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192 Jim Boone Rd
Bakersville, NC, 28705
United States


The central information hub for Michael Kline Pottery, a small one man shop of pottery making in the mountains of western North Carolina.

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The Best of Sawdust and Dirt

A record of the goings on around Michael Kline Pottery!

Filtering by Tag: 37

37 Unloaded

Michael Kline

What a gorgeous day in the neighborhood, warm temps, warm breezes, and warm pots from the venerable old wood kiln. Well, it's not that old, only 37 firings. But as I mentioned in an earlier posts, it needs some maintenance and some TLC.

Here are some shots I took, as I do every firing, of the stack (after) and some details showing location and results. I'll take more shots tomorrow as I continue to replay what might have happened in the kiln and what I might do next time. Those will spotlight pots that I find particularly nice.

These mugs both have 6-tile kaolin slip and Michael (Simon)'s black slip. But the one on the left was fired in the back of the kiln where it was cooler and the other in the front, ∆9 was down, but ∆10 was just bending.

Leave a Comment Contest!!!

Here's your chance to win a $20 pottery gift certificate! Simply leave any comment here on this post or tomorrow's post. Evelyn and I will do the video drawing on Thursday!

Just leave your words of wisdom and wit, regret or pity, here on the blog and you will be qualified! Comments and "likes" on Facebook, as much as they are appreciated, will not be counted. That goes for tweets as well. Sorry.

OK, let me know what you think!

If you have trouble logging in to my commenting service, just email your comments to me and I will post them for all to read.


Beat-up Old Kiln/Beat-up Old Potter

Michael Kline

As the title of this post implies, this potter is feeling like his kiln, a little worse for wear. Ironically, throwing the pots, working the clay doesn't dry my hands out as much as wadding pots and loading the kiln. Wadding the pots is hard to do with gloves on, and the frequent washing (to remove the layer of wadding and glue from my finger tips) is hard on the skin. Handling the silicon carbide shelves and all of the craggly kiln furniture doesn't help much, either. Then throw in a few times that I grab something hot during the firing with the hole-e glove and you get really dry and hypersensitive hands. My hands feel a little like the skin of this kiln!

But with that whining aside, the firing of the wood kiln went fantastically well. The crew was awesome, the peanut M & M's flowed and the meals were plentiful! John Simmons and Kyle Carpenter were on hand to help finish the kiln after I spent the first 9 hours stoking solo. We missed my Ichiban Stoker, Alan Gratz. Alan was on book tour promoting his new novel, "Fantasy Baseball"! John Simmons was the closer, stoking the kiln for the final 4 hours, while Kyle assisted with the new and improved salting system. It would have been impossible to do this myself. I should also thank my wife, Stacey, for all that she has had to put up with this last week or so, and for her constant support (and fine cookin')!!

And now for the abbreviated Index for 37:
  • Dry wood and a gusty wind helped the kiln climb fast and we finished in 12.5 hours
  • We used half the wood than usual
  • We used a bout 30 lbs. of salt where I usually use 20-25.
  • The kiln was loaded with 300 pots
For now though, it's waiting. I'm trying hard not to have high hopes or great expectations and I'm squashing any paranoid fantasies with the excitement of seeing a kiln full of new pots!

In other News: I'm taking some down time these cooling days to catch up on all the projects that need attention. One of these projects is wring the Spring Newsletter. If you want to receive it go to my email sign up page and sign up!

Unfortunately last weekend's contest didn't happen due to the attention needed to load and fire the kiln. And next weekend's contest will not happen because I will be away selling pottery in Hickory, NC.

So we will hold a 'leave a comment' contest mid week when I unload the kiln, I promise! Look for it!