Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Empty Bowls Project

There is a project in the city where I live that raises funds to help feed those who are in need. It is called Empty Bowls.  People donated their time and make or paint ceramic bowls which they donate to the project.  Once a year, groups hold luncheons and dinners to raise money for the project.  Each person who buys a ticket receives soup to eat and a bowl to take home.

Two years ago, my boss gave me tickets to an Empty Bowls Luncheon.  When I walked in there was a table full of bowls in all colors and shapes.  I picked up a couple but the one on the far right really called to me.  It was a happy bowl.  When I turned it over, I found that it had been painted by a member of our youth group.  Then I had to have it. I've been eating cereal out of it for two years. I've thought several times that I wished I had another bowl just that size.

A few weeks ago, my co-worker, asked me if I'd like to go paint a bowl with her for the Empty Bowls project. Her church was sponsoring a painting party. She knew how much I liked paint. (I often show up for work with bits of paint still on my hands...even after several washing)

I work with paint often... very often... but all of the sudden when I was handed that bowl... I was a little bit afraid.  Glaze for bowls is not like acrylic paint. It's not forgiving.  You have to paint light to dark because you can't cover a dark color once it's down.  The colors art not WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get). They go on very dull. I was thinking.... oh my, I've made a really ugly bowl.  

Deborah, the pottery lady, told me it would glaze to the beautiful colors I'd chosen but it was hard to imagine with those pale flat colors looking at me.  She had to work hard to keep from laughing at me. I was a mess worrying about messing up the bowl.  I felt like I had gone back to a time in the past where I was worried about screwing up everything. I was not the fearless collage artist. I was not that women saying... Oh just slap some paint on the page... all my old insecurities stopped by for a visit. It was humbling and eye opening.

It took me a couple of minutes to get my equilibrium back. I had to talk to myself and remind myself that it was just a bowl.  I was nervous because I was out of my comfort zone. It was different kind of paint and had to be used in a different way.  That was all.  In the end, I calmed down and had a fine time painting my bowl.  I liked it so much that I paid the price of the lunch and kept my bowl.  I made the one on the left above. I am very happy with it.

One of the things that drew me to the first bowl was that it said, "GOOD" on the inside of the bowl.  I knew before I ever entered the shop that my bowl would say, "YUM". Every time I eat cereal and see that word I smile.

Do you ever step out of your comfort zone and try something new? I don't very often. I'm glad I did. It was fun and gave me a good look at myself.


  1. Oh Boo, your bowl dried beautifully!! Bravo you! And what a wonderful community project to be involved in. I'm not good at stepping outside my comfort zone but am waaay better now than I used to be. After all, I have Wee Man to keep me going forward. ((hugs))

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