Linda Morris and
Fox Run Pottery
by Rachel Perry
If you are the type of shopper who looks for unique locally-made gifts, you won’t want to miss the Christmas Open House at Fox Run Pottery from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 6th. Located at Cabin Creek Farms off of Fruitdale Road four miles south of Morgantown, the pottery studio is filled with innovative and practical items featuring custom glazes.
Fondue sets, incense burners, corked jugs, apple bakers, chip n’ dip platters, oil lamps, lotion dispensers, wine coolers, butter crocks, salt and pepper shakers, berry colanders, sponge holders, and bird “bottle houses,” in addition to the more common bowls, mugs, plates and pitchers, line the shelves for the holiday season. One inventive piece is the “emergency candle holder.” It stores the candle upside down in a pottery cylinder which becomes the base for the candle-holder when inverted.
The creator of all the pottery is Linda Morris, who has maintained a studio and gallery near Fruitdale with her husband Charlie for the past four years. A professional nurse who works with a podiatrist two days each week in Greenwood, Mrs. Morris first became interested in working with clay in 1997. Then a full-time nurse, she and a co-worker began taking classes with Jeremy South at the Southside Art League. “He was a very good teacher and sparked the interest,” she recalled. “My friend and I kind of went into business together and she gave it up, so I took over everything.”
Mrs. Morris, who considers herself a “functional” potter, predominantly uses a potter’s wheel instead of the coil method, and like most potters, experiments with her glazes. A brown and honey combination, accented with turquoise and rose, is particularly striking. “It is influenced by the Southwest,” she explained. “We used to live in Texas, and enjoyed the Mexican and Southwest colors and designs.” Another special order combination she calls “cinnamon ripple” uses brown and tan with butterscotch and crimson streaks.
Some of the pieces are tan and brown, reminiscent of early Brown County pottery. “We always loved Brown County,” Linda explained. Originally from Washington, Indiana, she met Charlie (a territorial salesman for an oil company) while attending St. Vincent School of Nursing in Indianapolis. After marriage, the couple lived in the Indianapolis area except for a year in El Paso. Their two grown sons are currently living in Texas and Washington State.
The studio and kiln utilize part of the ground-floor basement of the roomy two-story house that the Morrises built, beginning in 1992. The entry to the main space features a cathedral ceiling and skylights illuminating an open second floor balcony which displays paintings created by Linda’s relatives and artist-son. Brown County builder Bill Root framed the building, and Charlie and Linda finished the interior.
“When we started building this place, there was a little baby fox—probably only a year old. He would hide and jump out at us—very playful. Not your typical fox, who doesn’t want to be seen,” Linda related. “Charlie started bringing dog treats down and would give the fox a dog treat. So he got really friendly. One time we were sitting down relaxing and Charlie had the dog treats in his pocket. The fox came along and jumped right into his lap! When we moved down here we brought our dogs, so he disappeared. But sometimes we see tracks in the snow. I think he was a red fox, sort of a reddish color. So we named this place Fox Run, and then the pottery took the same name. It just kind of went from there. We now have the Fox Run Tourist Cabin.”
The Fox Run Tourist Cabin is next to Bill Monroe’s Music Park on the east side of State Road 135 five miles north of Nashville. People familiar with the area will remember an old railroad caboose that sat on the property. Renovated this past year, the cabin was originally built as a summer home by Francis Rund in 1938. Mr. Rund owned all of the property that now comprises the Bill Monroe Blue Grass Park and the Rund Subdivision.
The cabin now boasts central heat and air conditioning, finished bathroom and kitchenette (complete with microwave, stove and oven, coffee maker and utensils), color television, a working stone fireplace, and two beds, King and Queen-sized. Selected pieces of Fox Run Pottery are part of the décor. “It has everything you need,” Linda laughed. “Just bring food.”
The Morrises plan to open a pottery show room in the back of the Tourist Cabin this next summer. Although the hours have not yet been determined, Linda hopes to practice her other passion, china painting, between customers.
To make reservations for the Fox Run Tourist Cabin or make an appointment to visit the Fox Run Pottery, call 812-597-1839. Or better yet, stop by the Pottery Open House on December 6th.