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Bowling for dinners: Pottery sale raises cash to fight hunger

Brooklyn Daily
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Put a little sugar in their bowls.

A group of local pottery makers will showcase and sell unique, handcrafted bowls at an anti-hunger charity sale on May 7. The annual Empty Bowls Bay Ridge sale, at the Fourth Avenue Presbyterian Church, is designed to provide Mother’s Day gifts and to raise awareness about food insecurity in the neighborhood, said one of the event’s organizers.

“It’s called Empty Bowls to symbolize the one bowl of food a day some live on,” said Ed Huml, a Bay Ridge potter.

The money raised goes to the Fourth Avenue church’s food pantry and to the lunch program at St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Church in Sunset Park. Many do not realize how many in the Ridge depend on these services, said another artist and event organizer.

“Bay Ridge is an affluent neighborho­od,” says co-organizer Danielle Bullock. “But some are living paycheck to paycheck.”

A dozen local volunteers contributed to the roughly 100 bowls for sale, although some were donated by pottery studios from around the city.

There is no theme restricting their creativity, so Bay Ridge artists took the opportunity to cut loose with their designs.

“Artists get to try out things you haven’t done before,” says Deirdre Laughton, an artist and Huml’s wife. “I as an artist go through that process and know it’s for a good cause.”

For this year’s sale, Laughton created one bowl featuring baby animals behind bars in order to represent mass incarceration. If that basin is well-received, she says she plans to continue the theme.

Another contributing pot artist says that she uses her Mexican heritage as an inspiration when it came to painting, or glazing, the bowls.

“I’ll be using Frida Kahlo’s image and art style, and a mixture of both,” said Maya Carino, who also made some bowls in the shapes of animals.

Empty Bowls Bay Ridge is a triple win — creating artistic opportunities, raising money for charity, and providing simple gift ideas each year. The contributors say they are delighted that their working can help those in need.

“I’m helping people get art into their homes,” said Carino. “And I’m helping the hungry.”

Empty Bowls Bay Ridge sale at Fourth Avenue Presbyterian Church [6753 Fourth Ave. at 68th Street in Bay Ridge]. May 7, noon–3 pm. Free.

Updated 5:52 pm, July 9, 2018
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