When a tradition is in place for a dozen years, any change might be met with trepidation. Such is the case with the humble, handmade ceramic bowls associated with our SOUP! benefit. For the past 12 years, PenArt has hosted SOUP! on the first Saturday in February to raise funds for both our outreach program and the needs of a partnering nonprofit. Up until now, each year, the Door County community, including school groups, has created 500 ceramic bowls to be sold at SOUP!. The event includes a complimentary and bountiful soup-and-bread buffet for those who purchase a ceramic piece.
This year, we took the risk of replacing the popular bowls with 6" square ceramic tiles. School groups only have 45 minutes to complete their project and the tiles seemed a great way to make the best use of the kids' time. Freed from forming a bowl, the design of the tile, as well as learning new surface techniques, takes center stage.
To gauge the results of our new project, informal polls were taken with each classroom we've visited so far. The result? The kids were engaged in the process and created some very fun designs. You could have heard a pin drop.
The art teachers were only too happy to prepare the students with information on decorating/carving techniques and had the kids sketch their designs on 6"x6" squares of paper in a previous art class. This year, we are partnering with the Northern Door Children's Center in Sister Bay. The theme for the tile making is Nature's Toys and Joys. The idea is for tile makers to think of the ways that nature is our playground.
Tomorrow night's Hip to Be Square tile making event for adults will help to solidify if our new project has the support of the community for future years. Check out our tile slide show. What do you think?
All adults 21-years-old and older are invited to attend Hip to Be Square on Wednesday, November 15, from 6-9pm. The event includes materials for tile making, as well as food and libations. A $5 goodwill donation is encouraged.