Six Bowls project unites a community with shared stories, recipes, art

One year ago, six ceramic and glass artists shaped six unique bowls which would pass through the hands of six poets and dozens of island residents, uniting the Whidbey community in gatherings and conversations about life, art, food and more.

These six bowls are available for purchase through an online auction. All proceeds go to benefit Good Cheer Food Bank.

One year ago, six ceramic and glass artists shaped six unique bowls which would pass through the hands of six poets and dozens of island residents, uniting the Whidbey community in gatherings and conversations about life, art, food and more.

The Six Bowls project, conceived by Penny Kaela Bauer in December 2013, has come full circle and culminated Sept. 2 with the beginning of an online auction, the proceeds of which will benefit the Good Cheer Food Bank.

“From the sacred spiral comes the life force; wild growth and slow evolution from the very core,” wrote Greenbank poet Victory Schouten of a rich brown and sand-colored bowl made by artist Jodi Cable. “In this moment, the clay grows ready for the potter, seeds soften and sprout, and the ready fruit falls into grateful hands to receive, and we remember who we are.”

Schouten, along with five other poets, were tasked with writing creative reflections upon one of the six bowls prior to its introduction to the community.

Afterwards, the bowls were available for lending to anyone who requested one.

According to Bauer, many recipients of the bowls felt strong connections with them, and several shared their stories on the project web site.

For example, Bauer said, Celia Black recently used four of the bowls as a part of the Second Annual Farm to Table dinner, a fundraising event to support local charities, at C’est La Vie Farmette in Langley. Faith Wilder used a bowl at a lunch for the Organic Farm Training School in Greenbank. Jeanne R. Strong used a bowl to host a going-away event at her home before she embarked on an overseas humanitarian journey to Bujumbura, Burundi. One couple used a bowl to celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary.

Like the variety of occasions at which the bowls were used, Bauer said she credits the numerous local businesses, friends and neighbors who helped her to bring the project to fruition.

“When I tell a story about this, what amazes me is that someone in the community can have a dream and we have such a wealth of talent of people that are willing to share their gifts [to help fulfill that dream],” she said.

“It was a great delight. …[We are] thrilled that it is coming to a conclusion. We’re hoping to raise a lot of money for Good Cheer,” said Bauer.

Bauer added that all of the auction bids are tax free and checks are made directly to Good Cheer.

The bowls are being auctioned online until Sept. 16. Each bowl is presented in a basket and is accompanied by a poem. Prior to Sept. 17, anyone may borrow a bowl at no cost for any special occasion. Those who win one of the bowls in the auction will be invited to a dinner at Gloria Sherman’s One Spirit Garden home.

To read more poems, stories and reflections, to loan a bowl or to bid, visit


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