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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: Bruce Gholson

Coffee Break vol. 34

Michael Kline

Vol 34 of my coffee break series is a four-fer, a quad, if you will. And if you look closely enough you can see a little dried coffee dribble on each cup. I guess I'm a sloppy drinker.

You can see all of the coffee break series by using the little search box on top of the right side bar.

or

by clicking the coffee break label at the top of the right side bar or at the bottom of this post.


the coffee cups are piling up in the shop!
clockwise, from upper left, Josh Copus, Emily Murphy,
Bruce Gholson, and Mathew Hyleck

[Crunch week reminder to self: buy coffee and melita No. 4's]

Cousins

Michael Kline

the cousins in clay: mark shapiro, samantha henneke, michael kline, bruce gholson, sam taylor
it's an early morning for this night owl, but there's lots to do today. the studio is overflowing with pots from XLIII and they await judgment of the pricing kind. this is a most difficult moment for me as a potter. sure, i have my standard pricing structure, but it doesn't account for the slightly unusual, the rare beauty. my daughters have picked out their one pot allotted to them from each firing.

maybe this process of grading should be done by some outside agency, really. price waterhouse? my mind is lost in the fog of expectation, or what my ceramic mind's eye saw as i glazed the pots and placed them in the kiln. lost in a fog of hope and desire.

but their true nature is better judged and appreciated by those other than their maker. (for now) without expectation, instead anticipation, the pots can shine in the eyes of their beholder.  like some sort of serendipity, customers will be excited when they discover them this weekend. just as a potter hopes while waiting for the kiln to cool, he hopes that the pots will be well received. that they will find good homes and be used there.

he also hopes that you are near enough, this weekend, to come to a row of massive oak trees along a mountain ridge just a short walk from the shop and kiln where these new pots will be. in the shade along side many other kindred pots that have come as far as seagrove, nc and as far as western massachusetts, all with the same hope of finding a place in your home.

Funny Numbers and Fresh Clay

Michael Kline












I'm a bit behind reporting on the happenings leading up to the next firing and the Cousins in Clay reunion, but here goes in a matter of a few photos!

I was happy and a bit overwhelmed to have two helpers yesterday, my intern Adam MacKay and his partner Molly Belada. Molly and Adam are undergrad ceramics majors at App State, in Boone. Adam has been helping me every week and Molly has been helping my neighbor, Courtney. After some number crunching and clay body calc, we set up the mixing area where I proceeded to find not one, but two wasp nests in two open bags of clay. Ouch. After some thorough paranoia and nest removal M and A mixed up enough of the fireclay mix that will be added to my red dirt in a week or so (I hope!)

The girls came up with a friend to make some pots (read: show off their pottery skills to their friend) but their wheel was covered with reclaim clay, so I set up my Shimpo banding wheel and hand turned it for them. It was just the thing and soon they were off to the woods to do some exploring and I was back to work.

I'm managing to get some nice pots made in and around carrying out final plans for next months Cousins in Clay Show. There's a lot to do but I'm so looking forward to seeing my old buds, Mark Shapiro and Sam Taylor, and all the pots they will be bringing. Check out our Facebook page to find out more.

OK, time for some lunch, then more pottery this afternoon.

Once a Cousin, Always a Cousin

Michael Kline

The day is Tuesday according to my phone. But I wouldn't know it, being in a stir from all the traveling and returning home to an empty nest. (except for Jack and the chickens!) Somehow I find myself off the blogging wagon and not quite knowing how to get back on! So I will attempt by telling the briefest story of the past weekend as everything before that is even more of a blur!

I traveled to Seagrove to unpack my pots with the likes of Bruce, Samantha, Ron and Judith. It was all kind of abstract until we all converged on the Bulldog Pottery home base. All the planning and "shucking and jiving" associated with promoting a show didn't quite prepare me for the pottery get-together that we were about to have. It had been a while since I spent any time with Ron or Judith and when they unwrapped their pots it was quite overwhelming! (but, in a good way)

Samantha, Bruce, and I were reminded that this very moment was why we really created the Cousins in Clay shows! We relished every pot and swarmed around Ron's and Judith's tables. Selling and promoting our own work may have been our original intent, and inviting the most highly respected potters in the country to be our guests might have been a way to draw in our NC pottery collectors, but seeing the work by these guests and spending the weekend together has truly become an honor,  a privilege, and a priceless experience.

We have a very big family of clay, and it's great to come together, share stories, and hold each others pots every once in a while. Thanks go to all that helped make the weekend go smoothly and especially to Ron, Hester, Judith, and Royal for making it a very special time.

Cousins in Clay Collaborations: Part 1

Michael Kline


Here's a video of moi painting some resist on a bone dry porcelain cup thrown by Samantha for our Cousins in Clay™ collaborative project. It was interesting to handle another potter's pots. The forms of Bruce and Samantha were unfamiliar to my hands and to my brush. I have become accustomed to the forms I make and paint and there is an evolution between the forming and the painting that becomes internalized over time. But handling these Bulldog pots forced me to stretch a little bit. We used Minwax water base Polycrylic protective finish.(clear gloss with green food coloring so we can see it better on the porcelain)

Working with S & B was a blast and I can't wait to see how their crystalline glazes look on their surfaces that I painted. We'll try to continue the narrative with additional videos and stills. If these pots are successful in the end we will have a special online sale. So stay tuned for all of that.

If you would like to view this video in HD (high definition), click on the youtube button at the bottom of the video window to watch on youtube proper and then check the button that either says HQ or 360p, etc. It takes a lot of bandwidth in HD and may be a little choppy depending on your connection. Also, the sound didn't seem to upload (at least not on my computer?? so don't try to adjust volume), sorry.

If you have any questions, just leave a comment and I'll get right back to you.
Enjoy.

Roadtrip

Michael Kline



As alluded to in my post from the other day, I made my quarterly visit to Seagrove, the "cousins", and the NC Pottery Center. As I close in on my first year as a board member at the Pottery Center Jennie Keatts and I went around the center taking pictures for the NCPC Facebook page. Jennie and I also got together to brainstorm about the Pottery Center's online mission before the BOD meeting. It's a place of great pride that we have our own pottery center in NC and the Center is always looking for ways to brag on our traditions and our future of NC potters.


one of the many picnic tables at the center. this one decorated with handmade tiles made by local school children during a special workshop at the educational building at the Center
The NCPC is located in the heart of Seagrove North Carolina, and the grounds are a favorite spot for visitors to have picnics under the beautiful old oaks. The NCPC was designed by NC architect Frank Harmon. (Mr Harmon has also designed the Iron Studio at the Penland School!) The Education Building has a great covered outdoor space that is sometimes used for workshops. I've always loved the idea of working outside during fair weather.
the "porch" at the Education Bldg.


the groundhog kiln at the Pottery Center

After my official business at the Center I went to stay for a couple of days at Bruce and Samantha's place south of Seagrove. We discussed plans for our upcoming "Cousins in Clay" sale in May, our Summer "Cousins in the Mountains" sale, and worked on some collaborations. It was a lot of fun, to say the least! I always get so much from my visits to their studio and seeing what they're working on. As I was decorating some of Samantha's yunomi, I realized that the shape that I had been making back in my shop were very similar to hers. Uh... Oh.... well I guess that's what "cousins" is all about.
Bruce and Samantha working on some of the pots I painted with their special kind of polyurethane.

closeup of Bruce hydro abrading!

After two days and a lot of talking and brainstorming, we had about ten pieces done. I have some unedited HD video that I want to share. But I am finding out that all those hours of footage take hours to edit! Where is Buddy Squires and Ken Burns when you need them! We plan on taping all the various steps from these first stages all the way to their finishing touches! [Sigh/Phew] Someday! For now you can visit Samantha and Bruce's blog to read and see more pictures of our fun together last week!

We'll announce a little sale of these pieces if they hatch from the kiln with all the splendor we are hoping for. So don't forget to check back the updates and if you don't want to take any chances, sign up for email announcements here. We'll be sure to let you know!