Hub City Empty Bowls was on Studio 62 yesterday with Jamarcus Gaston talking up the big day: Soup Day. Click here to watch the segment.
Hub City Empty Bowls is about the most grassroots effort you’ll ever experience. Professional potters volunteer their time to instruct the public. Citizens volunteer their time and creativity to make the bowls. Community organizations volunteer their resources to publicize what we do. … Spartanburg gives a lot to fuel what we do so that we can give back to Spartanburg. It’s a beautiful synergy.
However, there are some that give a little bit more: our sponsors. Their generous donations of money, time, energy, and support do NOT go unnoticed. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Chapman Cultural Center
Spartanburg Art Museum
West Main Artists Co-Op
Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System
Carolina Clay Artists
Our “Bowl of the Day” photos on Facebook have been a big hit. Have you “Liked” us and checked them out yet? It gives you a pretty great idea of the quality of bowls we’ll have for Soup Day 2014! Below is one bowl that is just. Too. Cute.
Mark Miller, owner of Wheresville Records, continues to support Hub City Empty Bowls year after year by orchestrating the musical entertainment. Selecting bowls, sipping soup, and mingling with others just wouldn’t be the same without the ambiance of local music. While you’re filling your stomach with wonderful soups, the following music will be filling your ears:
11 a.m. – outdoor community drum circle, lead by Melisa Emkjer
11 – 12 p.m. – Anna V
12 – 1 p.m. – Fayssoux
1 – 2 p.m. – indoor community drum circle, lead by Melisa Emkjer
2 – 3 p.m. – Not Even Brothers
3 – 4 p.m. – Grey Ally
4 – 5 p.m. – Josie Pettit Band
5 – 6 p.m. – Brianna Hamilton Band
The thrill of the hunt–finding the perfect bowl, whether it’s the one you made or not–is a sensation that’s second to none on Soup Day. However, eating the absolutely amazing soups from local restaurants is an easy second. This year, two dozen restaurants are donating soup (but not their recipes, you’ll have to ask for that yourself!), bread, tea, coffee, and the necessary extras like cups, spoons, bowls, etc.
Below is the list of this year’s contributors. Make sure you pass along your utmost thanks to these restaurants–between sips, of course. We couldn’t have such a successful Soup Day without them!
Chef Bill McClellan Catering Services
Fatz (on Pottery Road)
Monsoon Noddle House
NuWay Restaurant and Lounge
Sparks Fire Inspired Grille at Marriott
Wild Ace Pizza and Pub
Donating beverages, bread, and other:
Little River Roasting Company
Long Horn Steakhouse
Bowls are coming out of the kiln left and right to be finished up and boxed away for Soup Day. And this year’s crop of bowls is more beautiful than ever! That’s why we’ll be posting a “Bowl of the Day” on our Facebook page for two weeks leading up to the event. Be sure to “Like” us while you’re there and share our page with your friends.
The Hub City Empty Bowls staff sees new faces at every bowl-making session. Regulars bring co-workers and friends, some people with an itch to create read about us in the Spartanburg Herald-Journal, and others show up simply based on a Facebook status or poster downtown. At any rate, there are always eager first-timers.
But there are also always the every-timers. And where would Empty Bowls be without them? Familiar face Cody H. Owens seems to have his hands in the clay every session, and he’s written a blog post about his 2014 experience.
Last year, I was able to attend about 3 of the Empty Bowls sessions. My introduction to the project occurred shortly after I began my employment at Chapman Cultural Center in mid-2013, and I was hooked early on. I consider myself an artsy type, so it was right up my alley. I even had a compelling interest in sculpting as an elementary and middle school student. However, that interest took the path of the typical pre-teen hobby, and I replaced it with other things. Now, Hub City Empty Bowls has reinvigorated my creative energy. That’s why I didn’t miss a single bowl-making session this year. Not. A single. One.
My partner Ada and I could probably even volunteer to facilitate the sessions we’ve been so many times. We know not to use too much water, not to make patterns too deep, how to score the clay when necessary, and how to smooth the edges with the sheet of plastic. Well, maybe we’re getting ahead of ourselves, but we definitely agree that our artistic skills are better now than before Empty Bowls. We’re always learning. And after a long day, whether we’re professional status or not, molding clay is just the therapy we need.
Instruction and materials are provided for free at the sessions. That fact alone makes the session worth the while. Clay can cost around a dollar per pound, and the Empty Bowls instructors are professionals. Really, where else can you get professional instruction with free materials? Oh, or that feel-good sensation of knowing it’s done with a philanthropic spirit?
Don’t get me wrong, bowl-making isn’t always a happy-go-lucky process. There has been a session or two where I’ve walked away frustrated because I couldn’t bring my vision to fruition. It’s the perfectionist in me. But somehow, it’s always okay. I connected with my inner creator and gave back to my community. Working with the clay is so therapeutic, no matter how frustrated I get with my amateur skill, I always leave my negative energy in the bowl. It’s a win-win.
Now that all 5 sessions of 2014 are over, we wait. Soup Day is less than a month away, and–honestly–it’s one of my favorite events Spartanburg has to offer. The happiness in the room is so thick, you can cut it with a knife (or fishing line for a more even cut, another trick we Empty Bowls regulars have picked up on). The anticipation of Soup Day almost makes me forget that I won’t be able to make another bowl until summer of next year.
~ Cody H. Owens
Time to get your hands messy again… we’re back at Chapman Cultural Center this Saturday, Aug. 16 in Spartanburg Art Museum’s Art School studios. Bring your friends. Bring your family. Bring your co-workers. Heck, invited complete strangers to make a bowl! You can’t go wrong with Empty Bowls.
This will be the 4th of 5 bowl-making sessions, so Saturday will be one of the last opportunities to get creative. Be sure to share pictures of your bowls with the HCEB Facebook page, too.