George School students and faculty members created, glazed, and donated approximately eighty bowls this year as participants in the Empty Bowls Project, an international grassroots effort to fight hunger. The bowls were sold by a cadre of students for $5 and $10 during Conference Day on February 4, 2011. The $370 proceeds were split between the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK) and the Penndel Food Pantry, local nonprofits with which George School community members have long been involved.
The Empty Bowls Project was created to bring craftspeople, educators, and others together to raise money for organizations working to end hunger and food insecurity.
“The empty bowls project was a fun and simple way for the George School community to give back,” said Autumn Atkinson ’13, who both threw and glazed bowls for the project. “Hearing that others like and want your pieces is very encouraging, but the best part is that the proceeds go to a great cause.”
Ceramics teacher Judy Bartella, who organized George School’s first-time participation in the Empty Bowls project, sees it as the beginning of an ongoing effort. “We will plan another sale in May,” she said, “so we'll keep on making bowls,” not only in ceramics classes, but also in Clay Club, which is open to all. Judy was particularly grateful for the help of her fellow ceramics teacher, Amedeo Salamoni, who made and contributed several dozen bowls to the project.
The George School bowls sale was a variation on the typical Empty Bowls model, which invites donors to attend a simple soup meal and then to take their empty handcrafted bowls home as a reminder of all the empty bowls in the world.
Judy feels that the simple supper idea is a good one, something that George School could undertake in the future if the timing is right. She added, “Best of all, we are helping neighbors in need.”