Desert Vista High School ceramic students burned the midnight oil to make as many clay bowls as they could to go towards supporting this year’s Tempe Empty Bowls event.

The bowl-making marathon took place after school on Wednesday, Jan. 29 from 3:30 to 9 p.m., where students took different shifts on reaching their goal of making 400 bowls.

Each bowl will be donated to the Tempe Empty Bowls and will be sold for $10 going towards assisting food banks, soup kitchens, and other organizations involved with fighting hunger.

On the morning of the Tempe Empty Bowls event, on Saturday, Feb. 22, the ceramic students will also participate in a 14-mile hike to the event with all the bowls they made.

Ceramic teacher Mark Honaker said they have been working in conjunction with the Tempe Empty Bowls for more than 14 years, and other schools around the Valley assist with the event.

“The premise of the event is coast to coast. Any group of potters can get together, and it usually benefits the homeless or those in need of food,” Honaker said. “Traditionally, we’re in the 400 to 500 bowls for the year-round. We’re probably one of the most prolific schools.”

Over the next three weeks leading up to the event, students will take time trimming the bowls, glazing the bowls and adding any finishing touches to them, Honaker said.

“All of them are first-year potters… it’s pretty amazing that they are capable of producing work after just five months of ceramics,” he said.

To liven up the six-hour work detail, students called the event “The Big Bowl Theory” (after the popular TV show, “The Big Bang Theory”).

Students sported their best nerd-based apparel and were playing reruns of the show while they created a ball of clay into a bowl.

Each student who participated in The Big Bowl Theory were kenned on making as many bowls as they possible could, and were laughing among one other as they continued with their artistry.

Senior Taylor Garner was excited about participating in The Big Bowl Theory and wanted to lend a helping hand to people in need.

“I absolutely love this class. It is my favorite class, so anytime I get to come in here and work with clay is fun,” she said.

Garner enjoys her ceramic class and creating the bowls because it’s a chance to show her creative side, she’s not held back by any set guidelines, and she’s able to have her imagination come alive.

Honaker feels that the Tempe Empty Bowls assists people who are in need and shows that artists can contribute towards a cause that is not focused solely on their work.

“They can take the skills that they have learned in this class and turn it into something really functional,” he said. “It has a real practical approach to it, but everyone feels good when they can help someone out.”

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