August 7, 2012

Our Neighbors: Pottery made easy

By Carol Mills
Staff Writer

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — Tina Morgan opened up You Are The Potter, a paint-it-yourself pottery studio, next to Philpot Tire in October 2011.

“It went really well. There were a lot who came by, birthday parties, people creating things for Christmas, which is a good season for this type of art,” Morgan said.

In the studio there are dishes, cups, mugs, animals, banks and much more. The creator buys a piece of pottery for $5 to $45 and paints it and Morgan will glaze and fire it. The paint is lead free and the dishes can be put in the dishwasher.

The studio is open for parties, clubs, school children, walk-ins, anybody who wants to make an original masterpiece.

Handprints and fingerprints are very popular especially with the smaller children who are in third grade or younger.

“People create a lot of things with fingerprints, footprints, handprints, things you can never get back. Your baby’s footprints are adorable and they can be turned into reindeer or sleds. You can use thumbs of all different ages to make snowmen and things like that to put on a platter,” she said. “There are a lot of creative things you can do with things you never thought could be used in the art world.”

Morgan does a lot of custom work for people who are not comfortable with creating their own individual pieces.

“I’ll do a lot of the work for them, do a lot of the stick (people) plates. We can customize an entire family, such as the Gaines family, and it can have all the children and even the little dog.”

When Morgan was in the fifth grade she lived in Lake City, Tenn., and she and her mother would go to a lady’s house where she had a small pottery.

“When I opened this, it gave my kids an opportunity to have something to do because in Laurel County there’s not a lot of art-type programs for children,” she said.

She moved to Laurel from Stanford in Lincoln County in 1990.

“We had family in Barbourville, Knox County,” Morgan said. “My mom always liked this region so we came up here. After I got married in 1995 and created my own family, we lived in larger cities where they had pottery studios and I took some classes.”

She met her husband, Darin, in London in 1995.  She has three children — Lauren and Dianna Morgan, and Zachary Cobb.

Morgan graduated from Somerset Community College in 2008 with an associate degree in business and is currently a senior at Eastern Kentucky University, majoring in business management.

Her studio is open on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information or to make a group appointment, call Tina at 231-7677.