Creative Partners

Our 2023 Creative Partners each created over fifty ceramic bowls for this year’s event. Fifty bowls generate nearly $4000 in hunger relief! We appreciate their time, talent, and dedication to our cause.

Bryan Mattraw of Taylorstown Pottery creates wood fired and salt glazed pottery and sculptures for the home and garden. His home and studio are located east of Lovettsville and just above the Potomac River. Bryan built his large two-chamber kiln from scratch and completes two large firings of about 400 pieces each year. Firing is a two-day affair that takes constant stoking as the chambers gradually build to a temperature of 2400 degrees. Bryan’s fans are drawn to the color and texture created by the age-old wood firing and salt glazing techniques. His pieces have gorgeous, natural color variations that are determined by where the pot sits in relation to the fire. The second chamber is dedicated to salt glazing—a technique that involves adding salt to the kiln during high-heat firing. The salt etches and melts the clay and gives the surfaces an “orange peel” texture. Wood fired pots are durable, as well as microwave and dishwasher safe, and meant to be used in your home.

Yousung Choi founded Yousung Choi Fine Art Pottery in 2014. Her stunning pottery is notable for its beautiful form and design. Her color palate and choice of subject matter explore the natural world and showcase depth and texture through the layers of detail. Yousung has a Bachelor’s degree in Korean pottery; and, since living in Loudoun County has specialized in developing a blend of her native traditional Korean pottery style with what she has seen here in the United States. She is active in Loudoun County, contributing to charitable projects such as Loudoun Empty Bowls and participating in regional art events.

Carolee Stearns
I’ve always been an eclectic artist who enjoys exploring different mediums. I first tried ceramics at a community center in Fairfax as an excuse to get out of the house when my children were little. It has grown into one of my favorite creative outlets, thanks to the opportunity to work in Kristen Swanson’s studio at White House Ceramics. I love being a contributor to Empty Bowls because it gives my work a purpose and direction and fuels my creative energy. Over the last several years it has allowed me to hone my carving skills as surface decoration on hundreds of bowls. I’m so grateful to be a part of this lovely community!

Chris Bowen
I got my hands into clay about 10 years ago while taking classes from local potter, Amy Oliver. Like so many, I fell in love with making pots right away. A few years later, I discovered Kristen Swanson’s studio in Lovettsville and took classes there for about 4 years. Now I work mostly out of my horse barn/studio in rural Lovettsville. I spend a good bit of my spare time making pots because it is really just a lot of fun. I enjoy the time by myself and being able to focus my creativity. My family and I have been attending Loudoun Empty Bowls for many years and I love being able to contribute to my community in this way. I hope you enjoy my bowls!

Meredith Kopp
I took my first wheel throwing class in sixth grade. My mom still uses her four pound spoon rest to this day. I tried again in high school and finished the year with a C that I didn’t earn! We moved to Lovettsville in August of 1998 and in September, Kristen Swanson moved in. I wanted to try throwing again and spend time with my new friend. We managed to steal time in the studio at night and during our kid’s naps. I finally developed some skill and became interested in slip trailing my pieces. A piece doesn’t feel complete to me without some slip trailed polka dots or decoration. I’m so grateful to have some of my work displayed and help raise funds for such a wonderful cause!

Lansdowne Wood Pottery Club of Virginia
The Lansdowne Woods Pottery Club is a new contributor to LEB this year! Their club is a great social as well as artistic outlet for potters, from beginners to the experienced. Members work on their beautiful works of art in the fully equipped Pottery Studio – complete with a kiln and materials. We are thrilled to partner with Lansdowne Woods!

Leesburg Senior Center
For several years now, a group of very talented members of the Leesburg Senior Center have donated some of their handmade pottery to our event. Their creations are a wonderful addition to our bowl room and serve as a humble example of neighbors helping neighbors. This year’s contributors are Katherine Andrefsky, Cheryl Barr, Cheryl Suitor, Bill Seebeck, Michele Downey, Louise Gross, Barbara Wilson and Ann Nelson.

Liam Berringer Of Loudoun Valley High School took on the challenge of making 50 bowls for Loudoun Empty Bowls as part of his Senior Capstone Project. His bowls truly showcase his drawing and painting abilities and he produced a variety of delightful bowls. Liam says he learned a lot about pottery and commitment through this project.

Drake Woehrle and Eddie Largent of Woodgrove High School also took on the 50 bowl challenge for their Senior Capstone Projects. Drake and Eddie worked every day for 2 weeks at White House Ceramics and made over 50 bowls. Their wheel throwing skills grew tremendously and both students are hoping to pursue clay during their college years.

Additional Makers

Amy Berringer
Kristen Swanson
The Clay and Metal Loft, Leesburg
Maureen Alvarez, Chunk of Happiness
Carrie Althouse of Althouse Pottery
Round Hill Art Center