* Thomas Worthington's handmade Empty Bowls will be filled
with soup and sold for charity Feb. 18.
By PAMELA WILLIS
Published: Wednesday, February 2,
2011 11:00 AM EST
Elbow-deep in muddy clay at potter's wheels, Thomas
Worthington High School ceramics students created 100
colorful ceramic bowls for the annual Empty Bowl Dinner.
This year's dinner will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 18
in the cafeteria at Thomas Worthington High School, 300 W.
Those who attend will receive a handmade bowl or mug and a
simple soup supper for a $10 donation to Children's Hunger
Soups, including vegetarian options, will be prepared by the
school's Food and Fitness classes.
The dinner is timed to coordinate with the musical
production of My Fair Lady, to be performed at 8 p.m. in the
Teacher Alan Spencer said students and ceramics teachers
created 100 bowls and 24 mugs for the dinner.
"No reservations need to be made for dinner," Spencer said.
"People are welcome to pay at the door for the event. We
will serve soup and sell bowls as long as the supplies
Senior Caitie Sheban has been making bowls on the potter's
wheel for the past four years in ceramic classes at Thomas.
She said the process of making a bowl begins with centering
a wedge of clay on the wheel.
"We have a machine that stirs the clay and wedges it, then
we take a chunk and center the clay on the wheel," she said.
"You have to really use your body weight and keep your hands
steady. Once you get past that, you push a hole down the
middle of the clay and pinch out the sides."
Sheban said she was fascinated by the potter's wheel early
on and got better and better at creating bowls.
"Some students don't like it and there are other ways to
make bowls, with molds and coils, but I really like the
wheel," she said.
After the bowl is created on the wheel, it has to dry, then
is fired in a kiln.
"After the first firing, you can glaze the bowl however you
want; then it is fired again," Sheban said. "It's a fun
process, because once you know how, it only takes about 10
minutes to throw one on the wheel."
Sheban said she has been recruiting people to make more
bowls for the event this year.
"It's a fun evening," she said. "It's cool to see how all
the bowls turn out and it is a social dinner, where everyone
comes in and you see friends and parents. It's a lot of fun
for a good cause."
Sheban plans to major in engineering when she goes to
college this fall, but hopes to continue creating ceramic
"It won't be my major, but I'd love to get a pass to go into
the college art studio," she said.
Her top college choices so far are University of Colorado at
Boulder and University of Vermont.
Spencer said the dinner usually includes bread donated by
Panera, brownies for dessert and a beverage.
The event will include a silent auction of more bowls and
vases made by students and art teachers, he said.
Last year's dinner raised $1,500 for Children's Hunger
This is Spencer's eighth year heading the project.
"I lend my time because I believe it is important to give
back to the community and to share my skills of creating
artwork to help benefit others," he said. "The students can
also be proud that they have learned a new skill, such as
working on the potter's wheel, to create an item with their
own hands that can be sold to help fight hunger in our
"It is enjoyable to get kids to recognize that they can
utilize the skills they learn in class to help benefit
someone else in need," he said.
Seniors Sheban, Erin Tope, Katie Chu and Samantha Carpenter
all helped with the event this year, he said. All have taken
four semesters of ceramics at Thomas.
Those who would like to purchase a bowl but cannot attend
the supper event may call Spencer in the art department at
614-883-2250, ext. 4457.