In the Spotlight: Brave Heart Bowls

On June 22nd, I sat down with Michele Friedman to talk about the July 1st event Brave Heart Bowls.

On June 22nd, I sat down with Michele Friedman to talk about the July 1st event Brave Heart Bowls. Friedman taught in Sitka Schools for 28 years. She is a current BHV Board Member, an active potter, and a BHV caregiver.

Q: What is Brave Heart Bowls, anyway?
A: This year there will be about 300 handmade bowls – some artists have given one, some have given 30. Also, some have donated pottery cups and “knitting bowls.”

Q: Where do the potters create their works?
A: Most use the art studio at UAS. Associate Professor Liz Zacher is also a potter. We couldn’t do this event without UAS. They receive 10% of our profits, as they provide clay, glaze, firing and allow individual potters to use their studio.

Q: So, you sell these bowls? And what about soup – is that in the bowls?
A: BHV is not “selling” the bowls, but they do accept donations. This is a lunchtime event that lets people get soup with bread and butter. Four restaurants are contributing: Ludvig’s Chowder, Nugget Chicken Noodle Soup, Pizza Express Pozole, and Beak Saffron-Carrot Bisque. All “to-go” though – folks cannot sit down indoors and eat their soup.

Q: Tell me about Brave Heart Volunteers.
A: The BHV Mission is “Champions for those experiencing loneliness, grief and end of life.” We train volunteers and match them up with people in the community who need support. Some are specially trained to be with folks at the end of life. Just to provide companionship, nothing medical. Angie Del Moral does the non-profit administration, while Kathryn Winslow does the matching of care receivers and caregivers – a complicated process, based on varying needs and availability.

Q: How about you, Michele, are you also a caregiver?
A: I meet with my care receiver at the Pioneer Home. It’s the highlight of my week. Other pairs meet in homes or the hospital. I’ve worked with various care receivers over time – all with different needs. One person, all I did was just eat lunch with her regularly. People who want to volunteer or who need help – I would say, “Give us a call.” The intake process is not cumbersome.

Q: And you are also a potter?
A: I love making bowls. I could do it for hours, and for the pleasure of seeing all the different artists. I’ve been doing pottery since college, but more since I retired from teaching. I am just now finally starting to feel comfortable calling myself a ceramic artist.

Q: If you could say one thing to people who are new to Sitka or unfamiliar with Brave Heart Bowls, what would you say?”
A: The focus of this fundraiser is to support the work of BHV with your donation and walk away with an amazing hand crafted ceramic bowl, plus a cup of soup and bread.

Artists represented at event (in random order): Auriella Hughes, Robert Rose, Marge Steward, Josh Ragnes, Liz Zachar, Michele Friedman, Ritch Phillips, Sadie Oswald, Gregory Benn, Carina Armendariz, Katie Sill, Shanti Friedman, Clare Jurczak, and Kathleen McCrossin.


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