In the morning, I hauled wooden shelves. Hefted boxes. Moved pallets from one spot to another. Helped set up an outdoor tent under the hot sun. Into the afternoon, I unpacked layers and layers of newspaper wrapped pots of all sizes and shapes. This weekend, I was just one of dozens of ceramic artists who donated their strength and studio work to the Oregon Food Bank.
For over 20 years, during the Portland Waterfront Blues Festival, the Oregon Potters Association’s Empty Bowls sets up a booth, sells pottery and donates the money to fill the needs of the hungry in our community. For years, I’ve bought other artists’ bowls at the booth and I still do. But now, I also give my own bowls and cups to fill up the booth, too. I also arranged cups, bowls, plates, vases, jars and sculptures. And wrapped up purchases and thanked everyone for helping the hungry.
Here’s the best part, many of the people who bought pottery have been coming to the booth and buying bowls for decades. One man told me he has a special set of shelves that show his collection of little tea cups he’s bought over the last 20 years. Others are amazed at all the beautiful pottery and amazing prices all for a wonderful cause.
I’ll admit, I don’t relish hoisting and hauling. It’s not the job itself but my worries about whether I’ll be up to the task. The answer to my worries: I am strong enough to lend a helping hand. Even when I was tired out, I felt good.
This week filled with outside work filled me up in more ways than one.