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The art of shaving among tour delights
JULIE MOORE is a potter who’s sold and sent thousands of her unusual shaving scuttles to customers in the United States and 28 other countries.
Carrol Morgan is a former art teacher and artist who loves doing portraits and challenging herself to try new mediums and techniques.
They are just two of the 10 artists and artisans taking part in the annual King George Studio Tour on Saturday and Sunday.
From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days, the collection of potters, artists, woodworkers, photographers and more will open their homes and studios to visitors, offering their creations for sale along with light refreshments.
Moore, along with fellow King George County potter Shirley Buckler, started the tour several years ago as a way to showcase talented artists and provide an opportunity for them to sell their work.
The former Manassas resident came to pottery somewhat late in life, taking a community-center class in her early 30s that quickly made her realize that throwing clay on a potter’s wheel was her kind of creative outlet.
She bought a used kiln for $100 and started working in a basement studio where she had to haul water to make creations on her potter’s wheel.
Two things happened in the intervening years that have taken Moore’s pottery to a whole new level.
First, the former ophthalmology technician wanted her growing pottery side business to help replace her salary when she and electrical engineer husband, Ken, moved to King George to escape the hubbub and traffic of Northern Virginia.
Second, shaving scuttles happened.
She smiles thinking about the way things developed five years ago when a friend who makes soap got in touch to see if she could make a mug to go with the soap.
Moore did and put a picture of one or two of them on her website: dirtybird pottery.com.
“I got an email asking if I could make a shaving scuttle,” said Moore. “Before I could answer, I had to find out what a scuttle was.”
For those who aren’t into old-school shaving, a scuttle is a special ceramic cup to hold lather and keep it warm. That’s accomplished with a bowl on top for the lather and a receptacle below for hot water.
“I worked with that first customer to come up with a design,” she said. “He explained to me that there are forums out there with tens of thousands of followers interested in these sorts of shaving details.”
When that first customer was psyched with his scuttle, he got in touch with Moore to say he would be sharing a review of it on one of those websites.
“He said I should get ready because the orders would start coming,” said Moore, who works in a specially designed studio adjacent to her home. “He was right.”
The potter who has made an array of creations over her professional life now makes mainly the scuttles, selling well over 500 per year at prices ranging from $22 to $71.
She keeps her electric and gas kilns cooking as she spends weeks hand-throwing and completing each scuttle, firing each twice to give it the strength and the colored glazes she mixes herself.
There’s a map on the wall in her studio of all the places she’s shipped the scuttles, with pins marking deliveries to spots such as Afghanistan, Turkey, Amsterdam, New Zealand, Hong Kong and so many others.
Not to mention a majority of the states, where she’s one of a handful of potters filling the needs of specialized shavers.
“My hope when I moved here was to at least replace the salary of the job I left,” she said. “At this point, I’ve doubled it. And the best part is that I love what I’m doing.”
A CREATIVE LIFE
Set foot in Carrol Morgan’s home and you know there’s an artist in residence.
Yes, some of her portraits and vistas fill some of the walls, done in every medium you can think of. But the other space is filled with works from fellow artists she loves, including a Johnny Johnson piece she has in a place where she sees it each day.
Morgan, a lifelong artist who is the curator of the Fredericksburg Center for the Creative Arts, knew from the time she was a youngster that art was the world she wanted to work in.
Though mechanical drawing was the only class she could take at Gar–Field High School to further her interest, she found outlets in 4–H and other avenues before getting formal training at Richmond Professional Institute, which later became VCU.
Morgan taught lessons for a while at the arts center before landing a job that would last—teaching art for 35 years in King George elementary and middle schools.
Through the years, she was both a teacher and an artist, finding opportunities in the North Windsor Artists and the King George Art Guild to paint alongside contemporaries and market their work.
“I’ve always loved doing portraiture,” said Morgan, a self-described people person. “Early on, I worked largely in acrylics, but lately have been doing a lot more with water-based oils.”
A glance inside her studio shows she’s still challenging herself with new techniques, mediums and work both serious and whimsical.
Put simply, it’s an art-filled life.
KING GEORGE STUDIO TOUR
WHAT: Ten artists open their studios, sell their work and provide refreshments
WHEN: This Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
WHO: Ruth Hornbaker/Creekside Sketches, pen and ink drawings; Beverley Coates/Kirklyn Studio, watercolor paintings, floral designs, jewelry; Tavie Glassmire, photography; Carrol Morgan (showing with Darlene Wilkinson), multimedia artist with portraits and landscapes; Darlene Wilkinson, stained glass, mixed media, jewelry; Carl Sisemore/Ridgemore Artisan Creations, hand-turned wood items; Curtis Gore/Swings & Things, rolling pins, cutting boards and more; Greg Petersen/LHP & Co. Adepto R’ Factum, hiking staffs made from found materials; Shirley Buckler/Noah’s Ark Pottery, nature inspired pottery, paintings and pastels inspired by nature; Julie Moore/Dirty Bird Pottery, stoneware pottery and miniatures.
WHERE: For printable map of homes, details and phone numbers for each artist, go to dirtybirdpottery.com.
BY PHONE: Call 540/644-1138 or 540/663-2728.
Rob Hedelt: 540/374-5415