HOUSTON An empty bowl is a bittersweet symbol of scarcity and hope, particularly as an emblem of the motivating force behind an important fundraiser for the Houston Food Bank.

The Ninth Annual Empty Bowls Houston event, set for 11 a.m. Saturday at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, is a grassroots initiative in which artists donate their talent for good. For $25, guests purchase one-of-a-kind, handmade bowls and enjoy a simple soup and bread lunch sponsored by Whole Foods Market.

Each pot has a little love thrown in, says Karen Fiscus, a ceramicist who s been contributing to Empty Bowls since the event s inception.

Fiscus works with stoneware clay and fire to cone her wheel-thrown creations. She then cuts and reforms the bowls, adds a simple dimple as the spout and glazes them with a simple formula.The end product is a colorful assemblage of one-of-a-kind ceramic bowls that make people smile. In them, Fiscus giving spirit is permanently imprinted in the nuances that emerge from this handmade craft.

Empty Bowls is a win-win-win situation for the artist, the person buying the bowls and the hungry, she says. As an artist, I win because I am able to help others in need and it warms my heart. The people buying the bowls get a wonderful handmade bowl, a cup of soup and I hope the warmth of helping others.

The people get help they need and the knowledge that there are others out there who care about them.


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