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May 10, 2017

Marshall potter expands to meet growing demand

Photo/Don Del Rosso
The addition (left) has more than doubled the size of Big Dog Pots on East Main Street in Marshall.
I’m very cognizant that there’s not a lot going on in this community for ages 13 to 18. And, we’re going to be trying to address that.
— Lori Langford
Big Dog Pots
• What: Gift shop, featuring owner’s handcrafted work; studio, where owner offers pottery, painting and glass fusing classes. 

• Owner: Lori Langford

• Where: 8287 E. Main St., Marshall

• Phone: 540-364-2834

• Email:

• Website:
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Staff Journalist
From the start, the Marshall potter had modest business expectations.

“When we bought the property” at 8287 E. Main St. four years ago, “it was going to be my studio,” Big Dog Pots Pottery owner Lori Langford told the Marshall Business & Residents Association Tuesday night. “And, we were going to have a shop in the front, so I wouldn’t have to go to craft shows” anymore to sell her wares.

But, Big Dog Pots quickly “took on a life of its own” and outgrew the 1,900-square-foot-, white stucco building, Mrs. Langford said.

“It has just been so well received,” she added. “We’ve been busting at the seams . . . . What we have received from the community is a real desire to have a place where people can come and create.”

To satisfy that demand, Mrs. Langford and her husband, Hugh, last fall broke ground on a 3,000-square-foot expansion, allowing the business to offer more and varied classes and a meeting place for up to 50 people.

A financial analyst with Hewlitt-Packard Co. and former builder, Mr. Langford did much of the construction work.

If all goes according to plan, the addition soon should be ready for a July “grand opening,” Mrs. Langford said.

She explained her business plan in simple terms.

“I’m not a Corcoran Gallery-trained artist,” she said. “I do not consider myself an artist. I consider myself creative. And, that’s what I like to share with students and members of the community.”

The business offers pottery, pottery painting, canvas painting and glass fusing classes for children, teens and adults. It conducts crafts-themed summer camps, parties and corporate events.

Potters can book time for the studio, which has five potting wheels, or use it on a walk-in basis.

Interest runs high among customers who want to participate in a range of activities at Big Dog Pots, said Mrs. Langford, a former land-use planner.

“They want to do wine and design,” she said. “They want to do birthday parties; they want to do garden club” events.

Big Dog Pots also wants to partner with a local brewmaster — Mrs. Langford declined to identify him — to conduct “pints and pottery” events. “He’s got all sorts of interesting brews he’s going to share.”

She also wants to provide opportunities for teenagers and children.

“I’m very cognizant that there’s not a lot going on in this community for ages 13 to 18. And, we’re going to be trying to address that.”

Additionally, Mrs. Langford wants to conduct a monthly “family fun night.”

With everyone under one roof, “you don’t have to pay for a babysitter,” she said. “And, everybody’s having fun — not watching TV and not on their cell phones.”
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BJ · May 10, 2017 at 3:19 pm
This is wonderful! Love to see an Arts & Crafts movement happen in Fauquier County. Woodworking (think Roy Underhill), broom making, blacksmithing, preserving foods, soap making, you name it, anything to bring back the handmade, homemade skills.

Blaine Johnson
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