She was grounded her entire junior year. “I had to spend every weekend on the farm my junior year, so my pottery flourished,” she says. In her senior year, she started making pots in a yurt in Glen Echo, Maryland, an arts community outside of Washington, D.C., where, she recalls, “I got heavily involved with different colored slip applications and sgraffito.” Her style was born.
In the years since, Morgan’s pottery has become more experimental in color, design, and size. A new shade, a sumptuous sea foam green, shines on a line of platters with sgraffito designs of lively fish, turtles, and other marine creatures. “I just kind of stumbled onto that glaze combination,” she says. Another darker shade of green glimmers in collections of bowls and other dishes, including mugs she produces for WCAI/WNAN, which the local NPR radio station uses for fundraising. The mugs have boosted her already considerable professional profile, something she owes to happenstance. “I’m not savvy at marketing,” she says. “It just happens.”
She’s also introduced a new ark full of African animals; one themed wall hanging is a tableau of leaping lions, peaceful elephants, and inquisitive giraffes. Its size, topping one foot by two feet, is giving Morgan some heady new freedom. “I like using multiple tiles to create a large clay canvas where I can play with more complex design elements and the relationships between the various figures, textures, dark and light,” she says.
The larger tile work has led to commissions for homes on both coasts. One current project is a large tile design over the stove of a Cape Cod kitchen. As Morgan relates, the homeowner said, “Do whatever you want.” So Morgan combined elements of her new African theme with her traditional Cape marine figures and a gentle field animal here and there. “It’s kind of all over the place, which she wanted,” Morgan says. Another set of her work has gotten smaller, with the introduction of a new line of hanging tiles framed in a discarded dune fence from Nobska Beach in Woods Hole.