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Up to Our Elbowls

Chili Bowl intern, Tara Hagen and Studio Intern, Tatyana Nadyachey display bowls for pricing

Chili Bowl intern, Tara Hagen and Studio Intern, Tatyana Nadtochey display bowls for pricing.

Yes. You are seeing stars; a glittering, glistening galaxy of work produced by volunteers, artists, interns, students . . . these people are super, duper novae.

Ceramics Studio Manager, Ruth McKinney-Burket and Ceramics Intern, Tara Hagen have been working hard. Tara’s been checking on kilns at night, on weekends, in rain, and in snow. She threw at least half this year’s pieces. All of those stunning blue, amber, and teal glaze patterns that you see in the pricier section–those were designed by Tara, who is influenced by Islamic art, woodblock carving, carniverous plants, and a love of food.

That isn’t a bowl under Ruth’s shirt. She’s pregnant. And if that wasn’t enough work, she’s also coordinating over thirty volunteers, an estimated outpouring of 700 community members, and chili to feed them all. This is Ruth’s first year in charge of Chili Bowl. You can recognize “a Ruth” in her clever use of decal (ornate patterned images) and play with bubbles of color.

We also have our own Chili Bowl Fairy Godmother. About a month before chili bowl, our large kiln, the one that we were relying on to do three quarters of the firing work, broke. We became resigned to loading van-fulls of bowls, driving them to a local studio, and paying someone to let us fire. This was going to add days to our prep. Then, as if by magic, we were rescued. Meadow, a local ceramicist, WSW volunteer, and, frankly, SAINT donated her large kiln to the cause. We were able to haul it here and resume production at full pace. If you meet Meadow in the gallery on Saturday, hug her.

While taking these photos, it was nearly impossible not to snag a favorite bowl and scuttle off with it. In fact, I’m tempted to broadcast the wrong date for our 15th Annual Chili Bowl Fiesta just so that I can have them all to myself. But since I can’t carry all the bowls I want, I’ll dish:


Tatyana Nadotchey designed and screen-printed aprons for volunteers.

WSW’s 15th Annual Chili Bowl Fiesta is being held this Saturday, the 25th of February from 2pm- 7pm. If you want to fight me for my favorites, come as an early bird from 2-4pm–it’s only five dollars. After 4pm, admission is free and local band Dog on Fleas will play. Local restaurants have donated heaps of chili and cornbread. We are ready to serve.

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