This year's Soup Bowl Supper benefits Partners in Routt County, which will bring in an AmeriCorp VISTA volunteer.

Photo by Matt Stensland

This year's Soup Bowl Supper benefits Partners in Routt County, which will bring in an AmeriCorp VISTA volunteer.

Local artists stew in creativity

Soup Bowl Supper pairs art with a good cause Wednesday

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Steamboat Clay Artisan and event volunteer Barb Gregoire sits in her kiln, which is used to fire the bowls for the Soup Bowl Supper.

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This year's Soup Bowl Supper benefits Partners in Routt County, which will bring in an AmeriCorp VISTA volunteer.

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AmeriCorp staffer Allison Holt, left, Steamboat Clay Artisan Barb Gregoire, middle, and Partners in Routt County Exectuive Director Libby Foster are pictured with the some of the bowls that will be available at Wednesday's Soup Bowl Supper.

Past Event

The Potter's Wheel hosts a last-minute painting and glazing demonstration

  • Friday, September 26, 2008, 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Potter's Wheel, 2780 Acre Lane, Steamboat Springs
  • Not available

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Past Event

Steamboat Clay Artisans 8th Annual Soup Bowl Supper

  • Wednesday, October 1, 2008, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • (One-off place), Chicago, IL
  • All ages / $20 - $25

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Every May for the past eight years, members of Steamboat Clay Artisans have gotten together for a weekend-long throwing spree.

Assembling six or so pottery wheels in a member's backyard, the 12 ceramic artists craft about 300 soup-sized bowls. On Wednesday, this year's crop of ceramic creations will be filled with steamy stews for the eighth annual Soup Bowl Supper at the Steamboat Springs Community Center.

"All of us are potters, but when we get together it's fun because when you throw a bowl, you might not get to glaze a bowl or decorate that bowl," said Barb Gregoire, a member of the Steamboat Clay Artisans.

After the pots are thrown, the artists gather again to paint, decorate and glaze the pieces before they get a finish in Gregoire's gargantuan kiln.

"I have a large kiln - like probably three or four adults could get in the kiln - and it's taken 2 1/2 kiln loads (to fire all the bowls)," Gregoire said. "Especially because I didn't glaze them all, it's fun to see all the different combinations of glazes."

Proceeds from this year's event will benefit Partners in Routt County, a youth mentoring organization. Organizers said the $5,000 to $7,000 typically raised from ticket sales and silent auction items will go toward providing a living stipend for Allison Holt, who will join Partners as a community outreach assistant through the AmeriCorps VISTA program.

Gregoire said the Clay Artisans usually receive beneficiary applications from about 10 local organizations. Partners in Routt County has applied every year.

"We've been trying for years because this event is just loved by community members," said Libby Foster, executive director of Partners. "So we're excited to serve up some delicious soup."

Holt, who started with Partners in late August and will work with the group for a year, said she plans to serve Routt County by immersing herself in the community.

"I chose Routt County and Steamboat and Partners because I think it's a fascinating area, and I like the idea that you have both a rural community and an outdoors resort community," said Holt, who holds degrees in studio art and art history. "It definitely felt like a fit from Day 1."

The Soup Bowl Supper has two seatings, at 5:30 and 7 p.m. Wednesday. Deb Babcock, a member of the Clay Artisans, said a variety of bowls are available to attendees at any given time to ensure everyone goes home with a work of art they like.

"We usually will have 25 bowls sitting out at any given time and can handle about 125 to 130 on each seating, so the reason that we have 300 is so no one has to have the last bowl that no one else wanted," Babcock said. Participating ceramic artists each contributed a few items to put up for silent auction, as well.

"We're trying to give people a sense of the difference between something that's handmade versus something that's machine-made," Babcock said.

Event organizers said about 20 local restaurants are on board to provide food for the event. They recommend buying tickets in advance, because the event usually sells out for both seatings.

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