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info regarding empty bowls project

updated mon 21 dec 98


Rafael Molina-Rodriguez (Rafael Molina-Rodriguez) on tue 15 dec 98


Does anyone on the list have experience sponsoring an =22Empty Bowl=22 =
project? If
so, will you e-mail privately sharing your experiences. I'm interested in
sponsoring an =22EB=22 at our school in the spring. TIA.


Vince Pitelka on fri 18 dec 98

>Does anyone on the list have experience sponsoring an "Empty Bowl" project? If
>so, will you e-mail privately sharing your experiences. I'm interested in
>sponsoring an "EB" at our school in the spring. TIA.

Raphael -
I hope you don't mind if I respond on the list, as I think others should
know as much as possible about this fundraising opportunity. A local banker
in Cookeville by the name of Don Calcotte has organized empty bowls
fundraisers for the last three years to benefit Habitat for Humanity. Local
potters donate bowls, local chefs and restaurants donated gumbo, others
donate all the other materials. The organizers do extensive free
advertising on local radio and TV stations and newspapers. On the specified
day they serve a big gumbo (or it could be chili, vegetable stew, curry,
etc.) lunch on the two plaza in Cookeville. The customer pays ten bucks for
a big bowl of gumbo, and keeps the bowl. ALL the money goes to habitat for
humanity. Since the bowls vary widely in size, and since there are quite a
few different varieties of gumbo (or whatever) the ten bucks buys all you
can eat. That way people who end up with small bowls don't get
shortchanged. This year's Empty Bowls fundraiser in Cookeville, which
occured about a month ago, raised about $7000. As our contribution, my
students and I had a "bowl-a-thon", and threw, bisqued, and glazed about 500
bowls. If you need more information let me know.
- Vince

Vince Pitelka -
Home 615/597-5376, work 615/597-6801, fax 615/597-6803
Appalachian Center for Crafts
Tennessee Technological University
1560 Craft Center Drive, Smithville TN 37166

Deborah L. Blackwell on fri 18 dec 98


In Madison, WI I volunteered my day to help out with an Empty Bowls
Project and served soup all day. It was a great experience. One that I
plan also to get started in my area when I have my studio set up and a
kiln. Although I may even start it up with in our school first. This is
project that can be as big or small as you wish it to be. But one great
idea for working in the school is to have the art students make the
bowls, the home ec. students make the soup, perhaps the English classes
solicit for donations (making this an intergrated study) and parents and
teachers and other students can attend the funtion. Bowls are purchased
for a set amount and the soup is free. All other materials, clay, soup,
advertising is donated. The group in Madison received donations of soup
from local restraunts in return for some advertising by means of signs
during that day letting people know who made what soup. Bowls were
purchased for $10 and donated by local potters and also made by local
school children (most of the students bowls were made in a plaster mold
and stamped with designs made by the kids).
Like any function you need to have organized people in charge and a group
of reliable volunteers. And also have more help than needed as it
usually works out that someone doesn't show up for some reason or

Three of my four daughters also helped on that day and had a fulfilling
experience. It was held in a church on the square in Madison (the hub of
the city). They even had a blues band playing, although I believe they
did pay them. But if doing it through the school you might consider
having a string quartet or the schools jazz band play for free.

My E-mail is if you want more info.

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Get completely free e-mail from Juno at
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Tim Lynch on sat 19 dec 98

The Empty Bowls project here is organized by the Perriwinkle Pottery in
Leavenworth, WA., Jeff Hilton and Nancy Patterson. An idea they came up
with was to throw extra bowls and invite the community to come in and
decorate the bowls after bisquing. Not only does this guarentee
participation but gives the participant a sense of ownership in the
creative process. Anybody else doing this?


Tim Lynch
The Clay Man
1117 Tedford St SE
East Wenatchee, WA 98802-5254

Cheryl Fisher on sun 20 dec 98

I'm going to answer on the list rather than personally because it is
interesting to read what is happening at other places.

The studio I used to be a part of started the Empty Bowls as the final
event of the 3 day fall show. It started small the potters and students
at the studio, some local potters and my elementary school, another
elementary school and a high school. The first couple of years the
people in the studio donated the fixings for the soup and TGIFriday's
made it for us. Bread was donated. The first year I think we made three
thousand dollars for the food bank. Within a couple of years more
restaurants were donating soups.

This year (November) they had 7 or 8 soups donated, bread, some fruit.
Bowls were $12.00. You received a ticket or two with your bowl
(depending upon the size of the bowl) to take to fill your bowl with
soup. They also had aprons with Empty Bowls on it to sell. They had gift
packs (a bowl, and an apron) to sell for $25.00. They also were going to
sell sets of bowls (4 matching) for $100. They ended up having to take
those bowls to sell individually. The last I heard they were over
$11,000 for the food bank. Next year they already have an order for 250
gift packs for a business in town (which if they are selling for $25)
will mean starting out with $6,000.
Cheryl Fisher
Sarasota, FL