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Ceramists work to create bowls to fight hunger (Video)

Feb. 6, 2013 at 11 p.m.
Updated Feb. 6, 2013 at 8:07 p.m.

Fern Olson begins work on a bowl at Victoria College. Olson is from Rockport but came to Victoria to make collections of heart-shaped bowls for the fundraiser.

Tan, gooey clay seeps between Megan Perez's fingers as her hands slowly glide over an oblong-shaped sediment.

The 26-year-old Victoria resident's hands move with ease, eventually shaping a bowl - just like the many bowls she's created before for the Crossroads' biggest effort in fighting hunger - the Victoria Empty Bowls project.

The Feb. 10 event is in its ninth year and involves purchasing each bowl at $15, which will include soup, bread and a drink provided by area restaurants.

Perez is like other student and community ceramists who work throughout the year to create the more than 500 bowls for the event, said Debra Chronister, who is co-chairwoman of the event with Sherri Pall.

"It's heartwarming," Chronister said about all the hard work leading up to the event. "It's a great outlet because we can use our craft and our skill to do something great for the community."

Through the students in the pottery classes and through bowl-a-thons, about 500 bowls are created.

But this year, ceramists are going above and beyond, Chronister said. The goal is to hit 600 bowls because every year they sell out, she said.

In the event's eight years, they have raised about $80,000 for local organizations combating hunger. Those proceeds go to organizations such as the Food Bank of the Golden Crescent, Christ's Kitchen, Victoria Christian Assistance Ministry, Victoria County Senior Citizen Center and the Victoria College Visual Arts Scholarship.

Fern Olsen, of Rockport, has worked with ceramics for about 10 years.

This is her first year learning about Empty Bowls, and she was excited to come to Victoria several times in the past year to work on some pieces.

She said she loves what the event is all about and enjoys that she can use her talent to help others.

"Everybody puts their own self into what they create," she said. "It will be exciting how successful we are."

Chronister enjoys the fact that every piece is unique and has its own story.

For her and the other ceramists, it is just nice to have the ability to use art to provide for a community.

"It's like you're connecting with the person who made that bowl," she said. "Everyone is going to have a special connection with a particular bowl."



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