Our SERVINGbowls project is back from another year. Hear about the impact of the project on the student body and the new updates for this year’s sale!
SERVINGbowls – Using our God-given talents to give back to the community.
Isaiah 64:8 - "But now, Oh Lord, You are our Father. We are the clay, and You our potter; and all of us are the work of Your hand."
How it all began
Our school theme a few years ago was “United in Service … with Christ at the Center.” Earlier in the year, I was talking about our theme with some students and how we could use it in one of our art classes. After a lengthy discussion, it became clear that students didn’t really understand how their artistic talents could be used to give back to the community. And thus, a service project was born! We would use our talents to create art to sell to people. With those funds, we could support our community directly.
How it’s done
While in college, I participated in a similar project, and used it as a model for ours. Essentially, students and staff members spend the year working on the pottery wheel — they learn how to “center” clay, how to shape the inside of the bowl, and how to trim the bottom of the bowl. Once they learn how to do this, we fire and glaze them. The great thing about this project is that students and staff don’t have to be in an art class or have previous experience. It is open to anyone!
I think getting kids to see a ceramic object through completion is so rewarding, and truly encourages them to try an art class. Everyone has an ability to create, but whether or not they pursue art even for fun depends on how much support and encouragement they receive.
Learning how to make pottery is fun, but how do we make the connection to service? Students and staff members will donate time and resources in the form of ceramic bowls to the project. In a typical year, we would host a Chili-bowl fundraiser night, and patrons would receive a hand-made ceramic bowl as well as a homemade dinner of chili. Profits would then go to support the St. Mary’s Soup Kitchen, a local organization that works to feed the homeless. Through donations of time and talent, I hope to teach our student body how our talents can be used to help those who are less fortunate, and directly impact our community.
What’s new this year
So what’s new with this year’s project? We have had to make quite a few changes. First, we have not been able to meet as much. Luckily, there have been a few times where kids were able to take wheels home and make bowls there! This semester, the Concordia Educational Foundation (CEF) donated three more pottery wheels to the department, allowing us to spread kids out and teach more at once!
For the fundraiser, we will not be having an in-person dinner. But, we are looking at ways to plan a virtual event for this year, including auctioning off items for sale. Please stay tuned, and look to help the art department, as well as the community!