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Filling bowls: Business owner donates piece to hunger-ending initiative

By Erika Pedroza | Published Wednesday, March 19, 2014

For about a dozen years, Creed Minnis has quenched the thirst of many patrons with the products on his store shelves in Rhome.

GENEROUS DONATION – Myrt Totty commissioned this bowl for Creed Minnis, owner of Wise Liquors in Rhome and Bridgeport. After deciding to close his Rhome store, Minnis donated the bowl to Empty Bowls, the Tarrant Area Food Bank’s trademark fundraiser. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Thanks to a generous donation, he will now help feed some neighbors in need.

Three years ago, Minnis asked Myrt Totty of Newark to create a piece to be used during wine tastings at his business, Wise Liquors.

So Totty, a self-proclaimed lifelong artist, crafted a fluted weeble bowl.

“It is perfectly balanced,” said Totty, a Newark resident. “If you try to push it over, it will rock back and forth before eventually finding its way to a balance.”

To make the bowl, Totty said she cut two pieces – a clear layer and a colored piece.

She fired the two pieces upside-down for 24 hours. Then she slumped and shaped it before putting the combination in the kiln for another day.

When the glass was set, she used powdered paints to add bunches of grapes to the inside of the bowl, then she fired it again.

In all, it took the artist about three days to make the piece, which was displayed in the store when it wasn’t in use at social events.

But when Minnis, who has since opened a second store in Bridgeport, elected to close the Rhome location, Totty asked if he would consider donating the bowl to the Tarrant Area Food Bank’s 12th Annual Empty Bowls fundraiser.

He agreed.

This year’s event is 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, March 27, at the Amon G. Carter Exhibit Hall in the Will Rogers Memorial Center, 3401 W. Lancaster, in Fort Worth.

As a member of the Texas Glass Artists Association, Totty has created several pieces for the event, which attracts 2,000 guests.

For the cost of $50 – or $130 for a VIP ticket, which includes early admission – attendants receive a bisque bowl, handcrafted by a North Texas artisan, and the opportunity to sample soups and desserts from Fort Worth area restaurants and caterers.

Patrons can “upgrade” to a “celebrity bowl” in a live auction. The pieces are signed by an array of stars, including country singers Miranda Lambert and Trisha Yearwood, actor Bob Newhart, internationally acclaimed concert pianist Olga Kern, NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon and Dallas Cowboys legend Roger Staubach.

There will also be a raffle. Prizes include an iPad Mini; a handmade quilt; and a suite for 10 at a Texas Revolution game at Allen Events Center. Tickets are $10 each or three for $25.

The large bowl Totty created for Minnis will be an item in the silent auction. Other items include airfare on Southwest Airlines, breakfast or lunch with Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, four Texas Rangers baseball tickets, three-dimensional art, TCU football season tickets, a cooking class for eight with Chef Manny Vasquez and cultural, entertainment, dining and spa packages.

“I’m so glad we’ll be able to pass this on,” Totty said. “It’s very generous of Creed.”

While the Bridgeport store will remain open, the Rhome location is expected to close sometime in the next two weeks – but not without first quenching some thirst… and hunger.

AN ARTFUL WAY TO END HUNGER

The 12th Annual Empty Bowls Fort Worth is 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Thursday, March 27 at Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth.

Tickets are $50 for general admission or $130 for VIP. They are available at secure.acceptiva.com/?cst=6cb1e8, by phone at 817-332-9177 ext. 137, or by check mailed to:

Tarrant Area Food Bank Attn: Empty Bowls 2014, 2600 Cullen St., Fort Worth, TX 76107.

Tickets not sold the day of the event.

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