The wheel spins as hands gently coax the ball of wet clay into a discernible shape.
It takes a bit of patience, especially if you are a novice at throwing clay on a pottery wheel, but the results can be rather delicious.
On St. Patrick’s Day Sunday, patrons can select and purchase one or more thrown and/or hand-built bowls, created by artists and non-artists alike, at the Vernon Community Arts Centre’s fourth annual Empty Bowl fundraiser.
Those who purchase a bowl will also get to enjoy a hearty bowl of homemade Irish stew and some live entertainment.
A few artists and local celebrities have thrown a few bowls into the mix, including well-known local potters Bob Kingsmill, Buck Striegel and Gale Woodhouse, glass artist Patricia Doyle and some of the staff at Sun FM, said Empty Bowl coordinator Jenny Diller, pottery instructor at the VCAC.
“Members of the centre have volunteered their time to make and glaze the bowls. The bowls have been made using recycled clay, which we also use for our children’s and Joining Hands programs,” she said.
One of the VCAC’s major fundraisers of the year, besides its Artsolutely Christmas sale, the Empty Bowl event is a reminder that the arts centre exists to service the community in all aspects of the arts.
“A lot of people still don’t know we’re here. We are not just teaching about clay, we offer all kinds of other classes,” said Diller, adding empty bowl fundraisers are common amongst arts groups around the world.
“When we thought about holding one here, we thought St. Patrick’s Day would be the best time. It’s been held on that day since, whether during the week or on a weekend, and this year it’s on a Sunday… If it brings in new people, that’s great.”
The bowls are now on display at the VCAC, however, there are no pre-sales.
“Patrons will have to map their way to their favourite bowl as soon as the doors open on Sunday at noon,” said Diller. “We get quite the line up in the morning. Some people come in and purchase three-to-four bowls. We have lots of volunteers inside to help them. The stew, which is excellent, is also made by volunteers.”
The Empty Bowl fundraiser runs at the VCAC, located at the east entrance to Polson Park, next to the Okanagan Science Centre, Sunday from noon to 2 p.m. Bowls are $20 each, which includes the stew (vegetarian option available), beverages and entertainment.
For more information, visit the VCAC website at www.vernonarts.ca.