Dawn Deines-Christensen of Decorah takes some pottery pieces out of her kiln.(News-Record photos by Lissa Blake)
Dawn Deines-Christensen of Decorah takes some pottery pieces out of her kiln.

(News-Record photos by Lissa Blake)
For Dawn Deines-Christensen, working with clay is a spiritual experience.

"We're all just little wads of clay in the master potters hands," said Deines-Christensen, who creates her pottery from her home studio in Decorah.

She has been donating bowls to the Empty Bowls Caring Hearts event in Harmony for the past three years because she thinks it's a great way to give back.

"It's such a good project because it's all donated. Potters donate their time and artistic energy. There are people who donate their time through serving and making soup and bread," she said.

"It's all given out of love and generosity. It's just a great way to give and there are people who need that. Plus it's a reminder for all of us that there are hungry people out there," she added.

This year, in addition to donating regular bowls, Deines-Christensen is doing something a little different.

"I was talking with a lady from Green, Iowa, who said she supports Empty Bowls, but she had enough bowls at home. She had a miniature bowl hanging around her neck. I found that kind of interesting," she said.

As a result, this year Deines-Christensen will be donating a limited number of bowl necklaces in addition to her regular bowls.

The event

This year's Empty Bowls, Caring Hearts in Harmony event is Sunday, Nov. 11, from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Harmony Community Center.

Attendees can choose from more than 200 bowls (or necklaces, while supplies last) created and donated by local potters, which can be purchased for $20. A simple meal of soup and bread will be served and all proceeds will benefit Fillmore County's food shelves.

Milestones Ministry

Deines-Christensen is a native of Cedar Falls, Iowa, who graduated from Luther College and taught art in the Decorah schools for 12 years. She also has a Masters Degree in liturgical art.

A few years ago, she started making Positive Ponder Prayer Pebbles, a unique, one-of-a-kind creation.

Each ceramic pebble is individually hand molded and painted. The top surface is glazed smooth while the bottom is left rough.

Deines-Christensen says this is a reminder that "life can be rough but through the power of prayer and positive thinking, you can smooth things out."

The pebbles are available in hundreds of designs, which she says address many of life's hopes, joys and concerns.

"Place a pebble in your pocket and when you are feeling down, it reminds you that there's something greater to be found. So say a simple prayer, or smile when thinking of something special that surrounds you - and that something is God's love," said Deines-Christensen.

"I sell them to churches, hospitals, individuals. It's like a miniature ministry, where I'm sharing positive thoughts and inspirations through little wads of clay."

For more information on Prairie Patterns by Dawn D-C, visit Prairie Patterns on Facebook, call (563) 382-5181, or email her at dcprairie@q.com.