Twenty-nine children recently attended a pottery workshop at Moorestown Friends School (MFS) where, under the leadership of ceramic artist and MFS art teacher David Gamber, the participants learned basic pottery techniques and made bowls, which they painted and decorated.
To create unique designs, they used simple tools, such as printing blocks and their own fingers. The objective was to make one-of-a-kind bowls, each bowl bearing the initials of its maker.
The workshop is a special annual project of the Friends Enrichment Program (FEP) for underserved, financially disadvantaged Moorestown children. Among the participants were 22 children active in FEP and seven from Moorestown Friends School and Moorestown Friends Meeting.
No one was idle. All paid attention and worked diligently. Even the youngest among them put forth their best effort. With a helping hand from adults and teenage FEP counselors, they produced handsome bowls.
When they were done, they gazed at what they had been able to accomplish and their eyes filled with pride. They knew they had made utilitarian objects that were also works of art and salable items.
Along with bowls made by Gamber and other established ceramic artists, the bowls of the workshop participants will be displayed at the FEP Empty Bowl Dinner fundraiser, which will be will be held in the Moorestown Friends Meetinghouse on Sunday, April 7, from 4-7:30 p.m.
For a freewill donation, guests can buy a bowl and be treated to a soup and bread dinner, a Greater South Jersey Chorus performance, and a Moorestown Friends School robotics demonstration. The robotics demo will run from 4 to 5 p.m., followed by the first dinner sitting (from 5 to 6 p.m.), the chorus performance (from 6 to 6:30 p.m.), and the second dinner sitting (from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.).
Proceeds will be split evenly between the South Jersey Food Bank and the FEP scholarship fund. For children involved in the project, the pottery workshop and the Empty Bowl Dinner are opportunities to use their talents to raise money for two worthwhile causes. The children know the food bank always needs money to feed thousands of hungry or malnourished people in South Jersey. They also know FEP needs money to enroll financially qualifying children in summer camps, art classes, and sport clinics, and to provide them with private music lessons at no cost to their parents.
It’s true that FEP operates on a shoestring. After a while, however, the shoestring wears thin and is badly in need of financial reinforcement.
Courtesy of Monique Begg, chair of the Friends Enrichment Program