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Empty Bowls

CNN recently posted this feature about Empty Bowls, a project begun by our friends Lisa Blackburn and John Hartom. It’s a terrific concept – community meals, eaten from handmade ceramics donated by local artists, raise money to help feed the hungry. (You can see a couple of local ceramic artists, including our neighbor Cynthia Bringle, working in the video.)

You can read the companion article, which includes profiles of several other innovative and inspiring approaches to ending world hunger, here:

“Empty Bowls is an international grassroots effort to fight hunger and was created by The Imagine Render Group. The basic premise is simple: Potters and other craftspeople, educators and others work with the community to create handcrafted bowls. Guests are invited to a simple meal of soup and bread. In exchange for a cash donation, guests are asked to keep a bowl as a reminder of all the empty bowls in the world. The money raised is donated to an organization working to end hunger and food insecurity.”

Empty Bowls events now regularly take place all over the country and around the world, including a dinner recently hosted here at Penland by Suze Lindsay & Kent McLaughlin‘s fall concentration clay class. Here’s a picture of the bowls produced for the event (photo by Fletcher Larkin):

We’re proud to have such active, generous, compassionate friends. You make us believe, more than ever, that art and craft can make a difference. Keep up the good work!

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Thank you for choosing Penland

The board at breakfast on the last day of Fall Concentration.

Indeed. To everyone who took a class this year, or taught one, or came for a visit, or chose to stay for a lifetime; to everyone who bought a cup of coffee, a work of art, or a ticket to the auction; to everyone who gave a dollar, or an hour, or a ride, or an encouraging word to keep it all going: Thank you for choosing Penland. It’s a pretty amazing place. But without you, it would just be some empty buildings on a hill. Thanks.

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Riding the dolphin

steel dolphin at Penland

You may recall the steel dolphin being made in Vivian Beer’s fall iron class (see October 20, below). Well it was finished a few days ago, fitted with a saddle, mounted in a large steel ring, and hung from the bridge crane (which moves back and forth through the studio). The iron class hosted a party on Saturday night that included dolphin rides. Here’s Penland’s communications manager Robin Dreyer testing it out. (Photo by Vivian Beer).

steel dolphin at Penland

Here is the beautiful thing by itself.

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Rachel explains herself

Are you looking for a few minutes of inspiration and a hit of the Penland spirit? Take a look at this little movie that core fellow Rachel Garceau made for core slides night this week. She prefaced it by saying that she was attempting to answer two questions: why do I make things and what does success look like?