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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.

Thanks for visiting.

The Best of Sawdust and Dirt

A record of the goings on around Michael Kline Pottery!

Filtering by Tag: Ayumi Horie

Ayumi's White Pots

Michael Kline


White Pots

Studio Assistant: Molly Spadone

Michael Wilson: Director and Filming

Chloe Beaven: Video and Sound Editing

Miles Beaven: Music


Here's is Ayumi's video transcription.

Best artist statement I've seen, heard, AND read, lately!




Like a lot of people, I split my time now between the digital world and the physical one. My head’s filled with amazing stuff I see online, and yet I also need the messiness of the clay and the materiality of it to feed me on some fundamental level. I remember going outside on a freezing cold winter night when I was at the Archie Bray almost twenty years ago. I looked up at the stars and remember thinking that it was the cold that made me feel alive and part of this world, it wasn’t just seeing the vastness of the sky. It was the sensation of touch, the cold air on my skin. And I think the importance of touch gets lost sometimes in the digital world, because it’s all about the visuals now. Being cold or being uncomfortable makes you aware of your physical self. I don’t think we necessarily need to be uncomfortable to be aware. Awareness can come in different ways and clay is one shortcut to this kind of awareness. It makes you remember being human and being vulnerable. And that’s a lot of what my work is about.




There’s a meditative quality to all this repetition we do as potters. It requires being completely present in order to make work. You’d think that this kind of repeat would make you spacey and not pay attention, but it’s the opposite, where things become focused and you notice all the tiny details like a scrap of clay hanging on, or crack starting to develop. This is the kind of work that hones my ability to see each pot as an individual and it’s a different level of quality control than what happens on an assembly line, because certain pots take on a personality. It’s like oh- “that’s the one with the snaggletooth or oh that’s the one with the pimple on it’s handle”.




Play is a huge part of my work. In making pots, in drawing, in taking pictures and in thinking about how I get work out into the world.




There’s this incredible sensuality to soft clay that I hope lives on it the finished piece, so that other people can enjoy it and be aware in their own way of play and being present. Soft clay is so much like holding someone’s hand or giving someone a squeeze to say hello.




The thing that photography and ceramics have in common is their ability to preserve the ephemeral. Clay can record a spontaneous moment, just like a picture can. I love the cycle of ceramics. Clay is basically decomposed rock, so in the studio, we record this spontaneous gesture into it, into clay, we fire it and then this piece comes out hard as a rock again and lasts forever. That lovely moment of play is frozen in time.




Most of my work is fairly graphic, so it reads well online. But my white decal pots are different, actually they’re pretty much the opposite. They’re invisible unless you’re up close. And then even when you’re up close, they’re still impossible to read unless you handle the pot. Turning the pot lets the light catch the opalescent drawing. Potters can’t exactly compete with our culture’s addiction now to cell phones these days. And I don’t think we should, but I think it’s part of the dialogue when we’re talking about making hand-held objects. So what makes these pots unusual is that touch and holding them is integral to understanding what they are. There aren’t any shortcuts to that. And this brings us back to this notion of being present. I think of them as slow pots, because slowing down allows us to notice things. When I take pictures, I say, here, look at these beautiful things in life. And when I make pots, I pay attention to all the tiny beautiful details that make a pot what it is. The way my tool furrows through the clay or mashes an edge or how a handle can be crooked to hold a finger. All these things matter because then when I also put a white drawing on a white surface that’s very subtle, I’m asking the user to work harder, to meet me half way, and to be present in that moment.

Thanks Ayumi!

Current Rotation Revealed

Michael Kline

Here are the current rotation of mugs and cups in the shop, revealed! For the color version click here. Thanks to Stephen Dean for guessing almost ALL of the pots. He will be rewarded with the adulation of his peers.

mug rack with pots from Tom White, Michael Simon, Kyle Carpenter, Shawn Ireland, Mark Hewitt, Bruce Gholson, Matt Hyleck, Maria Dondero, Ayumi Horie, Hayne Bayless
Several of these pots have been featured in my Coffee Break Series.

Here are the links to those posts,

Marsha Owen
Michael Simon
Tom White
Kyle Carpenter
Shawn Ireland
Linda Christianson
Steven Colby
Hayne Bayless

Cheers everyone! Have a great week!

Pots in Action

Michael Kline

Ayumi Horie has begun a Instagram Page, Pots in Action, based on her Pots-In-Action concept of a few years ago. If you are on IG check it out!

~~Ayumi's Pots in Action!~~

Michael Kline










Photo Contest Highlights the Importance of Handmade Pots in Everyday Life

For the past five years, people from all over the world have been contributing hundreds of photographs to potter Ayumi Horie's Pots in Action web page. The forty-eight photographs that have been submitted to her inaugural online contest show the many ways that Horie's handmade pots being are being interacted with in everyday life. One woman sips tea from a love bird cup in front of a memorial to her recently deceased husband, a rainbow flows out of a cup in a Texas kitchen, a man lounges in the pool with a paper umbrella in his cup. This ongoing crowd sourcing project seeks to both celebrate people's creativity and underscore the importance of beautiful, handmade objects in everyday life. Voting ends September 14th, 12 noon EST.


Click here to see the entire Pots in Action project and click here to see the map!


Ayumi Horie is a full-time studio potter in the Hudson Valley of New York. She is on the board of the Archie Bray Foundation in Montana and has taught many workshops in functional ceramics and the internet across the U.S. and internationally including Haystack Mountain School of Arts and Crafts, Penland School of Crafts, Greenwich House Pottery, the Northern Clay Center, and the International Center for Ceramics in Denmark among others. Ayumi makes functional pottery in earthenware, drawing from folk traditions and comics in the U.S. and Japan.

For information visit: ayumihorie.com

A Week In Review (incomplete)

Michael Kline

Where does one start to remember all the crazy stuff that's happened in the last week? I've looked over the pictures that serve my memory and they just don't seem sufficient, but that's what I have for now. It's been HOT, of course, and the hay was cut and some of it baled by my neighbors, Larry and Robert. It was a dusty mess, for the grass was already pretty dry before it was cut. But it was nice to see the landscape minus the forage.

Speaking of cutting, my summer helper, Antonia Campenella, came by Wednesday to get the wood cut for XXXVI and learned more than she probably wanted to know about my wood cutting and stacking technique! We don't quite have enough for the firing, so I guess I'll have to send her over to Courtney's to steal some wood, while Courtney and John are in Japan! [heh,heh, heh...] Dohh! I forgot that Courtney might be reading this...just kidding CM ;-)
After a day of hot sweaty wood cutting, I got together with Buck and John for some demolition and reconstruction of this-here fine shed! You might remember John and Buck from their heroic and sneaky efforts in finally getting siding on the shop back in June. Well, the tres sneequi amigos were back at it! This time we stole Nick Joerling's old shed while he was teaching a workshop at the Bascom! We rebuilt it that afternoon in the field just below the shop in the blazing heat and dust of the hay baler! Don't worry, Nick has visitation rights and is even welcome to camp out in it for old time's sake. Rumour has it that this was actually Nick's first home when he moved to Penland in 1986!

Here's a non sequitur.

How fast did it take for the term "pots in action" to become a cliché household word in these pottery blogs? Here are a couple that I captured in the "act" of being pots. The above shows two "cousins of clay" performing their all-important duty of laying down the sour of the orange juice just to enhance the bitter roastiness of the fresh brewed coffee. One of my favorite combinations, cousins, citrus, and coffee!

Here's another clever product placement, er, I mean, pot in action. This time the actors are cousins of another kind. A glass pitcher by my friend, Kenny Pieper, and one of my ceramic yunomi, sweating it out during supper at the picnic table. Although similar processes there is one material difference between glass and clay. Clay is obviously more mysterious and infinitely more subtle, whereas glass is immediately recognized in its transparency and glare. [ed. huh? it must be late]

Meanwhile back at the pot shop...I thought the slip poured on this pot left a nice negative space! So, what does a potter blogger feel compelled to do? Snap a dozen pictures just to capture the mood and sensation of the moment!
Here are a few more moments, captured and condensed into two pictures showing a process of pouring slip onto these vases. It was fun.

I really like these vases/bottles. You can't tell from the pictures, but they're kinda clunky [read:heavy] and the variety and evolution of the forms as I made them was a little bitty thrill for me. Some of them got the Hack-at-me treatment with a big honkin' wisk broom through the Tile 6 slip.
And last but not least, I needed a jar to put money in for the self service showroom and found this derelict jar that had a big crack in it's bottom and side from a freeze this past winter. Just before I taped a note to it I thought it might be nicer just to paint these nice icons of denomination on the jar with my sumi-e ink!

[Look out for some of these motifs ($ and ¢, perhaps others) to show up on some pots in the next firing...]

Well, like I said, many more thoughts went through my mind this past week but very few can I remember at this moment. You'll just have to take my word for it. I've got to get back to a regular schedule of blogging, while those salient thoughts are fresh in my head.

Coming up:
  • a new blog post by Don Pilcher!
  • a post about the sinks
  • 300th follower! Will it be you?
  • more pots in action, of course!
  • salty thoughts
Thanks for reading.

Name Dropping

Michael Kline

Kelleher

After publishing the previous post, I realized that I forgot to mention that Matt K is in a show at RedLodge Gallery with Brad Schwieger, Matt Long, David Hiltner, Jason Hess, James Brashear, Ted Adler, Dean Adams, and our wood-kiln-map guy, Simon Levin! After all, what would this blog be without mention of Simon!? The show is called INFERNO! Here are some other pots from the show.

Long

Adler


Levin

Speaking of whom, Simon will be joining the Sawdust & Dirt columnists later this month, along with Mark Shapiro, Ayumi Horie, Don Pilcher, and Sam Taylor. More on this exciting news later.

Ayumi Horie Pottery Sale

Michael Kline


Get READY for Ayumi's sale! Pots sell quickly! It's good to sign up on here web site (if you haven't already) before the sale begins @ 12Noon Monday Dec. 14th.

Last posting of the year! Featuring plates, bowls, and lots of cups Expect to see plates, bowls, and lots of cups with newer animals like bats, raccoons, skunks, and beavers, plus the classic animals- rabbits, love birds, whales, deer, pigs, goats, sheep, and monkeys.

As long as orders are placed before the 18th, boxes will arrive in time for Christmas, no problem. Sign up for account early, pots go fast.

Just a Coupla Pics Before I Unload the Kiln

Michael Kline

"Now everything's a little upside down
as a matter of fact the wheels have stopped
What's good is bad, what's bad is good
you'll find out when you reach the top

You're on the bottom."--Bob Dylan, Idiot Wind


OK

I've been dragging my USB cable and digital camera baggage around all day and failed to post the other pictures and make further comments on the crazy weekend I had. I guess the "after the firing" recovery has taken more time than I thought it might. One shocking realization is that I'm not in my twenties anymore, and an all-nighter has serious implications on one's memory and alertness. The next firing will be different, I swear. [Or my sweet wife, may cease to be sweet to me]

Here is a series of pictures showing how my plates are wadded and fired. This technique was developed by my buddy Will way back when.


First my wadding station has a soft surface that won't chip the slip off of the pots. The wads are made with stiffer wadding so that they won't collapse under the weight of 4 or 5 plates.


Then glue is dropped on all of the wads, then sea shells from Pawley's Island are placed on the wads to make a nice flashing mark where the wad would have left just a dry white dot. The shells resist the salt and keep the plates from sticking, too.


Then the plates are carefully stacked. Just as with the kiln shelves where the posting has to be supported one above the other, the wadding has to be in-line.


Here is the actual stack placed in the kiln. On top of the stack are some cups that also have shells glued to the wadding.

Speaking of posts, aka. kiln furniture. I wad all of the posts so they will stack without wobbling. Also the soft wadding conforms nicely with crooked, warped shelves! Since I use a lot of these, the wadding process gets expedited by rolling a coil of wadding and the running the wadding along each corn and pinching off a little bit rather quickly. There's no need nor time for carefully rolling wads. These wads are glued on as well so that they won't fall off as I stack them into the kiln.

Link
My neighbor Tom Dancer brought over by a little box of glass from his days as a glassblower. I sprinkled some of the blue granulated stuff on these plates as an experiment. I also took some plate glass on the upper edges, hoping it will run down into the center a little bit.

Here's John Simmons, one of the heroes of the firing, coaxing the pyrometer into the 2000's. Not only did John bring a trailer load of kiln dried 3% moisture oak and poplar from Johnson City. He helped cut and stack it as well. John has a few pots in the kiln, and I hope he'll be rewarded for his giant efforts.


Here's John Geci, a neighbor and glassblower getting it hot at the end of the firing.


Here's Courtney Martin, Geci's newlywed, and I kicking some cone nine azz [as gary would say]. We're also sporting some Ayumi Horie His/Hers T's. Git your magic firing shirt here.

Well that's all for now. I'll unbrick and unload the kiln in the morning.

¡AyumiThrows!

Michael Kline



Since we still have dial-up here at the Pottery, I clicked the play button on this Ayumi video and proceeded to load the dishwasher, vacuum the Parmesan that Lillian spilled off the floor and bring the camera in ahead of the rain . All the while hearing funny snippets of the music as the video downloaded. After about a half an hour I sat down and enjoyed this great piece that Ayumi has put together. May the high speed information superhighway be with you!

[thanks Ron for posting the link]

Announcements

Michael Kline

Lindsay Rogers announces that there is a space available to an aspiring potter, out there somewhere I'm sure. Check out the Energy xChange web site here, for details.

Ayumi Horie reports that there are so many hits at the Obamaware preview that they are postponing the sale until the 19th and moving it to eBAY. Meanwhile you can check out the preview announced here in a previous post.

TONIGHT: Blogger will be unavailable Tuesday (10/14) at 8:00PM PDT for about 10 minutes for maintenance.

OBAMAWARE Preview is UP (for real)

Michael Kline

from the blog diary Daily Kos

Despite Ayumi's web team's best efforts in anticipation for big traffic on the OBAMAWARE Preview and Sale, the upgraded server crashed last night. But it's UP today, Hooray. So check it out here. There has been a lot coverage here, extremecraft, at Ron's blog, and other blogs, namely Daily Kos. I've looked over the other pots, and the show looks great. I'm glad I pressed to get the pots made. It was a lot of fun to come up with new designs for what is a very limited edition. So check into the sale tomorrow and help Barack Obama's campaign at the same time.