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Artist turns wood into masterpieces
King George engineer got hooked turning wood on a lathe building his child a cradle

 Wood turner Carl Sisemore creates a pen out of wood at his King George home. Sisemore is just one of this year's participants in the King George artists' tour.
PETER CIHELKA/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
Visit the Photo Place
Date published: 11/13/2012

By Rob Hedelt

IT started for Carl Sisemore like it does for many a craftsman: one simple project, building a crib for a new arrival in the family.

The King George woodworker, whose day job is mechanical engineering at Dahlgren, wanted to make the crib special, so he bought a lathe to create decorative spindles.

One good turn deserved another, and soon he was producing everything from wooden candlesticks to bottle stoppers to custom-sized seam rippers.

"Once you get into turning on a lathe you find all manner of things to make," said Sisemore, who has made crafting decorative wooden pens a specialty.

He added, "Once you give everyone you know a hand-turned item for Christmas, you have to find something to do with all the ones you have left over."

His solution was to create Ridgemore Artisan Creations, a business that sells hand-turned wood and acrylic projects.

This year, for the first time, Sisemore's creations will be among those featured on the annual King George Studio Tour. The tour runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday; Sisemore's shop is open this Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.

He joins another woodworker, two potters, a photographer, a watercolor artist and jewelry creator as stops on the tour. Visitors can purchase pieces and, at many stops, enjoy a nibble or two of refreshments. (See box for details.)

Sizemore, 39, and his wife, Jane, have four children under age 7. That's one reason they haven't been on the tour in other years.

Two other side businesses also took up the couple's time on their 11-acre farmlet on State Route 205 at Ninde: selling 600 dozen eggs a year and raising turkeys they sell at Thanksgiving.

Sisemore said that as he found demand growing for his hand-turned wooden items--especially his pens--he began exploring ways to sell them.

One came when a farmers market in King George where he sold eggs held a special day for craftsmen to sell handmade items.

Now, he's expanded to doing a handful of craft shows a year, and likes the idea of taking part in this weekend's tour.


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WHAT: An open house at the homes/studios of seven county artists, from woodworkers to photographers to potters and more. WHEN: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. (Except Ridgemore Artisan Creations, which is open Sunday from 1-5 p.m.) WHERE: At different sites around King George. For more info and a map of locations, go online to kinggeorgestudiotour .mynetworksolutions.com/ or call 540/644-1138 or 540/663-2728. WHO: Sites on the tour include:

Julie Moore/Dirty Bird Pottery. Moore has been making functional stoneware pottery for nearly 20 years, specializing in shaving mugs.

Shirley Buckler/Noah's Ark Pottery. Buckler, a professional potter, makes wheel-thrown pots and hand-built animals, and also custom bowls, platters and jars for special occasions.

Curtis Gore/Swings & Things. Rolling pins, cutting boards, bowls, porch swings and more by a former coal miner turned woodworker.

Tavie Glassmire. A self-taught photographer, producing prints of original digital photography from Europe, Africa and the U.S. on a range of papers, as well as note cards.

Carl Sisemore/Ridgemore Artisan Creations. Unique items from wood, including pens, candlesticks, pepper mills and more.

Beverley Coates/Artworks by Beverley Coates. Watercolors focused on flowers and scenes of Fredericksburg and the Northern Neck.

Heather Esque/Heather Hill Designs. After years as a chef and cake-maker, Esque needed something new, whimsical and fun in her life, and now designs and creates jewelry pieces.