Empty Bowls Project Has Prague Debut

This weekend, Czech ceramic artists join foodie favorites Polévkárna to serve up gourmet soup – and good intentions
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Soup is in the spotlight this winter in Prague – next month a 16-kettle soup fest will accompany Boutique Market at Holešovice Market, while this weekend sees the debut of a unique charity event at Café Jedna featuring soup served in hand-made bowls.

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Empty Bowls started as a grass-roots project by a Michigan high school art teacher in the early ’90s and has gone on to raise millions of dollars in the US and abroad for food-related charities. The premise is simple: craft potters donate a one-of-a-kind vessel which guests get to keep when they purchase a bowl of soup.

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Bowl by Nina Rail

Despite the Czech Republic’s enduring ceramics tradition, the Empty Bowls movement has yet to get a Prague outing. Organizing potter Nina Rail saw the opportunity for charitable giving and artistic collaboration. 

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“It’s a perfect charity event for potters, but it had somehow never taken place in the Czech Republic. The life of a potter is pretty solitary — we generally work alone in our studios. Empty Bowls is a great way for us to do something good together.”

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Bowl by Vanda a Valerie

Artists who have donated their original work to the Prague Empty Bowls event include Vladimír Groh and Yasuyo Nishida, Petr Jurníček, as well as Ms. Rail herself whose pieces have graced the tables of Sansho and other Prague restaurants.

“Saturday is really just about helping the hungry. But I’m also hoping to raise awareness of hand-made pottery and help create direct contact between makers and customers,” she says.

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Bowl by Alena Šumová

Soups start at 500 CZK per bowl with all proceeds going directly to the needy via food banks and the World Food Programme. Soup is furnished by those pioneers of the gourmet soup trend in Prague, Polévkárna.

“This should be the first of many annual Empty Bowls events in Prague. Potters are already lining up for next year,” Ms. Rail says.

Empty Bowls Praha 2015 takes place on Saturday, November 28 at Café Jedna in Veletržní palác from 11am.


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