Jo Pate and Becky Blaylock hand make clay bowls that will go towards a greater cause — feeding the hungry in Africa using the profits from bowls made in Selma. -- Sarah Cook
Jo Pate and Becky Blaylock hand make clay bowls that will go towards a greater cause — feeding the hungry in Africa using the profits from bowls made in Selma. -- Sarah Cook

Empty Bowls created for full meals

Published 4:34pm Saturday, April 13, 2013

As a result of the Selma Art Guild’s “Seize the Clay” classes, 300 children in a primary school in Meto, Kenya will receive a nutritious meal. 

The classes, taught by art guild members, were part of a larger fundraiser called Empty Bowls. Becky Blaylock, guild member, said the Empty Bowls program offered a great opportunity to pair with Selma’s Integrity Worldwide and provide children in Kenya with hardy meals.

“The Seize the Clay workshops produced a beautiful assortment of bowls and the participants donated one bowl each for the cause,” Blaylock said.

All proceeds from the handmade bowls, which cost $25, went directly to Integrity Worldwide to support their mission in Kenya. So far, $275 has been raised for the cause.

Blaylock said residents of all ages participated in the workshop, each bringing their own creative flare to the project.

“I have received blessing after blessing because of this adventure,” Blaylock said. “Some of the participants were old friends and it was wonderful to get reacquainted with them, some were current friends, while others were new acquaintances who quickly became good friends.”

And the art guild’s role in Integrity Worldwide’s mission hasn’t ended with the Seize the Clay workshops. Friday, guild member Jo Pate partnered with Blaylock to create clay angels, which will then be fused with the handcrafted bowls.

Blaylock said the angels came out of a vision to add something special to the Empty Bowls project.

“Jo is the angel expert in Selma and agreed to teach me how to make them,” Blaylock said. “I brought some leather hard bowls to experiment with methods of adding angels to the bowls.”

Pate and Blaylock used different materials such as lace and cardboard to imprint the clay, creating different textures.

Pate explained that anyone — no matter how advanced their artistic ability — can come to the art guild and make a clay angel to go along with the empty bowls.

“They’re so easy and fun to make,” Pate said while making a clay angel of her own. “Anyone can do it and they’ll look great with the empty bowls.”

Blaylock said she plans to continue making bowls for the project, as it benefits a worthy cause.

“My skill as a bowl making potter has exploded,” she said. “After making about 80 of the empty bowls, I can make a bowl on the wheel in about five minutes from start to finish.”

The empty bowls are on sale at the Selma Art Guild, located at 508 Selma Ave. The guild is open Friday through Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.

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