There was a riot at the
  NO jail and the prisoners took one of the guard's children
  hostage. Most hospitals have moved their patients to the 5th
  floor. There are over 600 people stranded in Chalmette in
  shelters. There is no drinkable water, no sewage (most of
  that is in the water), no food, and the water will be rising
  another 6 ft because of the broken levee. Oh, I almost forgot
  the dead bodies floating that will soon contribute to disease.
  They are trying to evacuate the 20,000 plus people in the
  Super Dome out. 

  The Mississippi Gulf Coast is wiped clean. It will be at
  least a year or more before it is liveable. 

  All in all over a 1.5 million people displaced and
  approximately 1 million will be displaced for a year if not
  permanently. Between the chemicals and the biohazards, I can
  only imagine that clean up will be cost wise for NO. 

  Gas prices will rise. Chalmatte Refinery ( probably under
  water), Alliance Refinery at further down toward Buras is
  under water (everything in Plaquemine Parish is), and the
  Venice Gas Plant (very end of Louisiana) probably gone. Rigs
  have been torn loose and found drifting 17 miles away. They
  are now monitoring for sheens on the water to indicate lost
  oil. More enviromental damage. 

  Major port is gone. No shipping of grain from the huge grain
  elevators that were south of New Orleans. 

  Atlanta caught some of this and so did Georgia. Katrina is a
  once in a lifetime event. I hope. 

  So I guess we fared ok, but the state, the nation, is in for a
  rough time. 

  You have a great day.

It’s hard to know where to start to send help in the face of the
disaster that has hit so many people do to Hurricane Katrina. So many
people in some cities need help on the most fundamental levels ,
that it’s hard to know where to start. Of course, the REd Cross and
such is a good way to help in general.

I’m also going to contact CERF, the Craftsman’s Emergency Relief
Fund to see what I can do to help a segment of the population whose
community I am best suited to help, fellow jewelers and crafts
people in general. I know many of us don’t have piles of cash that
we can donate, but here’s what I’m thinking: maybe we can donate the
stuff of work…what people will need to get their livelihoods back
up and running.

HOME/STUDIO: It is a process to recover, lean on those who give
support, talk to people who have been there before, get counseling if
you need it and be prepared to be patient with the time it takes to
get back on your feet., and to be tenacious on your own behalf. When
I lost my house due to fire, I was very fortunate that my tools and
materials were saved, and I could work in a makeshift space. Work is
a great salve. Borrow work from collectors if you can so you can keep
to your show schedule and take orders/commissions. )

I have stones, beads, tools, display stuff, that I can afford to
donate and I’m willing to do it through CERF, whom I trust
implicitly. It may be too early to know who needs what; how to get it
to them and where to put it, but that will come together. Please
think about what duplicate/underused/unessential elements (maybe we
could work with a refiner to send in our scrap metals to set up a
fund for jewelers in need to pull some refined metals from) could be
there are in your studios and let CERF know that you are willing to
help. Of course, money is always handy!

CERF can be reached at:

I imagine they are a bit overwhelmed at the moment, but send your
message of willingness and wait.

Marianne Hunter

Continue from:

Hi All,

If anyone knows how to get a hold of Dashka Roth in Houston where
she has evacuated to from New Orleans, could you please tell her to
contact me? I have volunteered with the Red Cross today, and they
have said that they may want me to go to out to New Orleans, to
help the rescue effort there.

If I do go, there might be a way I can check out her house and
gallery. I should know in a day or so whether I leave, or stay here
in LA to help out. Either way, I’m in.


Lisa,(Well… I couldn’t just sit here and do
nothing… :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile: ) Topanga, CA USA


Count me in. I am going to the blood bank tomorrow.
For anyone in need for a place to stay, my home is open. Just ask.


Anybody know what happened to Ive? at…I know they
get hit with water and there’s no response there?

Has anyone heard that Thomas Mann, his family and coworkers are
safe? Please post to the list.

Barb V.
Pompano Beach, FL

Our hearts go out to all of the victims of this awful storm. Here in
North Carolina, My family and I are prepared to feed, house and
provide shop space, a bench, and work to one (possibly more)
goldsmith (and their small family) who needs to relocate and start
over. I have mentioned this to an associate of mine and he would
consider doing this as well. Please contact me at if you’d like to talk about it. Perhaps others
from this group might consider helping in this way?

Ken Weston
Hillsborough, NC

Last night I was thinking about the logistics of sending all the
heavy, bulky stuff we all use. Seems like it might be premature to
start shipping things willy-nilly (when was the last time you saw
that in print?) to CERF or to individual jewelers who need things
(everything) but don’t have a place to put it or receive it yet. If
CERF thinks there is some merit to the idea and would provide a
plan for where to send things, I’m wondering if there would be a way
that UPS or one of the trucking companies might offer some special
service for such transport tot those areas or to CERF? Maybe if we
had some regional gathering points where we brought well packed,
clearly identified for contents packages, we could have a pick up
that was well coordinated, would that work?

I’m just rattling ideas off the top of my head. That’s how I
problem solve.

Maybe some of the tool companies would be willing to sell at a
discount to their customers in the affected zip codes? Maybe we could
ask some of the really large organizations such as JA or the gem
shows or ???( I’m certain many of you are familiar with
organizations that I’m not) would set up some kind of grant fund.

Keep in mind that folks who have lost everything need EVERYTHING.
They may need reference materials, old catalogues (invaluable for
giving their insurance companies replacement costs for their tools
and supplies), hot plates, show clothing, a robe, old computers,
cell phones, telephones.

At least people who make things for a living are generally
resourceful…a real bench is nice, but really fine work can be
created on any surface; an old door works very well. BUT, it takes a
certain amount of self-confidence and chutzpah to get all the help
you need and/or may be entitled to from insurance companies/state
agencies. Some of your friends out there may need bolstering and the
most help in that area. It really takes tenacity.

I’ve got to get to the studio, one last thing…if you don’t have
insurance, GET SOME!!! it will save your butt when you need it!
Nobody thinks they will need it. We have homeowners insurance with
State Farm and they have been GREAT to work with. Don’t overlook
riders to hour insurance to cover some of the odd stuff. Having an
agent you can talk to face to face is a HUGE advantage. WE are so
grateful for the care and service we received form our State Farm
agent in Mariposa, Ca that we have kept all of our personal insurance
with that office even though we moved 5 hours away. He went to bat
for us because he personally had notes on a conversation about our
coverage. We bought studio/work insurance through International
Sculpture Center for tools and also for my husbands work/materials
and they came through when we needed them also.

now I’m really going to work…maybe some of you well organized
folks, or folks with employee help can get something started?

Marianne Hunter

Hi Marianne. What a simply wonderful idea. I have lots of stuff
sitting around in my studio which might be useful for someone
needing to get back on their feet. I will contact CERF as you
suggested and when the time is ready will get the materials to them.
Thank you for suggesting this way of helping out a bit.


Has anyone heard that Thomas Mann, his family and coworkers are
safe? Please post to the list. 

Dear Friends,

I’ve gotten numerous emails from concerned friends and colleagues
this morning, which prompted me to send out an email to ALL
describing my situation.

I am extremely fortunate. I am NOT in New Orleans. This will allow
me to be in a strong position, emotionally and physically to deal
with this disaster when I can return to NOLA, and also conduct the
business of my company in the interim.

I know that most of my staff escaped the city as well. But, Mark
Garcie, my principal artisan of 16 years and dear friend, stayed. I
urged him to take shelter in our studio/gallery building or my house
in uptown New Orleans, because his own home is in the area of New
Orleans that you see flooded on CNN. Late Sunday night he told me he
would do so but I have not been able to contact him since then. I
wait anxiously for news from the rest of my staff and my in-law
family about their status.

I am happily occupying a house in Lakeside, MI., 2 hours east and
north of Chicago on Lake Michigan�s eastern shore. I rented this
house from my friends Floyd Gomph and Linda Hoffhines last year, and
at the same time (mid Aug-mid Sept ) as well as a great place to
vacation and work. I got here on August 16th, right after the ACC San
Francisco show. Since then I taught a two day workshop in Highland
Park, and just this past weekend did the Evanston Hospital ACE show,
where I had a fabulous show.

I am fortunate also because I have a good selection of my tools with
me to teach all of the workshops I did this summer at Arrowmount,
Mendocino and highland park. So, I can get to work preparing for my
next show at the International Hand Surgeons Conference in San
Antonio in late September. If all goes well I�ll also be in Philly in
November and Washington in December.

For those of you who were invited to be in are busy making work for
Gallery I/O’s “Bag & Shoe” show, I believe that it is safe to say
we’ll be postponing its opening to a later date. But you never know?.
New Orleans always loves a party and this show is shaping up to be a
great one. So keep working and stay tuned.

Conditions in New Orleans: As of today I have no idea at all of the
condition of my studios, gallery or home. This morning a levy along
the 17th Street canal failed and water from Lake Pontchartrain is
pouring into the city. This is going to make a tremendous difference
in the recovery time frame. It may well be a month before we will be
allowed back into the city to asses the damage.

My cell phone (504.319.8999) is working just fine making calls out
from here but I discovered this morning that attempts to call me get
busy signals. The circuits are busy?. very busy? or they’re down. My
land line number here is 269.469.8079. Please communicate first by

I am enormously fortunate to have a large circle of friends and
colleagues who are concerned for me. Thank you for being amongst

I you care to contribute the relief effort in new Orleans. Please
send a contribution to CERF. They will be called upon for support by
numerous artists affected by Katrina�s passing throughout the
affected area.

Yours Ever,

PS: Please pass this message along as you deem appropriate

To all,

In case anyone can help with housing, below is the most recent text
and site from trying to connect those who can offer
housing, with those victims of the hurricane who are in need:


(still waiting to see if and when I leave for N.O.) Topanga,CA USA

  You can post your offer of housing (a spare room, extra bed,
  even a decent couch) and search for available housing online

I used to live in Baton Rouge in the early 80’s. We lost a house and
many of our belongings to a flood. I live in Michigan now. Still,
those in NO have it so much worse than anything I’ve seen it boggles
the mind. My experience seems like a walk in the park.

Robin C. McGee
(Prefers ice storms and blizzards)

Jewelry trade journalist (former Gemkey senior editor) wants to help
individuals/families in this time of incomprehensible &
unprecedented need. Am located in eastern Kansas, 12 hours drive
north of affected areas. Willing to assist with logistical support,
possibly along the lines of a carpool/caravan transport to bring
people to midwest-dwelling family/friends or just basic higher/drier

Not sure what, if anything, I can do/contribute, but not trying sure
feels wrong. Ideas & brainstorming very welcomed.

With Concern & Respect,
JM Kekahbah

Hi Terrie,

I too will be going to the blood bank, and writing a check to the Red
Cross. It appears contrary to some previous disasters I recall, but
it seems it will not help to send anything but money. I had thought
to send a few cases of MRE’s and water but the Red Cross knows best.

I’m starting to wonder if Los Angeles and other distant cities would
be able to help by ordinary folks offering spare bedrooms to
refugees. I just can’t help but imagine it could have been us
instead, earthquake instead of a hurricane…

I hope everyone can ignore the divisive voices now being heard in the
media and stay intent on helping instead of blaming. Fix the problem
before you fix the blame.

I know of a major jewelry employer here in Los Angeles who has been
in dire need of qualified stone setters, and could instantly employ a
displaced stone setter. He has been asking around town for weeks now.

If each trade looks to even some of its own FEMA and Red Cross will
have a far easier time of it.

Daniel Ballard

September 2, 2005

An Open Letter To Stuller Customers, Vendors, Friends and

We have had numerous calls and emails inquiring of our well being
and that of our families. While we have encountered some
interruptions with our telephone and carrier services, we are fully
operational and only missed one day of servicing our customers. These
inconveniences are minor compared with the immense devastation along
the Gulf Coast regions of Mississippi, Alabama, Southeast Louisiana
and New Orleans. Most of our associates’ families have physically
fared well; however many have relatives that lived in this ravaged

The news media accounts do not completely capture the immediate
feeling of loss many people of this area are beginning to grasp.
Homes are completely destroyed or severely damaged by wind and water,
while many loved ones are still unable to communicate with one
another. Most evacuated with few possessions and belongings, and many
are being housed in the Lafayette area by Stuller associates for an
unknown period of time. There are numerous challenges, which will
need to be resolved in the weeks and months to come.

Lafayette, Louisiana was spared the destruction of the hurricane and
is now assisting thousands of evacuees. Numerous trials await all of
us as we help these people to put their lives back together. Simple
things that we take for granted are no longer the norm. Today, clean,
dry clothing, hot showers, toothbrushes, medication are all precious
commodities for many. Tomorrow, many will begin the process of
burying their loved ones. In the weeks to come, most will focus on
the future with questions of work and schools for their children. We
are saddened and deeply touched.

As a responsible citizen in this time of need, Stuller has
established the Stuller, Inc. Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund at the
Community Foundation of Acadiana. This fund will have 100% of every
dollar given to it sent to agencies that can make a difference to the
hundreds of thousands of needy people affected by Hurricane Katrina.
The Community Foundation of Acadiana is a qualified tax deductible
organization. We will direct all the money in the Stuller, Inc.
Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund to the relief organizations that need
it the most.

If you want to make a contribution to assist with the horrific
aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, please write a check payable to
Community Foundation of Acadiana/Stuller Katrina Relief Fund and send

P.O. Box 3892
Lafayette, LA 70502-3892

Thank you and God bless.

Charles D. Lein
Stuller, Inc.