THE BOWL GATHERING RAFFLE
Friday morning, the sun is shining, and the last shelters are going up. Instructors prepare for their courses and the kettle is on the fire. More people arrive with waves and hugs, long-time no see. A year has passed yet it feels so familiar. It is Bowl Gathering. The big meadow transformed into the host of our 2nd annual woodworking festival.
In the centre of the meadow, a long wooden table. A big bowl filled with apples from the farm. Tess is sitting next to it, cutting out the first raffle tickets, which we will be selling this year in order to collect money for our Welcome Project next year. We thought that 60 tickets might be enough, and if not, we’ll cut some more. We didn’t have a clue... John places the first donation on the table - a beautiful tucker bowl. Quickly more and more beautiful items fill the space - wooden spoons, kuksas, turned cups, carved and turned bowls (of course, it is the Bowl Gathering after all!), a leather purse, tools donated too, a forged Adze, a locking lid box, a shrink pot, and much more...
Within 2 days the table becomes an exhibition showing a vast collection of crafts and creativity for the draw. At the same time the volunteers keep cutting raffle tickets. With the growing amount of great raffle prizes people buy several tickets to increase their odds and they keep coming back.
Sunday lunchtime. The sun is still shining as the last courses finish, yet a couple of turners keep treadling. Most people are now sitting on the meadow recounting stories of Saturday night as laughter fills the air. Last call for raffle tickets and then we start counting. We are overwhelmed and ‘slightly’ underestimated a sheer amazing amount of 607 tickets have been sold!
As the close of the Gathering draws near, everyone comes together, as we sit like children in front of the storyteller. Will and Flo are the good fairies to announce the winners with huge applause to the makers.
£1540 has been collected for our charity!!! We are overwhelmed. This sum gives us such a good start. It will cover costs for food, transport and materials for groups of people to come to experience the woodland workshop for free. And next to this, it gives us a little hint, a feeling of assurance, that our idea of making craft more accessible, is necessary and supported!.