Berlin High art classes' bowls to help feed hungry

Published on Sunday, 4 February 2018 21:04
Written by Charles Paullin


BERLIN - Students were throwing clay around and around.

But it wasn’t a clay fight they were participating in. They were making clay bowls.

“It’s ironic because I don’t like to get dirty, but I don’t mind this at all,” said James Karam, a junior.

Six students from Berlin High School art teacher Caitlin DeSorbo’s classes got together Wednesday evening to make bowls for an upcoming Empty Bowls event.

The event, whose concept is part of a national campaign, has grown into a local grass roots effort to raise money and awareness of the fight to end hunger.

Money raised will go to the Berlin Food Pantry and the New Britain Food and Resource Center, since hunger impacts more than just Berlin, said DeSorbo.

“I always thought it was a unique concept,” she said. She introduced the event to BHS two years ago.

The event will take place on March 13 in the Berlin High School cafeteria. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students and other children.

Attendees buy a bowl that they can take home as a reminder that not everyone in the community has enough food for a meal.

“I’ve taken part at MCC (Manchester Community College) at CCSU (Central Connecticut State University) over the years,” said DeSorbo.

The after-school, free-will gathering Wednesday was a way to raise awareness for the event and for students to have some fun creating bowls.

Students competed to make the widest bowl, make a bowl while blindfolded, make a bowl fastest and make the most creative bowl. Faculty conduced the judging and also picked an all-around best bowl.

“Wait! How do we cut it?” said Jenny Lin, a junior, during the blindfold portion while laughing with Jillian Balaban, a senior, and other participants.

“Make sure you can breathe?” said DeSorbo during the same portion.

Along with allowing art students to practice and make bowls for a good cause, the after-school gathering allowed students outside the art program to film the proceedings for audio-visual practice.

“I just really like making pottery, and the fact that it’s going to a good cause is good,” said Lin.

The bowls will go into a kiln, be glazed and then put back into a kiln in the coming weeks, said DeSorbo.

Since students in her classes had already been creating bowls, she had 50 done before the more than 20 that were made Wednesday.

“We’re using art as a way to do something good for the community,” said DeSorbo. “Not only are we raising money to fight hunger, we’re celebrating ceramics.”

DeSorbo said food donations are still needed and businesses that contribute will be recognized at the event.

DeSorbo is also looking to hold a drawing to raise additional funds. Donated prizes, including gift cards, are sought.

DeSorbo can be reached at for ticket purchasing and further information.

Charles Paullin can be reached at 860-801-5074 or

Posted in New Britain Herald, Berlin on Sunday, 4 February 2018 21:04. Updated: Sunday, 4 February 2018 21:06.