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192 Jim Boone Rd
Bakersville, NC, 28705
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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: AKAR

The Chosen Ones

Michael Kline

yunomi cups for AKAR Design annual yunomi show swirlware decorated pottery

Out of the 30 swirl cups that I fired last month in the wood kiln, these are the 5 i have chosen for the annual AKAR Design Yunomi Invitational [2014] [2013] [20??]. I wanted to choose a group that showed a variety of color, swirl, and brushwork.

The process is a curious one, that begins with an invitation to do a show along with some of the best potters in the country and challenges me to make cups that push my abilities and techniques into new areas. Curious because in the end you might say these cups look like the kind of cups that you might expect from me. And you would be partially right, I guess.

But, contrary to my last post, this palette and style is but a subtle variation and refinement, not the kind of obvious change I talked about the other day. Each firing there are a handful of pots that are unusual and maybe not what I expect. Then I try to reproduce their goodness, whatever it may be, often missing the mark or guessing wrong on the combination of variables that affect a pot in the wood kiln.

So, to get a group of pots for a show like the Yunomi show, I might need 30 to get 5 or 6 exceptional ones. It's a strategy or process of "make bunch and some might fly" that many a studio potter are grateful for and since it's fun to make a lot of pots, its a great way to work.

But the other thought I have, or the other question you might pose, is who am I to judge?

Everybody has different tastes, different needs. Some like their pasta soft and some like theirs al dente. But in the end, I guess someone has to throw it against the ceiling to see if it sticks. [ba dum tssshhh] and I guess that would be me. But in the end, or at the point of sale, you, O fair and trusted customer, are the final judge!

The AKAR Yunomi show opens on the morning of May 15th and a LOT of the pots sell in the first hour! My advice would be to be take the morning or the day off, bookmark the website and get a front row seat! You should also follow AKAR Design on the Facebook for some fun preview action!

Thanks so much for reading!!

Random Giveaway

Michael Kline



Comment on your 5 favorites and qualify for a $20 Kline Pottery Gift Certificate that will be given away with random selector! After you leave your comment, you will be assigned a number for the drawing.

Yunomi

Michael Kline

for the 2011 Akar Yunomi Invitational

The upcoming firing is probably the last wood firing I'll do before the deadline for the spring show in Iowa City, so here are a few hopefuls.

This is from the AKAR web site:
3/25/2011 - 4/4/2011
2011 Yunomi Invitational
(ONLINE ONLY)
~200 potters,
5 Yunomis each

- Posted using BlogPress from my uNomi

Friday is The New Monday: No Rest For the Weary

Michael Kline

After the Veteran's Day Holiday and no school yesterday, it feels like Monday. But who am I foolin'? I don't really have weekends this time of the year, anyway! I guess it's been a long week, feels more like ye olde fortnight!

Still gawking at the beautifully clear skies we've had over the last few days and finding that the only time I can really be productive is when the curtains fall on all of that glaring daylight. Last night was another late night, but productive. After getting the handles on these really big tankards and retrofitting the lids on a dozen jars, I tore into making some yunomi(i) for the AKAR Yunomi show in the spring.

I know what you're saying, "spring??" Yes, April, I believe. Working back from the online opening, there's the deadline that the gallery needs the pots in January to begin photography of the gazillion cups Then there's rarity of a wood firing in December, here, and you get making them in November! This pottery doesn't happen overnight, ya know!?

[yes it does]
[huh?]
[overnight, that is]
[oh, I get it]
[ ;---) ]

What? All of that and no pictures???

[imagine image of a board full of roundish cups with
dramatic early morning lighting highlighting surface
details of wooden ribs and fullness of form]

What kind of blog is this anyway?

OK, back to some sort of sanity... Here are some ornaments Stacey and the girls worked on yesterday! in porcelain!! We're lining things up for this years BIG Toe River Studio Tour. Folks come from all over the Southeast to this 2 county 3 day weekend Crafts Mecca event! [If you're on my mailing list we'll be sending out our annual hand painted card to your mailbox very soon, announcing the time and dates. And it's not to late to sign up. See mailing list sign up button on the right. It's instant and it's free]

OK, I'd better put my auto-magical blogging pen down and start punching out items on my little chalkboard. I can't let all of this early morning genius time go to waste!

[it's actually just coffee energy]

Later.

Simon Levin@AKAR

Michael Kline

Rough Square Plate, 12.5 x 9 x 1.5",
slab-built stoneware, wood fired

Simon Levin, who has brought you wikiclay, Facebook's American Mug, Simon Says, and the Google Map of WWW (world-wide wood kilns), is now being lauded by the folks at AKARDesign for what he does best, his beautiful anagama fired pottery. This month's show features Simon along with Sam Chung. There is also new work by Sue Tirell and Jeff Campana! So check it all out today @10 a.m. CST or 11 a.m. EST because tomorrow never knows! (i.e. he/she who hesitates could get lost, or turn off your mind, relax and float down stream to AKAR !)

Who's Counting?

Michael Kline

Rather than speculating on the success of yesterday's phenomenon that is the Akar Yunomi Show, I've decided to just give you a few numbers (provided by Akar via their Facebook page).

  • 240 cups sold in the first 14 minutes
  • 500 cups sold in the first hour
  • 686 cups sold in 12 hours
The Big Cojones prize goes to Elaine and Tom Coleman with the highest priced cups, $350. The Low Baller's prize goes to Victoria Christen, who edged out Kent McLaughlin for the cheapest cup, at $25. It seemed that all price points sold, not just the low end, although the most common price seemed to be around $30.

North Carolina had the most potters (of course) with 24 and here are the other tallies:

MT 12
MA 11
IL, NY, PA 10
GA 8
CO, MN, VA 7
TX, UT, WI 6
CA, IA, OH 5
MO, MI, Canada,AZ, IN 4
CT, OR, KY, NE, FL, WA 3
MD, SC, VT, MS 2
KS, LA, WV, NM, AK, NH, ID, DC 1

mia- HI, NJ, ND, SD, AL, TN, ME, RI, DE, OK

simple math:
194 potters x 5 cups
=970 cups

[i can't guarantee these numbers as
I was counting them by hand on my
screen, but you get the point.]


That means that there are still about 300 cups to get!

Many galleries have tried their hand at this type of show with marginal success. But Sanjay Jani and his Akar Design have put their time into this show. This is no overnight success. They have been doing this show for several years and have fined tuned the event with top notch presentation and most importantly a wide range of excellent potters. Additionally, it's no small feat to take the time and put in the resources to photograph and input the data for the web site and continue to present the work so well. Then there is the bandwidth for the server to handle the massive rush of traffic when the online show opens. Well, I could go on...

But in the end, who doesn't like a cup? It's really the love of the cup that drives the folks at Akar, and the many who sit down at their computers to buy them. The cups in this years show are as diverse as we are as a culture. Most of our cabinets are probably overflowing with cups, but that doesn't stop us from adding to our collections. Pots break, or they get tired, better one comes along, our habits change, or we seek a different texture or color. And as we evolve in either our taste or our depth as collectors, hopefully there will be a pot that fits our needs and a potter out there to make it.

This show will continue to grow and include future generations of potters. At least I hope it does. It's one of the few events each year that truly embody the excitement that I have for pottery. As Sue Weisenburger commented on Akar's FB page, "[It's] One of my favorite 5 minutes of the year!"



My fellow POTR Stan Andersen's beautiful cup!
7 out of 15 of our guild were in the show!

Did you buy a cup? Did you have a favorite cup in the show? Were there surprises? Let us know with a brief comment. Thanks!

Now back to pottery making!

You(nomi) Pick

Michael Kline












Here are the yunomi (cups) that are ready to be shipped to Iowa City for the big show opening on March 26th. Now it's your turn to choose. Let me know which 5 cups you would like to see in the show. Leave your vote as a comment. Thanks for helping me me choose!

Here's the link to last years show @AKARdesign.

Retro Postcard / New Pots @ AKAR

Michael Kline

Ron Meyers @ AKAR

Robert Brady @ AKAR



Since the show at AKAR of Ron Meyers and Bob Brady opened this morning, I thought I would post another retro postcard. This one from Ron and Michael's sales in Athens, GA. from 1995. I have a whole stack of the these cards from through the years. Maybe I'll have another opportunity to post them in future "retro-postcards". Here's some pots I "lifted" from the online AKAR show. Have a good weekend.

Yunomi Show at AKAR

Michael Kline

'cousin' Bruce Gohlson
sold out at AKAR

I have just spent 45 minutes looking at the pots at AKAR. The show looks great and seems to be selling briskly. Shoko, Jenny, and Bruce, among others have already sold out. I hope you wil go see for yourself. If anything it is a visual feast! KIm Ellington has some beautiful cups, too!

Tasks

Michael Kline



Spent most of the day running errands. I managed to pack the pots I'm sending to the Mudfire Potters of The Roan Show opening in April. There will be a 2 gallon jar among some plates, platters, some big cups, and yunomis.

Speaking of yunomis, the AKAR yunomi show opens in the morning. I hope you will see the show and get to buy some of the great pots the show promises to have. Some of the cups profits will go to the Studio Potter magazine. They are recommending that you register so that your purchases can be expedited without delay. The show sold out pretty quickly last year as I remember, so log on early. I think the show goes live at about 10a.m. EST. I have a few more yunomi that I didn't ship that I hope to post on etsy very soon. I'll let you know when I do that.

My friend Buck was over this evening to wire up the pug mill, mixer, and kiln. Hopefully, soon we'll be hearing the roar of the Paoli mixing up some fresh red dirt. I've been limping along with reclaim and previously frozen clay that has taken a lot of time to reprocess. Maybe now I'll have no excuses to crank those pots out. Let's hope...

The Winners

Michael Kline

The process of choosing pots for shows, or merely looking at the pots you have just fired can be an extremely challenging task. As many have noted the expectations that a potter must put to good use in collaboration with the mind's eye as he/she decorates and glazes their work is a trickster. In the end the gut instinct, the pot that you reach for instinctively is sometimes the best in the eyes of the beholder. Although it may be difficult to assess just by looking at an image on a screen, certain key reactions are valid if not as complete an experience as holding a pot in one's hands.
The process of choosing pieces for an exhibition is usually a difficult one for me. I try to balance the group of pots against the individual favorites. I have all kinds of rationalizations that are put into play, just to make a few 'simple' decisions. This blog vote was a first for me, maybe in pottery bloggery history. I don't know. I wish there had been more votes and maybe I should have made it more anonymous, maybe next time. The candidates for the vote all made the cut, in my opinion. But to choose the five to sent, I thank you for helping me narrow the field. Here are the pots that I shipped this morning.

I'll keep you posted about the online Yunomi Show at AKAR. It opens Friday March 27th at 10 a.m.

Thanks for helping. I'll definitely do this again.

Last chance to vote

Michael Kline

Before I pack the winners of Saturday and Sunday's voting I wanted to give everyone another chance. I will be shipping them out tomorrow (Tuesday). According to Google Reader, I have 164 subscribers! And according to Blogger I have 57 "followers", so come out of the shadows and vote! So far there are 19 votes. Don't be shy.

Thank you.

Looking Into The Coming Week

Michael Kline

It was a great day
working outside on the new shop with Buck.
We punched out a few details, windows in tool shed,
steps into studio, siding.
Thanks for all of you who have stepped up to vote
on the cups I will send tomorrow to AKAR.
If you haven't yet, see previous post and send in your vote!

I have reclaimed clay that was sitting outside and
frozen and will be throwing more pots this week.

I also have some porcelain courtesy of Tom Turner to play with.
When the power is finally turned on at the shop, I will celebrate with a cone 6 porcelain glaze firing in the old L & L electric kiln. (something I've been thinking about doing for a while)
I'll keep you posted, of course!