Within an hour of opening, Karen Mannino’s collection was running low.
She placed more intricately designed bowls on one of the tables at Manito Park as shoppers perused a selection of more than 2,000 ceramic bowls from Spokane-based Urban Art Co-op pottery artists. The co-op hosted its sixth Scoops and Bowls event Saturday, after last year’s event was canceled by the pandemic. Each purchase came with a (disposable paper) bowl of ice cream.
“We took a year off and we were really nervous that maybe people would forget about it,” Mannino said. “I think that shows the strength of our community, that they’re still here to support us.”
The co-op was founded in 2015 in part by JoDee Moody, who said the event has grown substantially in size. The first year, potters made probably 300 bowls, she said.
“Then the next year it was 700, and then it was 1,500, and now we have so many we make every year because we know they go so fast,” Moody said.
The co-op hosts several “bowl-making parties,” Mannino said. Each artist will have their own style, but they will collaborate in order to make sure the bowls get trimmed and glazed in time for the event, she said.
“Pottery is an art form you can take in so many directions,” she said. “The trim, for example, is a good way to show your style as an artist because every artist makes theirs so different.”
Kim Forsberg attended with her daughter Maddie and their 12-week-old spaniel, Chewbacca, leaving with two armfuls of ceramic bowls.
“We got a big bowl for pasta and things like that, then some cereal bowls,” Forsberg said. “It’s just fun to be here again.”
More bowls also meant more planning for Sue Newman, another co-founder and the chair of the Scoops and Bowls planning committee on the co-op. The committee decided this year to add two rows of tables instead of one, and they also found a better way of scooping ice cream by slicing it with clay wire.
“This is the most efficient year. We’ve been able to cut down the lines so much,” Newman said. “It’s the best year for volunteers, in terms of numbers.”
The co-op is run entirely by volunteers, Moody said, who run the ice cream scooping and cashier stations. Setup starts around 7 a.m., and people often start lining up around 9:30 a.m., Mannino said.
The event serves as a fundraiser for the co-op, which will cover workshops and planning other community events. The holiday market runs every December, Mannino said, and includes pottery, prints and paintings from a variety of artists.
Nearly the entire inventory at Scoops and Bowls is ceramic bowls.
“There is a more concrete expectation at this event. You’re gonna get a good, really beautiful bowl at a discount, and there’s something really nice about the simplicity of that,” Mannino said.
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