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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: Bulldog Pottery

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.

Coffee Break vol. 31

Michael Kline

I really shouldn't be taking a coffee break so early, but it has been a chilly day here in the pottery neighborhood and with my new rapid boil kettle it was a done-deal in a matter of moments. But no sooner did my water boil and I was on the hunt for a clean(ish) cup. I looked far and wide for a suitable mug that wasn't for sale in my Etsy shop or didn't have schmutz in it from a previous beverage.



Then I saw this little pot on my OPP shelf. It's from my clay Cousins over in Seagrove, who I will be visiting very soon. I had always thought of this pot as a small flower vase. But today I was feeling adventurous and decided to hook it up with a hot coffee.

It sports a really beautiful iridescent iron glaze with a diagonal shino(?) pattern that is somewhat like a stem and leaf. Do you see the iridescence?



The shape is very comfortable and warmed my hands up nicely on a chilly morning. Is it a yunomi? Me no know.

While I having this cup I listened to the latest Brian R Jonescast. This weeks interview is with Brian Giniewski. Have a cup of something warm and check it out!

So off to Seagrove I go and hopefully I can see what goodies The Cousins are into this new year. I'll let you know.

Cousins in Clay 2011

Michael Kline

OK, Ok, just a short ditty to point you in the direction of the Liberty Stoneware blog and Bulldog Pottery blog for more pictures of the Cousins in Clay/Seagrove event last week. Then it's back to my break from blogging and designing my Mountain Cousins in Clay flyer in time for this weekend's Toe River Arts Council Summer Studio Tour.

That's all. If you would like to continue to hear my pottery, news please subscribe to my newsletter here.

Thanks so much for reading .

The Cousins Are Coming!

Michael Kline





I
'm really excited about heading over to see my pottery cousins in Seagrove this week! Our third annual Cousins in Clay will feature South Carolinian artist Peter Lenzo as well as Jack Troy of Pennsylvania!

Samantha, Bruce and I are VERY excited to be hosting these two amazing artists and spending the weekend together in pottery cousinship! We hope you are planning a trip to the 'Grove to meet Peter and Jack and see their amazing work. Click here for more details.

This year's "Cousins in Clay" provides a rare opportunity for any of you Jack Troy fans who want to come out to Seagrove AND we are having a POTLUCK for Sunday May 29 lunch!

Bring your Jack Troy books, some food to share, we will have a pasta salad and drinks.

I will be demonstrating my special cousin brushwork at 1:30pm

This is a wonderful opportunity to talk with Jack Troy about pottery and see his pots. He will also have his poetry books available! Wooo Hooo!

Come see us!

A Potter's Got To Eat!

Michael Kline


I thought I better take a break from stacking the kiln and have a bite to eat and there's no better way to digest your supper than to sit back a write a few words on ye olde blogge. I've actually loaded 2/3 of the kiln. I am also running out of small pots, fillers. Luckily, I have a board of tumblers and have a few dishes to paint.

I'm getting very excited about next weekend's Spring kiln opening, and the following weekend's "Cousins in Clay" over in Seagrove. (More about all of that in my newsletter going out on Monday.)

Sign up for my mailing list to receive that, if you haven't already.

OK, back to stacking ye olde wood kiln! Firing #38 coming right up! I'll be tweeting kiln side with pictures and more. Follow the firing!

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!

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.

Slack Blogger Returns

Michael Kline

myself, Elsie and Val Cushing
Bulldog Pottery
Seagrove, NC

Out of desperation to keep the blog alive, I wanted to send out a big hello and brief update from this slacker-potter-blogger! I just got back from Seagrove where I sold some pots with my clay cousins, Samantha Henneke, Bruce Gholson, and Val Cushing. What a great honor it was to spend the weekend with Val and his wonderful wife Elsie! Their friends came from far and wide to say hello and spend a little time together while they were down from Alfred, NY.

I guess I feel like a slacker because I didn't take many pictures at all, and didn't do any blogging. But I did have a rich and thoroughly enjoyable time. And I swung by the NC Pottery Center on the way out of town and looked at the Buncombe Co. Pottery Show. There are some amazing pieces assembled both historical and contemporary. I'm in the midst of editing the shots I took there and will try to post them soon.

Meanwhile, I'm getting the showroom ready for the Toe River Studio Tour coming up this weekend! I'll let you in on some of the preparations and some of the pots I'll have for you in the coming days. There's also a little surprise I found on my return that I'll show you all tomorrow.
Thanks for reading and stay in touch.

Sunday Morning Joe

Michael Kline


The eye opener today is in this beautiful Bulldog Pottery mug I got from Bruce and Samantha at the Mint Show a couple of weeks ago. This is the mug that we fight over [not literally] in the morning. It's first come first served in this fine dotted mug.I also wanted to show the coffee ceremony set. The jar is one made by Douglas Rankin and Will Ruggles, which I acquired in 1989 while I was a student at Penland. It has served me well and has housed uncountable bags of French Roast over the past twenty years. This is truly a pot of daily use, a phrase that has unfortunately become such a cliche in potter's statements and magazine articles about pots. There must be another way to describe a cherished implement of sustenance, oh, that seems a little bit much...well you know what I mean, an object of domestic pleasure, no, maybe this, ...a pot. But that seems to simplistic...A spade is a spade, and a shovel, well, don't believe the hype. I've made pots that I never use and called them pots for daily use, but are they really?
I better go, I need to find more moonshiners for my jugs.


P.S. does anyone know who made the yellow pitcher in the background?