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We first learned about Empty Bowls in Houston from an artist in residence at the Houston Center of Contemporary Craft. Andy took a face casting workshop from Lisa Qualls in September of 2006. During the class she mentioned the Empty Bowls project and we became curious. Being that Empty Bowls is a grass roots effort to end hunger, the concept really appealed to us and Lisa referred us to Tom Perry as an organizer and a contact person for bowl donations.

Our first year to contribute bowls was 2007 and we have been doing it ever since. Seeing the amazing generosity of the artist community in Houston and the phenomenal response from the public, we decided to volunteer and began attending the Empty Bowls Committee meetings.

At first we just sat and listened and contributed to the conversation mostly with questions and not too many suggestions. It wasn’t long after that, we were listed as full-fledged Empty Bowls Committee members on the Houston Food Bank web page. We embraced the role of committee members whole heartedly and truly enjoy the folks who work so hard on this committee.

Having worked for our local government for over 30 years we are very familiar with committee work and how committees have a tendency to stall out. The Empty Bowls Committee is hugely different. It is by far the best run, best organized, committee we have ever been associated with. The Empty Bowls Committee members are dedicated, hardworking, reliable people who love the work and love the cause.

As potters, over the years we have contributed many, many bowls to this event and during our 9 years on the committee and we have had the privilege of creating a number of presentation bowls which have been given to our sponsors in appreciation of their contributions. Some of the sponsors we have created bowls for include: 3 presentation bowls for the Ceramic Store 2011, 2013 and 2015, one for the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft 2013, one for Whole Food Markets 2011, one for Waste Management 2014 and one for Katz Coffee 2015.

We feel very strongly about this cause and salute the Houston organizers of the Empty Bowls event. We truly appreciate the grass roots effort of all the guilds, our local artisans, the schools and all of the many, many volunteers. We also have a deep admiration for the folks at the Houston Food Bank; they are truly amazing and well deserving of the fruits of our committee’s good works. We are so fortunate to have become good, long lasting friends with some of the committee members and volunteers of Empty Bowls and also the Food Bank staff.

Five years ago, we retired from our day jobs and are now living in the beautiful Texas Hill Country, but part of our heart remains with Houston and this wonderful cause.  We will continue to support Empty Bowls Houston for as long as we are able; with our bowls, our labor and our love.

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