Brian Horsch stood back Saturday afternoon and watched while those attending the annual Souper Bowl Saturday event inspected his work.
Among the hundreds of bowls that sat on display at the Lawrence Arts Center, 940 N.H., were his creations of animal sculptures and boxes. Of the 20 pieces he had brought to the event, only a few remained.
“It’s very strange,” Horsch said of his first experience of having his work up for sale.
Horsch and his pieces represent the broadening kinds of pottery at the event from beyond bowls to platters, blown-glass pieces and sculptures.
“The quality just keeps getting better and better each year, and the variety is sort of branching out even further,” said Ben Ahlvers, event organizer and the center’s associate education director.
The yearly fundraiser benefits the art center’s ceramic studio, which has about 600 students. Money goes toward purchasing material, maintaining equipment and bringing in workshops and visiting artists.
At the event, patrons purchased a piece of pottery and were then fed soup and bread, which was donated by Hy-Vee and Great Harvest Bread Co.
Horsch — whose day job is an optometrist — took a pottery class at the arts center last year and has been obsessed ever since.
“Clay is so much fun. If you mess up, you throw it away and start over,” he said.
With other students, Horsch worked over the holiday break to make the pieces that were on sale Saturday. Along with wanting to help out, he said part of the draw was the use of free clay and studio time.
“There was sort of this camaraderie feeling, working for the common cause, and you get to perfect your craft,” Horsch said.
More than 400 people attended Saturday’s Souper Bowl.
Among them were first-timers Judy Harrington and Renate DeAngelo. It took almost half an hour and more than one lap around the room before deciding what pottery they wanted to buy.
“They’re all different creations, and each bowl has such a unique impression of the person who made it,” DeAngelo said.