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December 2, 2012

Bowl making for the hungry to benefit Catholic Charities Food Bank

TERRE HAUTE — The bowl business was booming Saturday afternoon as volunteers prepared art for the hungry.

The Indiana State University Art Annex was full of busy hands, as more than 20 participants got their fingers dirty on behalf of the third annual Soup Bowl Benefit for the Terre Haute Catholic Charities Food Bank.

Kathy Gotshall, director of the graduate art therapy program at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and a member of the Soup Bowl Committee, said the group hopes to have 500 bowls made for the fundraiser on Feb. 2 at the Maryland Community Church. In the coming months, volunteers will lend their talents to the process at community events.

“We had 150 that were made at the Torner Center by their ceramics students,” she said amid the room full of heat and clay. Those bowls were in the glazing process while other volunteers kept the pottery wheels spinning throughout the afternoon. “We have college students here and adults from throughout the community.”

The Soup Bowl provides handmade bowls to patrons from which they can eat as much soup as they’d like Feb. 2. Proceeds from the sale of bowls go to support Catholic Charities’ Food Bank and the 90 pantries and soup kitchens it in turn supports throughout a seven-county service area.

Last year’s event drew 300 donated bowls, but the group ran out early, Gotshall said. This year, 500 are to be available. In addition to Saturday’s event at ISU, volunteers will make bowls inside Old National Bank at Seventh Street and Wabash during the Miracle on 7th Street festivities Dec. 7, she said. More yet will be created the next afternoon inside Hulman Hall at The Woods. All art supplies are provided free to volunteers and no experience is required. Brickyard Ceramics and Clay City Pottery have donated all of the clay for the bowls.

Kim Enriquez, professor of ceramics at ISU, was helping people learn the process of working with clay Saturday. Some of that afternoon’s volunteers were students from her classes, but others included friends and their children. Experienced artists might be able to spin a lump of clay into a bowl in about five minutes, but for the novice it could take longer, she said.

“It all depends,” she explained, noting the materials used in the process are “stoneware” quality.

Once the clay shape is formed, it’s ready for heating inside a kiln. After it cools, it’s then glazed and returned to the oven where the glaze becomes glass, she said.  

On a nearby table, Tyler Crawford, 7, rolled out clay and sprayed it with water. Flattening it out, he was preparing to make another bowl.

“To help people who are homeless and need food,” he reasoned.

Brian Boyce can be reached at 812-231-4253 or

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    March 12, 2010