Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Empty Bowls

This weekend, Crazy Green Studios will be participating in two events for Empty Bowls, and if you're in the Asheville area I hope to see you at one or both!

Friday, October 16 is the annual Empty Bowls Luncheon to benefit MANNA FoodBank. This annual event brings together many facets of the Asheville creative and business community to support MANNA, who in turn supports people throughout western North Carolina.

The Doubletree Biltmore donates a great space for the event, which takes place from 11am - 2pm. Inside, you'll find bowls from potters near and far, adult and child, small and large! With your $20 ticket, you'll be able to select one of these beautiful, handmade bowls as your own. In addition, you'll find other donated pieces for sale in the "Collector's Corner", and this year the event will also feature a silent auction of other art work. All these pieces have been donated by the people who make them, and by students in area schools.

Some potters send a bowl or two, others, like David Voorhees, organize events to make and decorate over 100 bowls. And at Odyssey Center for Ceramic Art, a special class is offered where each week features a guest potter demonstrating various bowl making and decorating techniques. The students in that class, along with students from other classes and rental studio members, will send over 300 bowls to the event. And then there are potters from all over the area who are making bowls and sending them to the event, giving everyone who comes a wide range of hand made gorgeous-ness to choose from!

And if you always wondered how we get these beautiful bowls from a simple lump of clay, two brave, local potters will be throwing bowls for the crowds (and will take requests if given truffles).

demos will be done on this very wheel,
and you can try it out if you want

The collector's corner will feature small sets, larger pieces and art pieces, and some pieces come from beyond our region. In Viroqua, Wisconsin, the Empty Bowls event is a dinner that happens on Saturday, October 17.

poster for the Viroqua Empty Bowls dinner

Devorah Yahn is one of five potters who make the bowls for their event, and she dedicated herself to throwing 200 bowls for this year's dinner. She and I have traded pieces for our respective events (adding drama to the excitement by shipping as late as possible!), so be sure to look for her beautiful vases, either in the Collector's Corner or perhaps at the Silent Auction.

Heather Tinnaro & John Hartom at last year's event:
this year, Heather and I will be throwing bowls!

And then there's the food! Area restaurants (like 12 Bones, Corner Kitchen), bakeries (like West End Bakery) and confectioners (like the French Broad Chocolate Lounge) donate delicious soups, breads, cookies, truffles and beverages, often served up by the chef who made the dish.

All of this is done so that the entire ticket price of $20 can go to MANNA FoodBank. With each ticket sold, MANNA can provide food for 60 meals, so in addition to enjoying a delicious lunch and fondling your new handmade bowl, while you're there you can learn more about what MANNA does for our community. And more importantly, perhaps you can learn more about what YOU can do to help beyond the lunch!

But wait, there's more!

On Saturday, Biltmore Park hosts their Fall Festival, which will be great fun for the whole family. If you've been following along, you know that Biltmore Park is also home to Echo Gallery, where I am a coop member.

Echo Gallery will be hosting a tent during Fall Fest, and we'll have bisque-fired bowls and underglaze paints available for those who feel like letting their artistic freak fly a bit by decorating a bowl. The decorated bowls will be glazed and then sold in Echo Gallery to benefit MANNA FoodBank. It's going to be a great, chilly fall day - come out and enjoy the Festival and paint a bowl for MANNA!

In closing - while I was writing this, I was scanning my files and online for images, and just out of curiousity I 'googled' Empty Bowls and looked at the images view. I think this is just incredible - I'm only posting a small portion of what I found, and not all are for this year, but I couldn't resist sharing some. Hunger is not something that occurs in other places or to any specifically 'special' group of people. It's here, it's everywhere, and it happens to many, many people in all our communities. That's the bad news. The good news is this (to see more, google it!):


  1. All those posters would make a nice poster!

  2. I agree Dennis - it made me think that all the posters in the Imagine Render archive would make a great picture book ...