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Soup’s On! Habitat for Humanity benefit fills bowls to build houses

By James Williamson
Coastal Observer

Decorating bowls for Habitat for Humanity’s Souper Bowl is an annual event for Heather Teems and her students. This year they moved from the classroom to the pottery shed outside her Pawleys Island area home.

“Our school is growing so fast we don’t have a place to make bowls. Last year we did it in the multi-purpose room,” said Teems, a lower elementary teacher at Coastal Montessori. “We’ve grown, so we had to add another classroom which took away our multi-purpose room for an office. It’s easier for me to stay home and let them come to me rather than try to bring all this stuff to my classroom.” She hosted 15 of her students, all part of her Habitat community service club, to paint 100 bowls by the end of the day.

Additional bowls will be supplied by other bowl-makers. They will all be filled by soups from area restaurants on Saturday in the 16th annual Souper Bowl.

The students made the bowls at one session, then returned to paint them in the last of a series of “paint-a-thons” held around the community to prepare for the Souper Bowl.

Teems got interested in ceramics as an undergraduate at the University of South Carolina. “When you love clay like I do, you have to have a kiln,” she said. She set up her studio about eight years ago and started organizing sessions to create Souper Bowl bowls six years ago.

Her students used pine cones, sponges, sea shells, sticks or doilies for bowl textures. They were decorated with painted butterflies, hearts, moons and starfish.

The bowls, in batches of 30, went into the 2,300-degree kiln for eight hours. They spent another eight hours cooling.

“It’s like Christmas morning. You always want to open it up and see what they’re going to look like. I can’t open it up until it’s at least at 250,” Teems said.

In exchange for painting five bowls the students were permitted to jump on the trampoline in her yard. “All right, Lily, look at all those,” Teems said to Lily Lord, 9. “You guys are not allowed to leave until they’re all painted, so bring me another one. I can show you a really good way to do it really fast. Get all the texture ones and let’s line them up, all the ones that have lace pressed into the inside.”

Around 600 bowls will be on display during the Souper Bowl in addition to sets of plates for a silent auction painted by artists Bob and Mary Rodamer and April Bensch. Volunteers and organizations such as Youth United, the Sea Coast Artist Guild, Lowcountry Prep, Porcelain Painters and Georgetown Country Sheriff’s Office reentry program for jail inmates have helped in the efforts of painting the bowls. At least 500 people are expected to sample the 40 different soups and chance to pick up a bowl of their choice at Precious Blood of Christ Catholic Church.

“We’re helping to fund the building for a needy family,” said Kathy Morris, who co-chairs the Souper Bowl with her husband John. “Even some of the home owners work that night as part of their service hours. They have to put in 400 equity hours to qualify for their home. A lot of people work very hard to get there.”

This week, Teems’ students will discuss the purpose of the Souper Bowl. “This group of kids will meet in my classroom and we’ll talk about what kind of process we did and what the bowls are going to do, how much money they’re going to raise and what Habitat will do with that money. And I’ll ask them, ‘Well, have your parents bought tickets yet?’”

Tickets are $35 at the door or $30 in advance at SCBT, Applewood House of Pancakes, Greenskeeper Florist, the Chocolate and Coffee House, Litchfield Books and the Habitat office, or by calling 546-5685.

In the bowls

Soups on the menu for Saturday’s Habitat for Humanity Souper Bowl.

700 Grill: Jalapeño popper soup

Alfresco Georgetown Bistro: Minestrone

Applewood House of Pancakes: Seafood bisque

Atlantic House Restaurant: Italian meatball and cabbage

Aunny’s Country Kitchen: Beef chili

Austin’s Ocean One: Cajun shrimp

Barefoot Barista: New England clam chowder

Beef O’Brady’s: Tomato basil with roasted chicken

Big Tuna Raw Bar: Shrimp and smoked sausage gumbo

Bistro 217: Crab, tomato and jalepeño

Blue Elephant: Shrimp, lemongrass, mushroom

Café Piccolo: Tomato basil

Capt. John’s Seafood Grill: Seafood gumbo

Carefree Catering: White bean and ham

Chocolate and Coffee House: Chocolate chili

Capt. Dave’s Dockside: Salmon bisque

Father Pat’s Lunch Kitchen: Southwestern black bean

Front Street Deli: Cream of tomato with basil

Graham’s Landing: Grambo stew

Habañeros: Mexican chicken and rice

Hanser House: Manhattan clam chowder

Hopsewee Plantation: Jalapeño corn crab chowder

Hot Fish Club: Clam chowder

Inlet Affairs: Loaded baked potatoes

Island Bar and Grill: Southwestern chicken tortilla

Island Café and Deli: Tomato basil with crab

K-Rae’s Waterway Bar and Grill: Brat and barley soup

Landolfi’s: Cream of portabello mushroom

Louis’s at Sanford’s: White bean, cabbage and ham  

Murrells Inlet Seafood: Crab and organic mushroom

Nosh: Cuban black bean

Pastaria 811: Shrimp bisque

Pawleys Island Bakery: Buffalo chicken chili

Pawleys Island Tavern: New England clam chowder

Pawleys Plantation: Mama’s vegetable soup

Quigley’s Pint and Plate: Lima bean and ham

River Room: Black bean with sour cream and salsa

Salt Water Creek Cafe: She crab

Thomas Café: Lowcountry fish stew

Wild Fish Grill: Hawaiian chicken [E-Mail Article To a Friend]

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