An Empty Bowl Story From a New Perspective

During my first visit to Sandy Spring Friends School I heard about Empty Bowl when our tour stopped in the Art Barn, a magical and welcoming place that I found myself immediately drawn to. As Tim Croft explained how Empty Bowl integrated the community’s creativity in fabricating the bowls and the community’s generosity in a fundraising dinner, I knew that SSFS was a special place. Fast forward almost two years and I’m looking forward to attending my first Empty Bowl dinner.

The effort involved in organizing the production of bowls and organizing volunteers to help with the mountain of tasks is so tremendous that I sometimes wonder if the committee ever sleeps. After spending some Saturdays in the Art Barn preparing for Empty Bowl; I began to understand why we do it – I loved every minute of working on this project. When I stepped into the Art Barn I never knew who I would be working with: current students and parents, alumni students and family and faculty and staff along with their families.

My favorite part of Empty Bowl (so far!) has been helping my little Friends (PK3) create and glaze bowls. It isn’t always easy to find ways to incorporate our youngest Friends in the campus activities of a PK – 12 school; however, Empty Bowl gave us a chance to contribute in a meaningful way. It was amazing to watch my class discover they could successfully shape clay into a bowl and use stamps to create beautiful designs. The magic continued a few weeks later when we glazed the fired bowls. One little friend offered to help with the wiping process, a messy and potentially tedious task. This child worked next to me for almost an hour, having fun and taking great pride in her finished work. When the first posters advertising Empty Bowl appeared on the door of Westview, she was certain that she spotted one of “her” bowls in the photo. To me, this project provided a tangible opportunity to introduce the concept of helping others while having fun and building community, with friends large and small.

I hope to see you at the Empty Bowl dinner on Sunday, February 11. Maybe you will even select a bowl created by our youngest Friends!

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