The Front Blog

Conversations from the Four Rivers Region

Glaze a Bowl, Feed the Hungry

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Here’s the goal: Make and glaze 800 bowls, put food in them, sell them, give the money to charity.

That’s the Paducah Empty Bowls Project in a nutshell. The main event is February 26 at the Robert Cherry Convention Center. Around fifteen local restaurants are donating food. Tickets are $15 either at the door or ahead of time at Terra Cottage Ceramics on 7th Street in LowerTown. The money will go to the Community Food Kitchen in Paducah. If all 800 bowls are sold, that’s $10,000, enough to operate the kitchen for three to four months.

But back to those 800 bowls. Owner of Terra Cottage, Michael Terra, is heading up the Empty Bowl Project. Terra is a working artist with a full schedule, but he’s finding time between his regular commission work to make bowls. Terra has sometimes made as many as 100 in a day.

Here’s where you can help.

Before the 26th, stop by Terra Cottage, and glaze a bowl. The cost is five dollars to cover materials. It’s an easy process.

First, pick out the bowl you want to glaze.

Choose a brush . . .

. . . and your glaze colors (and an apron if you’re accident-prone like me).

It’s also a good idea to bring your friends.

Members of Fountain Avenue United Methodist Church glazing bowls

Glazing a bowl takes anywhere from half an hour to a full hour.  Michael Wooley of Reidland has glazed four so far. Wooley works at Marcum Engineering in Paducah. He heard about the project through his business’s charitable giving committee. Wooley liked the idea of doing something that also supported the Community Kitchen. He has volunteered there before. “Y’know, they’re not just hungry and homeless people [at the kitchen],” he says. “Sometimes they’re just lonely people.” Wooley has been glazing bowls on his lunch break, but for the weekend, he brought his wife and daughter with him too.

Micheal Terra supervises every bowl-glazer and checks out the work before they get sent to the kiln. He says, “In the psychology of it, it’s a very interesting project to create something that you’re going to give away.” He says it’s especially interesting for children, who typically get to keep the art projects they make.

A finished glazing project looks dull and chalky. Below is my finished glazing work.

But after they’re baked in the kiln, the color and luster is fantastic.  (Below is not my finished bowl, but it’s pretty, no?)

Glazing is only one way to help. If you’ve already made a bowl, you can donate it to the project. You can also help sell tickets and transport bowls to the Convention Center. And, of course, you can come eat on the 26th, and get to keep the bowl! For more information about the Empty Bowls project, visit their page on Facebook.

 

Completed bowls at Terra Cottage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One Response

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  1. I know you wrote this over year ago but Thank You! It was good to see your smile, even if only from a distance, at the yeiser… blessings abound, m

    Michael Terra

    March 9, 2012 at 7:21 am


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