I’m going to my first Empty Bowls event tonight and I’m making myself nuts. This event is not the big fundraiser, it’s one of the bowl painting events. (Not “bowel” painting, which is what my husband thought I had written on the calendar. Very funny that husband of mine.) Anyway, THIS is why I’m bouncing off the walls. WHAT am I going to paint? What design am I going to do? Floral? Geometric? Whimsy? Nature? WHAT!!!! Every time I think I know, I change my mind. Hence… going nuts!!! It’s an unfinished ceramic bowl that needs to be painted and it’s going to be used in a fundraiser! Along with several hundred other bowls. But it’s going to be MY project and it’s going to be used in a fundraiser!!!
Now if you aren’t sure what Empty Bowls events are all about, let me tell you.
A Short History of Empty Bowls
Back in the early 1900’s in an attempt to do something about the poverty and hunger in their locale, John Hartom and Lisa Blackbarn came up with a novel idea. John, being a ceramics teacher, got his students to create more than 100 bowls. He and Lisa then put together a community event where people paid for the bowls and the money raised went to provide food for those who needed it.
Over the years, Empty Bowls has evolved into quite a fun family-friendly multi-event “event” as a way to provide funds to area food banks and/or homeless shelters. Organizers work with both local artists and pottery artisans giving the public a chance to participate in more than one event leading up to the main fundraiser. These events are of two types: creating the ceramic bowls or painting/decorating them. Once finished, and usually a couple of months down the road, the actual Empty Bowls fundraiser happens. At the fundraiser, people donate money, get to choose their favorite empty bowl, and then have it filled with soup or some other food item as part of the event. Often, the food item is provided by a local restaurant or well known chef from the community. It’s a win-win for all. You get to eat, have some fun, take home a hand crafted useful item and you’ve helped raise funds for the hungry.
Still Going Nuts About an Empty Bowl
I’ll be leaving soon. I have ideas running through my head. I’ve sketched out some ideas. I’ve looked at dozens of painted bowls for inspiration. I still have no idea what I will do. I guess it will hit me when I get there and the bowl “talks” to me. I also guess that this year, I will be attending the actual fundraiser. I need to see if my bowl finds a home.
Hope you find an event near you and plan to join in!