Taking The Heat Off

Claudia Chemello cleans iron elements in Kiln 7 to stabilize deterioration.

A flurry of activity has taken place this year in the Western Clay brickyard at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena to stabilize deterioration on Kiln 7. Restoration Director Matt Morgan and volunteers repaired the deteriorated wall sections and one-third of the parapet at the roofline in preparation for a new membrane roof to be installed in Spring 2015. The adjacent sheds will also see freshly milled roof boards next year.

From left: Terra Mare Conservation's Paul Mardikian and Claudia Chemello with volunteers unknown, Alix Kress, and Jeff Sykes.

In August, conservators Paul Mardikian and Claudia Chemello returned to work on the metal bands that hug the kiln walls. These bands were corroded and deteriorated, but with help from Paul and Claudia, MPA staff, and volunteers, the metalwork was brought back to life through mechanical scrubbing and treatment.

A whole table of shiny new brackets will help provide structural stability to the kiln's shed walls.

In the fall, Matt Morgan also installed brackets and fasteners on the sheds to provide much needed structural stability. He and Adonis Zamora put in many hours clearing debris and vegetation to expose the original brick pavers surrounding the kiln area. We are so grateful to our volunteers and all at the Archie Bray for working with us to preserve this piece of rare industrial history!