The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Retired engineer fills bowls, bellies

By Tristan evans/south news editor

South student Bobby Darr has created 48 bowls during his ceramics classes to donate to the local Empty Bowls project.
Photo courtesy Bobby Darr

Retirement for many means rest and relaxation after years of working hard, but South student Bobby Darr had a different plan in mind.

When Darr retired from his job as an electrical engineer in January 2008, his son, who teaches art at Martin High School, inspired him to develop the artistic side of his brain.

Darr joined a pottery club at Lockheed Martin Recreation Facility and began making soup bowls, serving bowls and mixing bowls. During that time, he became involved with the Empty Bowls Project, a national program dedicated to fighting hunger. Darr donates the bowls he makes to the local group.

“It makes me feel good to support people who need help,” he said. “We waste so much while there are so many people out there who are hungry.”

Darr eventually began taking ceramics classes on South Campus with instructor Earline Green, who also supports the Empty Bowls Project. Darr credits Green with helping him improve the quality of his work.

Forty-eight of the bowls Darr made in Green’s class last fall and spring were selected for the Tarrant Area Food Bank’s Empty Bowl Event Feb. 18.

Attendees pay $40 for their tickets and get a bowl to take home. Then they can buy more bowls or pay an additional $50 and trade their bowl for a different one. The event also includes silent auctions, raffles and pottery-turning demonstrations. Last year’s event raised $206,000, which pleased Darr.

“I’m happy that so many people support it,” he said.

Darr made about 150 bowls this past year and 65 the year before. He plans to stay involved in the project as long as he possibly can and enjoys knowing his bowls go toward helping to feed hungry people.

Green said she is proud of her student.

“Not only does he carefully craft his forms, he takes the time to develop patterns and surface embellishments to make each bowl special,” she said. “Bobby has provided a tremendous gift to the Tarrant Area Food Bank on behalf of South Campus. Bobby’s work [went] above and beyond my expectations.”

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