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What is Empty Bowls all about? [Back to Ceramics]

"Empty Bowls" is a grassroots effort to fight hunger, founded in Ukiah by Doug Browe, Mendocino College Ceramics Instructor, and ceramic artist Jan Hoyman. Since it's inception several years ago, they have raised thousands of dollars to help feed the homeless and needy. YOU can get involved too! To discover how it works, read the article below from last years "Empty Bowls" event held March 24 here in Ukiah. 

Stay tuned for details about Spring 2013's Empty Bowls event - coming soon! 
[Back to Ceramics]

Empty Bowls' to highlight hunger

Soon, handmade ceramic bowls will run over with homemade soup, all specially made to benefit the effort at Plowshares Community Dining Room in Ukiah to provide meals to homebound seniors and community members, while highlighting the fact that many in the community have empty bowls without such help. The sixth annual fundraising event "Empty Bowls" will take place on Saturday, March 24, where attendees will leave with a generously sized, handmade ceramic bowl of their choice, custom made by Mendocino College ceramics students and local professional ceramic artists.

The premise of the evening, says co-founder of the event and Mendocino College ceramic instructor Doug Browe, is to highlight those in our community who too often face an empty bowl as their only supper. According to Browe, "The event is a good opportunity for all involved to remember the needy and pitch in support, using our hearts and our hands." Browe says that he and ceramic artist Jan Hoyman came up with the idea for Empty Bowls about five years ago. They reasoned that the students in the college Ceramics Club could donate their talent and creative skills to benefit Plowshares' programs."

The Ceramics Club donates all the clay, purchased with proceeds from the annual ceramics sale that takes place the first Friday in December. It's a given this is going to happen and we spend multiple months preparing for it," Browe said. Browe himself created 10 of the 90 or so bowls that attendees will choose from on a first come, first served basis at the event.

"For me, a good bowl is generous and giving. It's open, offering and generous in proportions, form, function and aesthetics," said Browe. "Utilitarian art is the most egalitarian art, in that all people can enjoy it." He says that every year ceramics students are excited to take part in the bowl-making effort and most of the students involved are part of the Ceramics Master Technician Certification Program.

Mendocino College ceramic student Charity Romero said she integrated houses and buildings into her bowl designs, as well as the word "Dream" to illustrate the sense of community and hope Plowshares embodies. She said, "We are a pretty close-knit community of ceramicists. About 10 of us picked a day to throw, a day to trim and glaze and another day to pack up the bowls for delivery. I was happy to do it."

Fellow student Denise Chaix was also excited to help out the cause by donating her time and talent. "It's a wonderful way to give. I think the event signifies that their bowls are empty and we need to feed them," said Chaix. Those participating in the event will receive a handmade ceramic bowl of their choice to take home in addition to a multi-soup dinner, dessert, live music and silent auction.

Plowshares' Empty Bowls fundraiser will be held on March 24, 6:30 p.m. at Plowshares Community Dining room at 1346 S. State Street. For those interested in supporting the event, single tickets are $40 or $75 for two. Tickets can be purchased at Plowshares or at the Mendocino Book Company.

Created: February 06, 2013 @ 12:13 PM
Last Modified: February 06, 2013 @ 01:57 PM


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