WMAZ Spotlight: Empty Bowls Community Event

Sisters Karen, left, and Audrey Perkins work on their bowls during the Empty Bowls Make-a-Thon. Karen is a sophomore and Audrey a senior at Snowflake High School. Credit: Everett Robinson

Sisters Karen, left, and Audrey Perkins work on their bowls during the Empty Bowls Make-a-Thon. Karen is a sophomore and Audrey a senior at Snowflake High School.
Credit: Everett Robinson

 

“I love working with clay,” said Magda Gluszek, professor in fine arts at the Northland Pioneer College in Show Low. “I love having my hands in the material”

Gluszek has been teaching ceramics, and for the last five years, serving as the school’s gallery director.

“I liked the size of the college and program,” Gluszek said. “I was also really excited to manage the gallery as part of my assignment because it’s an opportunity to interact with the community.”

Besides connecting with the community through the gallery, Gluszek decided to host an Empty Bowls event for the first time at the college.

Daniel Perkins, a first-year Northland Pioneer College student, adds a base to his bowl. Credit: Everett Robinson

Daniel Perkins, a first-year Northland Pioneer College student, adds a base to his bowl.
Credit: Everett Robinson

Empty Bowls is an international grassroots movement that uses ceramic arts to fight hunger.

Gluszek invited kids and adults to come to the ceramics studio to create the hand-crafted bowls over two days in September.

“It was really fun to see the community coming together because everyone approached [making their bowl] in a different way,” Gluszek said. “People are really creative when given the chance to make something with their hands.”

Since the bowls were made, Gluszek and her students have been working hard to finish them.

Joan Patrick and Perry Wray at work on the potter's wheel creating bowls for the Empty Bowls project.

Joan Patrick and Perry Wray at work on the potter’s wheel creating bowls for the Empty Bowls project. Credit Everett Robinson

“We’ve been working in the ceramics studio to fire them and also apply a glaze,” Gluszek said.  “Ceramic items have to get fired twice, and the first time they have to dry out completely; all the moisture within the clay has to evaporate.”

“Those bowls then get loaded into one of our ceramic kilns and they go up to around 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit,” Gluszek continued. “Once the bowls come out, they have chemically changed and are hard and no longer as fragile as they were when they went in, allowing us to apply the glaze.”

NPC Nursing and Allied Health Division Administrative Assistant Catherine Reed creates a starry bowl. Credit: Everett Robinson

NPC Nursing and Allied Health Division Administrative Assistant Catherine Reed creates a starry bowl.
Credit: Everett Robinson

The bowls need to be ready for a Nov. 20 event on the White Mountain campus.

“The event will start at 11 a.m. and for a $10 donation people will get to pick a bowl out of those that are laid out and be served a serving of soup and bread,” Gluszek said.

PersNIKKIty’s Café & Bakery is providing the soup and Baked in Pinetop is supplying the bread.

“The empty bowl is a symbolic item that is meant to remind us that there are empty bowls in the world and in the community in which we all live,” Gluszek said.

Empty Bowls made by the community, in the process of drying before getting fired Credit: Magda Gluszek

Empty Bowls made by the community, in the process of drying before getting fired
Credit: Magda Gluszek

Gluszek said there will be more than 200 bowls on display.

“I was heading into the event not knowing exactly how it was going to go down and I was so surprised and pleased that it really brought out the best in people,” Gluszek said.

This special event will benefit The Love Kitchen.

“It’s also going to be a good opportunity to meet people, have a meal and go home with a hand-made object,” Gluszek said.

If interested in finding out more about the Empty Bowls event on Nov. 20, email Gluszek at magda.gluszek@npc.edu.

Cover Photo Credit: Magda Gluszek

Glaze kiln with fired empty bowls. Credit: Magda Gluszek

Glaze kiln with fired empty bowls.
Credit: Magda Gluszek

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