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192 Jim Boone Rd
Bakersville, NC, 28705
United States

828-675-4097

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: ACC

Arrowmont and Beyond!

Michael Kline

participants in the ACC Convening at Penland last month

I've just spent the morning doing paper work for my workshop at Arrowmont next September! OOO fun, fun! But seriously, it's pretty exciting to plan a workshop! The paperwork is a reality to assure that everything is in place for this one week adventure into wood firing and pottery making!

Just for you I will leak the course description to be published next month in the Arrowmont catalog:

Wood Fired Pots: Expect the Unexpected

The wood kiln is a great vehicle for expressing our best intentions and celebrating the process and the natural effects of fire on clay. We'll experiment with brushes and discuss imagery to create simple or complex patterns in slips and glazes. BYOB (bring your own cone 10 bisque ware) to be fired in the wood kiln. While we wait for the kiln to cool, we'll make pots of all sizes and join in a series of fun exercises that are guaranteed to brush up your decorating & painting skills!


Here is the longer description:

This will be an action packed week that will begin with decorating/glazing your pots to be fired in the manibigama wood kiln. Bring cone ten stoneware pots that have been bisque fired. We will load the kiln and fire the kiln paying close attention to the effects of different kinds of wood and frequency of stoking. We will use our sense of seeing, hearing and smell to understand what’s happening inside the kiln! While the kiln cools, we will make pots and do lots of fun brushwork exercises. I will demonstrate how to make pots of all sizes, especially larger pots. We will explore brushes, pattern making on the pottery surface, slip/glaze strategies, and other decorating techniques including my pigmented wax resist technique. In addition, I will discuss my blog and how it informs my studio practice. We will discuss various approaches to this online media and how it is shaping our pottery field. At the end of the week, we will unload the wood kiln and assess the results and have an informal critiques of the pots.

As I read these I am reminded of the tone of voice pro athletes fall into when being interviewed, or the tone that a museum docent falls into when giving a tour of a exhibition. You know that tone?

Anyway, I also wrote a brief statement for the American Craft Council's for the symposium, "Convenings", I attended at Penland a few weeks ago. Yea, I was supposed to submit this before the symposium, but just managed to get it together this morning. It's pretty brief because I had to send it in "Now", as the email I received stated! Well, the question was, after all, Why craft NOW?
Why craft now?

As a maker my question is usually why craft then? As a potter I tend to look at the history of my craft as a well to dip my hands into and a fire to keep stoking.
In typical Kline fashion I avoid actually answering the question by restating the question and then giving a rather mysterious and vague poetic kind of answer. Hmmm. Suspicious art speak?

I'd better get back to work. Please take aim at these words. Maybe it's not too late to edit for future consumption.


Oh, and don't be like me and procrastinate! Sign up for the Arrowmont workshop ASAP! The catalog comes out next month but you can preview the 2011 Workshop listing and reserve your spot by calling 865-436-5860!!!

Paper/Ceramic

Michael Kline




As I handle my mugs from yesterday and think about the next step for these pots I pause to share a little something that has struck me about this cup...



I was given this cup at the coffee house over at Penland and immediately noticed the pattern printed on it. It is a nice pattern of leaves that "flow" around 3/4 of the circumference of the cup and it shares the real estate with the following text,

MADE FROM PAPER AND CORN 100% COMPOSTABLE


The pattern is made up of leaves falling or flying, not ears of corn. So i had to think, was the pattern intended to enforce our perception of a green, sustainable, product and am I to start a compost pile made out of the leftovers my daily visits to the coffee house? Do handmade cups present overwhelming complications to the quick cup of coffee with their need to be washed, the burden of their bulky transport, their lack of spill control(i.e.plastic lid)? Makes we reflect on the question 'Why Craft now" which began last weekend's ACC Convenings.
Hmmm.

With all of that said, I have to say that the pattern is seductively pleasant. More questions ( for myself primarily, but please chime in with your thoughts): can I create a similar seduction with my patterns and pots? How are the patterns I choose to decorate my pots helping or hindering this seduction?

In addition, I guess there are many stories in the naked city of sustainablility and the green production of pottery. Can or should potters compete with the paper cup? Is the paper cup better suited to our lifestyle than the handmade( i. e. well crafted) cup? I realize as I pose these questions that time and place play a major role in our choices. Just as the suggestion of composting one's paper cup is dependent on a next action or an inconvenience, depending on the situation one finds themselves in.

Well, I'd better bet back to those mugs. The inconvenient truth is that those cups won't 'handle' themselves. I'll chock it up for my 12x12 if I can.

Please help us sort these questions out. I know its a pandora's box. But, any takers?

Have a great day.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Back to Earth

Michael Kline

What a weekend! I just got back from a couple of days of amazing discussions on Craft hosted by the Penland school and the American Craft Council! About 30 artists, gallerists, curators, writers, museum directors,and bloggers came together (from all over) for some intense talks about craft and its relevance! I felt honored to be part of the fishbowl.

Hopefully, I will have some time this week to crank up the old 'still and bottle some of my thoughts on what was talked about right 'chere on ye olde blogge. *hic

Meanwhile, it's back to earth and some of the pressing concerns in the studio.