Butte volunteers make pottery for kids’ food program fundraiser

Posted at 7:44 AM, Feb 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-05 09:44:41-05

BUTTE – Volunteers molded, waxed and glazed hundreds of handmade pots for the Empty Bowls fundraiser coming up on April 3 in Butte.

The process of making these bowls starts out with with a large mound of clay, but after several steps, the clay will turn into pieces of art.

These handmade masterpieces will be sold for $20 at the event in April to raise money to support the Butte Emergency Food Bank’s Backpack Program that helps feed kids on the weekends.

“They are just kids and they should have an opportunity to succeed in school,” said event organizer and Butte High School art teacher Mike Kujawa. “If we have to feed them, we will do it.”

Jerry Johnson decided to get involved with the event because of his desire to give back to the kids. Now that he has started the hobby he doesn’t want to put it down.

“You know when you are a little kid, you play in the mud,” said Johnson. “You make mud pies now, you get to make things and everybody says, ‘Oh, that is pretty,’ instead of getting yelled at by your mom for playing in the mud.”

After the pots are constructed, the bottoms are waxed, glazed, and then put into the kiln for 13 hours.

“They always come out, the glaze just shines and glitters,” said event coordinator Gregg Edelen. “Depending on how the pot was made, it’s just blues, yellows, greens, oranges. It is just wonderful.”

The event will take place on April 3 at the Civic Center. More than 1,000 people are expected to grab a bowl and fill it with soups from all over the community.

Three hundred elementary school students use the backpack program, which takes about $70,000 to operate.

-Mederios Babb reporting for MTN News