Empty Bowls, Full Hearts
The holiday season is also the giving season; and I’m not just talking about gift-giving. Although we see charitable causes throughout the year, the weeks leading up to Christmas seem to be filled with good deeds, festive cheer, and people going out of their way to help others. Above everything else, this is why I love the holiday season.
As most of you know by now, Dirty South Pottery provides all the bowls for the Winchester Empty Bowls event. Empty Bowls is a nationwide occurrence that any community can put on as long as they abide by two main rules; the bowls must be 100% handmade, and that all the proceeds go to feed the hungry in the same community. It just so happens that handmade pottery and keeping charity local are two things we happen to be passionate about.
The amount of bowls needed to support this event is 300 for Winchester – that’s a lot of bowls to come out of one studio. But as your friendly neighborhood potters, we wanted to take it on. Carvel made all of the bowls this year so that I would have time to focus on producing pottery for our store, wholesale accounts, and festivals. He started making them in January. JANUARY. And the last 2 bowls just came out of the kiln on Sunday.
Now, don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t take 10 months to make 300 bowls – unless you’re trying to also produce work for a store: which we are. We have been firing them slowly with our normal workload throughout the year, with a few firings dedicated specifically for Empty Bowls.
We will deliver the bowls to the First Presbyterian Church on Thursday, where volunteers will wash them in preparation for Friday’s soup lunch event. The food will be served directly into the bowls, and from there you can choose a seat of your own liking. There are no fancy seasonings, or 10 choices of soup to choose from. Why? Well, I am so glad you asked.
Empty Bowls is to benefit the hungry in our community. They are our neighbors and fellow citizens. When you’re eating from food that has been donated to you, you usually do not get the choice of 10 different soups, or to add Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes to spice things up. The folks who work hard to put on Empty Bowls believe that the meal that we share to benefit our neighbors should be modest, much like the meal that we will be providing them with.