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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: Micah Cain

Still Waiting

Michael Kline


I sort of took a day off on Tuesday.

There's much to do to prepare for the solo show in Asheville, attend to all the business stuff that I dropped to focus on the final push, etc. There's still a mess of slip and glaze to be mopped up in the shop. But I put a few things away and made room for the pots!!

All in all, though, it was a restful day. It felt odd not to be pushing so hard every minute and felt good that the work had been done. As it always does. There's so much satisfaction and relief that comes when that last brick goes into the door of the kiln and the fire is lit. As if the hard part was done and that the firing would be the frosting on the cake. But I can only say that because I always have a great crew that helps out tending to the fire. John Simmons brought all of his wood firing experience to bear and allowed me to take a nap while he single handedly made the transition from the lower firebox to the grates. A job that usually take two!

Alan Gratz made his first appearance since his teaching trip to Japan last Spring. He was focused and steady with his stokes and claimed at one point that he was "born to burn"!! (T-shirt idea!)

Micah Cain stopped by and helped us develop the new salting technique. While John cut the 1/2 inch thick boards to length, Micah loaded the boards up with salt. We then inserted the boards between the opposing stoke doors and rested them there so that the salt vaporized almost completely before the board was consumed. All the while Alan kept the firebox full of wood. [I have pictures on my phone to put here later, sorry]



Last night I took a peek into the kiln which was still about 450°F. Without melting my lense, I got this shot of a big jug with some pinkish blushes from the back of the kiln! I will get it unloaded on Thursday. With 3 inches of fiber insulation, it takes a while to really cool down, and I'm still a little gun-shy from my dunting in the past.

Working On The Set List

Michael Kline

the old Ford loaded down
at John's storage unit.

It was a beautiful clear day. Cold and windy, but nice. Micah Cain came over for some heavy lifting and general schlepping of stuff still stored away and almost forgotten over Micaville way. We stored my booth up in the attic space in between truss framing. We moved a hydraulic press and the old Peter Pugger, among other things. While we were there we ran into my old buddy John Snyder who was also moving some things out of storage. John insisted that I take a couple of nifty tables with wheels he had built and no longer needed. I graciously accepted and we piled'em on the old Ford.

the "new" Shimpo table

After looking over the tables, I had a hunch that I could possibly use one for my Shimp wheel. I hadn't had the time to build my table, ball opener, and splash pan for the Shimpo, and it turned out after removing the top piece of plywood that the lower shelf was just the right height for the wheel to sit. I like my wheel head to be just below my hips and that it was. I locked the wheels and off I went to test it out. I threw a ten pound jug. The clay was just right and the table was fine. I'll consider using it permanently if I can add a wooden splash pan and ball opener, which shouldn't be a problem.

3 gallon jug

I'm working on the "set list" for the Kansas State U. workshop on Friday. I'm really excited to go there and show them some of what I do. I'm not positive, but I think it's open to the general public. I'll find out for sure. It would be great to see you there if you're in the neighborhood. I'll also be doing some brushwork demos, as well as a brief lecture that evening. More on the set list, lecture, and access to the workshop in the coming days.