Art Teacher Michael Fulton Uses His Wand-Making Skills to Donate to Lumos
High school art teacher Michael Fulton from McGovern, Pennsylvania, is a real-world Mr. Ollivander. He has been creating unique wands for seven years now and even regularly sells them at Steel City Con, a comic convention held in Pennsylvania for a variety of fandoms.
For Fulton, wand-making began as a sort of accident and has turned into a beloved hobby. He had the knowledge of wood carving and love of fantasy to begin with, and thus, his creative business was formed. Fulton often finds himself whittling away for hours, creating new wands rather than sitting and watching TV.
We weren’t joking when we said Fulton was just like Mr. Ollivander – he even includes magical cores in each of his wands. While he can’t exactly get his hands on phoenix tail feathers, unicorn hairs, or dragon heartstrings, he does have access to snake skin, bird feathers, and animal hairs. His wands are made out of several different kinds of wood that can also be found at Ollivanders, including cherry, maple, pine, and elm.
As if Fulton’s wands couldn’t get any more special, he also adds incredible detail to them. They often have carved patterns or features such as leather, jewels, or stones on them. He has also painted his wands before, but not just simple paintings – Fulton has re-created famous art on his wands, including Monet’s Water Lilies and Munch’s The Scream.
One of the most exciting experiences Fulton has had through his wand-making is the opportunity to meet and present his creations to actors from the films that inspired him. Some of the actors he has carved wands and staffs for include James and Oliver Phelps (Fred and George Weasley), Billy Boyd (Peregrin “Pippin” Took from The Lord of the Rings), and Sean Astin (Samwise Gamgee from The Lord of the Rings).
Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy) was the lucky recipient of Fulton’s favorite wand he has ever carved. Fulton spoke up about this particular wand, which had a carved skull at the top and a skeleton spine and rib cage going down the wand.
It was my baby. I spent three weeks solid carving it, and I didn’t want to part with it, but I said if (Isaacs) ever came to [Steel City] Con, I’d give it to him.
As if Fulton’s unique ability wasn’t incredible enough, he is also using his business to donate to Lumos, the charity started by J.K. Rowling to help children in orphanages find homes or be able to go back to their homes. The majority of his profit goes directly to Lumos because, as Fulton states, this is simply his hobby. He already makes a living teaching art to students, so this is his way of having a hobby that allows him to help those in need.