By Ardeana Hamlin
of the Weekly Staff
BANGOR — When the Spring Pottery Luncheon takes place 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesday, April 10, at the Hammond Street Senior Center, the bowls will be ready to fill with tasty fare donated by local restaurants and food producers. That’s because center members and volunteers, under the tutelage of volunteer pottery teacher Lori Heagle, are up to their elbows in clay, shaping by bowls by hand with the aid of a pottery wheel or sculpting them coil by coil with palms and fingers.
Each bowl reflects the eye of its maker: There are bowls adorned with perky flowers and a riot of polka dots; bowls that segue from yellow to white; bowls that bear a triangle of color at its bottom in contrast with the rest of its body; bowls dark on the outside and a surprising color on the inside. All are beautifully crafted, and beautiful to look at and touch.
Lori Heagle, Gilks said, is new to Bangor and to the center. “We needed a pottery teacher, and we have a great studio. Lori walked in one day [to volunteer], and it has been a great collaboration. Our students love her.”
“It’s a fundraiser for the center,” said Kelly Gilks, member activities and volunteer coordinator at the center. “We’re always looking for fun ways to raise funds. The luncheon is one of our favorite events.”
The event works like this: Those who wish to take part buy one of the bowls which range in price from $20 to $30. Local restaurants will donate the “bowl-friendly,” such as, but by no means limited to, fish chowder, macaroni and cheese, cole slaw and other side dishes, and bread and rolls that will be served at the luncheon.
Diners will have a menu from which to make choices and volunteer waiters and waitresses will fill the bowls with food of the diner’s choice. “If it can go in a bowl, it will be served,” Gilks said.
And that includes roasted red pepper gouda soup from Giacomo’s and for dessert chocolate drizzled cream puffs donated by Hollywood Slots. “That’s always the cherry on the cake,” Gilks said. The event’s corporate sponsors, Winterberry Heights and Woodland’s Senior Living will donate special soups to the dinner.
Gilks said many people take their bowls home after they are purchased and then borrow a bowl from the center for the luncheon. “The bowls make a great gift,” Gilks said. “Everyone loves handmade in Maine products. Our bowls are all made at the center with lead-free glazes and fired in the center’s kilns.”
Businesses providing food for the event will be Antique Marketplace and Cafe, Bagel Central, Bangor Rye Bakery, Bugaboo Creek, Chase’s Family Restaurant, Geaghan’s, Giacomo’s Hollywood Slots, KFC, Labree’s Bakery, Nicky’s, Oriental Jade, Stagecoach Express Catering, Winterberry Heights and Woodland’s Senior Living.
“It’s a good deal for everyone,” she said.