Empty Bowls – Scranton, PA

This is something that I had to share with all of you….

A couple of days ago I got an email newsletter from my friend, Jordan Taylor. He shared news of a new show of sculptural work which I am excited about. He also announced of a local Empty Bowls project that is being held in Scranton, PA on May 4. This particular Empty Bowls fundraiser is one that Jordan is donating 1000 bowls to. I’m blown away yet not surprised by his incredible generosity.

If you happen to live in north east Pennsylvania, here is a bit of information about the event (from Jordan’s newsletter):


Meals on Wheels will host an “Empty Bowls” dinner May 4, 2008 1-3pm at Marywood University, Nazareth Hall, Multi Purpose Room (formerly known as the Crystal Room).

A $10 donation will purchase a bowl of soup, and you get to keep the bowl. The bowls, consistent with Taylor’s work to date, are wood fired, made largely from materials gathered and processed locally, and are microwave-dishwasher-oven safe, lead free, and non toxic. Each bowl is individually decorated by a different Scranton area art student.

Contact MOW Scranton director Linda Steir 570-346-2421 mow110@hotmail.com for inquiries.

Empty Bowls is an international movement that began in the early 1990’s and has since raised millions of dollars in donations to help hungry people. It was founded by several school teachers in Michigan whose students asked for help in raising money to help the local hungry. As a group they decided on a fundraiser dinner of simple soup and bread, served on dishes made by the students in their art class. www.emptybowls.net

Taylor had participated in several “Empty Bowls” events by donating and by dining before becoming interested in staging an event in Scranton. In 2006 Taylor was a visiting artist at a “Craft and Social Conscience” session, run by one of the founders of the Empty Bowls Movement, at the Penland School of Crafts, NC. Taylor’s experience at that session inspired him to reach out to the MOW chapter in Scranton.

I’m truly inspired. But I have to remind myself that it’s important to act on the inspiration and put it into action. This week I plan on calling my friend, Joanna Kramer, who organizes Chicago’s Empty Bowl project to see how I can be more involved this year. Our event isn’t until December, but it seems like the perfect time to start making bowls!

I’m curious to hear about other Empty Bowls fundraisers out there. Have you organized or participated in one? What was your experience? I love that Jordan made the bowls but students decorated the pieces. Have you done an interesting twist on Empty Bowls? Are you in Chicago and interested in joining us?
Just leave me a comment below!

5 thoughts on “Empty Bowls – Scranton, PA

  1. That is really amazing and such a cool photograph of him at work. I am the studio assistant for the ceramics class in my local art center in Dallas, TX. This year, the teacher, Earline Green and I got the idea to get the art center involved with the local empty bowls project. The art center will be one of the drop off points for donated bowls. In addition, Earline and I are throwing bowls that will be decorated during workshops held at the art center. Our empty bowls event each year is in February, so we are just getting started. This is a wonderful inspiration for our project! Thanks for sharing. I hope yours goes well in Chicago.

  2. Hey Emily – After the last Empty Bowls, a few of us were talking about doing collaborative bowls. I’m floored by the 1,000 bowl donation. Wow. Kiln-o-bowls, anybody?

  3. I picked up your post card at NCECA in Pittsburgh. Your blog is terrific.

    I teach pottery just outside Scranton. Unfortunately, artist communication is sparse here, and I knew nothing about Jordan’s project until now. I will try to get the word out and hope to get to Marywood U. for the fundraiser.

  4. This past spring semester, the college pottery 2 class helped make bowls for our Empty Bowls which was in April of 2011. It was amazing to be involved and watch people pick up my bowls and be excited about them. I have fallen in love with pottery and hope to go into getting my own studio going after college sometime. Empty Bowls is a great way for potters to give back and also get the community involved. I loved it and will be making bowls for it this coming one also!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *