Artists get busy preparing for Empty Bowls

Ocean Park kindergarteners Tucker Cole, Lucas Hart and Jack Hellman work on bowls for an upcoming art and fund-raising event.

PENINSULA — Both young and old pitched in last week to create bowls for the Long Beach Empty Bowls project. Peninsula Clay Artist member Sue Raymond held four sessions at Ocean Park Elementary, teaching students how to make clay bowls. 

Kindergartners Tucker Cole, Lucas Hart and Jack Hellman painted areas of their bowls that had been patterned with stamps. Clay artist Karen Brownlee (chairperson for the event) helped bowl-makers at Long Beach Elementary. Last year, students made 400 bowls for this project, the benefits of which go to feeding the hungry on the Peninsula.

This year, Brownlee put out a call for community members to also get involved. After Bill Vokolek of the Bainbridge area saw this request in the Observer, he offered his time and expertise to help increase the number of bowls. Along with members of Peninsula Clay Artists who met at Brownlee’s studio Sunday, he sat down at a potter’s wheel and threw several bowls of different styles. Vokolek, who has a vacation cabin in Klipsan, has taught pottery at Olympic College in Bremerton for 40 years.

This year’s Long Beach Empty Bowls event will be held March 12 from noon to 2 p.m. at the Peninsula Church Center in Seaview. Bowls will be sold for $10 each and basically, the homemade soup and bread are free. This event will raise money for FISH, His Supper Table and Community Kitchen. These organizations are set up to provide food and assistance for people in need in our community. Last year’s event raised $4,000.

Area artists are donating special bowls to be either raffled off at the event or sold at silent auction. So far, Michele Beaulieu and Eric Weigardt have agreed to paint one bowl each. Other artists will also be contributing their work.

Community members are still being sought to make even more bowls for this event. Church groups and clubs are encouraged to join in. Brownlee will assist them in working with the clay. She can be reached at 642-4780 or via  e-mail at

Empty Bowls is an international effort to fight hunger. Check out the website at  Details on the Peninsula’s event are listed under “calendar” for March 12. Click on “Seaview, WA” for details.

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