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The Arts

‘Bowlerama’ at Brattleboro Clayworks creates bowls for annual Empty Bowls dinner

BRATTLEBORO—Brattleboro Clayworks is preparing for the annual Empty Bowls Dinner with a Bowlerama event on Saturday, June 23.

Bowlerama offers an opportunity for those who have little or no experience working with clay to create a bowl to donate to the Empty Bowls Dinner, held each Indigenous People’s Day weekend in October at Landmark College as a fundraiser for the Food Shelf at Groundworks Collaborative.

Bonnie Stearns, Alan Steinberg, and Annie Lauterbach will be available to help bowl-makers get started, provide basic instruction, and troubleshoot if assistance is needed. Dig your hands into the clay to pinch, make coils, or roll out slabs into bowls, and decorate your creations with stamps and other textured objects.

Because of their expressive uniqueness, hand-built bowls are often the first to be chosen at the Empty Bowls Dinner.

Space is limited, so Clayworks asks interested parties to sign up in advance for the morning or afternoon sessions: 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m. Call 802-254-9174 to reserve a place for your party. Children age 10 and older are welcome, accompanied by an adult. Clayworks is donating instruction, clay, glaze, and firing costs. There is no charge to participate, but financial donations are welcome.

The Empty Bowls dinner is a collaborative event. Local potters contribute bowls, local eateries donate home-cooked soups, and musicians share their talents. For the cost of a ticket, participants will enjoy live music and a delicious meal in a handcrafted bowl they take home afterward.

The Empty Bowls Dinner will take place on Saturday, Oct. 6. All proceeds support the Food Shelf at Groundworks Drop-In Center, which serves about 1,000 individuals (250 households) each month.

Groundworks Collaborative is the agency created by the merger of the Brattleboro Area Drop-In Center and Morningside Shelter in June 2015.

The organization continues to operate the region’s most-used food shelf, a 30-bed shelter for families and individuals, and the Seasonal Overflow Shelter and Day Shelter, and provides housing case management and a representative payee service. For more information, visit

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Originally published in The Commons issue #463 (Wednesday, June 13, 2018). This story appeared on page B3.

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