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home : arts & entertainment

Two new potters give Empty Bowls a spin
Mijanou Fortney can be found at her wheel in the Tierra Learning Center barn in the Chumstick. And Mike Caemmerer spends time at the Grünewald Guild pottery studio in Plain. Both have been busily throwing soup bowls for the 18th annual Leavenworth Empty Bowls Festival. Fortney and Caemmerer join a cadre of four other local potters who are collectively producing 700 soup bowls for this year's event.

Fortney was eager to contribute her work saying, "I like the idea of Empty Bowls using art to raise awareness and raise funds." All proceeds from Empty Bowls buys food to fill the shelves at the Community Cupboard food bank as well as funding small community art grants that benefit youth.

Fortney first dabbled in pottery in high school then took college classes as she moved from place to place in the Intermountain West. She has lived in Leavenworth just over a year and her work can be found at Sage Mountain Natural Foods, Good Mood Foods, O'Grady's Pantry, and the Leavenworth Farmers' Market. All her pieces are functional and she draws inspiration from the natural world. Many of her pieces incorporate a fish motif. "I love fish" she says, "maybe they are my totem species."

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