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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: Bakersville

Episode 3: Courtney Martin

Michael Kline


In Episode 3 I begin a series of conversations with my good friend and neighbor Courtney Martin.

Episode Highlights
  • the economics of reclaiming clay scraps
  • trying to keep up with popular culture while living in rural NC
  • graffiti and 80's hip hop
  • hoarding bisqueware
  • living near in the Penland School community
  • puttering vs. getting straight to work
Episode Rsources
Names We Drop
 Follow Courtney 
Follow Michael 
Exhibition Links
"Two", Lark and Key, Charlotte, NC
"Greetings From North Carolina" Santa Fe Clay Santa Fe, NM
"Designed and Crafted 14"Signature Contemporary Crafts Atlanta, GA

"Thank" Courtney for the conversation on Twitter

Thanks for listening!!

Callas Holds Court

Michael Kline

It's a big week for a small town.

This Saturday, July 7th, Peter Callas will be doing a presentation at the Historic Bakersville Courthouse and B-ville will hold its annual town wide Yard Sale. With a community of potters like this, there's bound to be great ceramic art at both events!

Peter CallasPeter Callas

But srsly, in association with Crimson Laurel Gallery and its "Serendipity" An International Woodfired Ceramics exhibition, this Belevidere, New Jersey clay and fire artist will hit the stage at 5 pm to talk about his travels and influences, his 40 years of clay, and his twenty-three year collaboration with Peter Voulkos. Peter will also discuss the Serendipity exhibition and participating artists.


From WikiClay:

[Callas] has helped to broaden the understanding of firing an anagama for a longer period of time allowing for a different end product of the work.  Callas played a role in the later stages of Peter Voulkos's life introducing wood firing to him. He would fire Voulkos's work in his kiln in New Jersey.

AOTP potter Chris Campbell
set by Chris Campbell
The current exhibit at CLG was curated by Eric Knoche (including the "Functional Element") opened on July 1 and the exhibition is a fantastic collection of work from around the world.  The fourteen sculptors featured Serendipity are among the best in the world. The eight functional artists are also unsurpassed.


35 Unloaded

Michael Kline

Here are the pots unloaded from the kiln. I'm still busy getting the site set for the sale and haven't got to look over the pots carefully. But my impression of the kiln is good. No kiln blues this time! I'll be shooting preview pictures to put on Facebook and Sawdust & Dirt, as well as a brief e-newletter special edition! Let me know what you think!


Art Centered

Michael Kline


Jann Welch, of Art Centered, hosted Ken Sedberry, myself, and about thirty students from Gouge Elementary, yesterday for a bowl workshop. Here is a shot of Ken making a hump molded square bowl. I first met Ken way back in 1989 while I was a student at Penland School and only remember him as the potter who had this huge kiln and made these really big wall pieces depicting canine/equine of some sort. Since then I have gotten to know Ken by working with him on the Spruce Pine Potter's Market, and most recently, the Potters of the Roan. He does amazing brushwork and fires his pots in a kiln that predates mine by about twenty years. As a matter of fact his kiln is poured castable just like mine. Ken encouraged Mark Peters to use castable refractories for his kiln and in turn Mark was the one that encouraged me to do the same. So there is the circle of influence here in Mitchell County, NC.
While I watched Ken make a couple of hump molded square bowls, it occurred to me that I have never seen Ken make his pots. It occurred to me how most of us work in isolation and how rare it is to have the time to visit and see one another working. It's by necessity that we venture out to visit our neighbor potters. Instead of borrowing sugar we may borrow a pound of Wollastonite, or a few cones, etc. It's a great community, but it's rare that we get to visit and watch one another work. It is more common to see each other at the grocery or hardware store. There are more potters in this area than I can list, let's just say a lot, mostly because of the proximity to the Penland School. It's not because of the availability of natural resources, as a potter would need 150 years ago. [Well, maybe for some, heheh. ] There are abundant glaze materials in the area. Most of the potters reading this may look at their bags of feldspar and see the source as Spruce Pine, NC.

[ramble...Back to Ken Sedberry]
Ken is one of those rare wood fired potters that works in a highly sophisticated way with surface design and wax resist. His work is colorful, too, another rarity among high fire wood burning potters. [more Sedberry work here]

We can learn so much, as potters, in just a few minutes watching each other work. So if you can, get out a visit a neighbor potter, better yet offer to wedge some clay! Not only would you be a helping hand, but you can see how they do their thing.
Maybe I should get over to Ken's!? I'd better call first...