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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: Opinion

To Every Season

Michael Kline

every season, turn, turn, turn

April seems to slip away so quickly.  It opens up from the seemingly endless possibilities that grow from winter's longing. My arms reach out, hands letting go of their opposing elbows, my face looks into the sun, feeling the heat, but blinded by the light!

[Snap!]

OH! OK, I may not be the poet I think I am, HA!

Am I the potter I think I am?

Teaching, traveling, and showing my work  in various locales over the past couple of month's has me looking at my clay endeavor with new eyes. Traveling opens the eyes and upon returning home, I gain new perspectives.

And so another session in my studio begins. This one for the 49th firing of my wood kiln. The scraps of of failed pots and the trimmings of others has been slaked down/pugged, ready to be resurrected/raised into new pots.

There is always SO much hope in this season of the year and in this part of the firing cycle.

Raw clay is nothing but potential, ready for shape, ready to shape.


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.

Crap Ton of Rant

Michael Kline

left at another blog earlier today.

 "I heard that phrase a lot in TX. Maybe that's a cattle reference? I prefer grass fed beef.

On transparency and honesty in reporting, I agree with Adriana, but tend to just 'grin through my teeth'. I've had my share of crap shows, for sure. I just don't do that many shows anymore because I don't do well in general when I'm in a booth of some kind. I tend to do better when I can show folks my kiln, my clay pit,  and flesh out the narrative in that way versus a brag book of pictures or a series of charade like gestures. I guess the blog and facebook can do that. The market is a fickle place and it seems more often that promoters walk away with the real money. There is a crap ton of shows out there and the craft show paradigm is crap. With that said, I think of these opportunities as a savings account. Or better yet a life insurance policy, maybe. (i know its a stretch, since I don't fully understand either) But all of these shows may be seen as a form of proselytizing. It the shaking hands, politicking part of the craft career. Our presence at a craft show keeps us out there among the people. We're clearly seen by many as entertainment. Thankfully some of these folks also buy our work to take home and relive that entertainment on their tables and in their cupboards.

 (i've obviously had way too much coffee, but i will try to continue to make a point)

Back to the deep hole that we throw our money. (the gamble of the craft show) I guess what I'm thinking here is that we don't really know who we'll meet at these events. Whether it is another artist who can become an inspiration, or a reporter, or writer, etc. We may get invited to do a workshop. But if we look at these attempts as half full it might ease the disappointment of having to pack all of those pots up to take to the next show. It is a circus of sorts, take down the tent to put up in another town. Part of this strategy for me has been to stay close to home and/or be very selective of my craft show participation. We all have these stories of dashed success, I guess I'm still trying to figure things out and move on the good ideas. These good ideas are implicitly informed by the un-successes of the past, but not necessarily dwelled  upon (grinning through teeth, wink, wink) (ok, i'd better leave it there, I'm starting to get dizzy)

Carter could you pick up this convoluted ball of tangled extension cords and unravel it?"

Time, Attention, and Caring

Michael Kline

The story of the last few weeks is like so many sessions in the studio that lead up to a firing! But this one included a workshop tour to Cape Cod with Ron, and a spring break with the family to Florida! That's a lot of excitement outside of the studio! I can barely remember the events that lead up to last week’s firing, much less comprehend them now. Firing a kiln and unloading the results have a way of eclipsing anything I might have hoped while working the clay or the brush. Seeing the pots coming out of the kiln lead me to question my prefiring-self with questions like, “why did I do that?” or “what was I thinking?” my prefiring-self just sits there with eyebrows lifted together and a head slightly tilted with a sheepish grin.
The gears are turning in my head as I make notes for the next firing cycle in hopes that I will have learned anything about this process, this clay, and this kiln. One thing is certain, I’ve hit rock bottom with that sort of pace! I will be spending some time this week, while I make the long drive to Austin for Art of the Pot, rethinking my work-flow in the studio and what I need to do to avoid burning out doing what I love. The saying, “one day at a time” is fine for a while, but comes a time before every deadline that a certain reality has to be faced. For me that day is when I look around the studio and find myself surrounded by stacks of plates, armies of vases and jars, all wanting to be dressed in ribbons of vines!
Somebody said in a blog post (somewhere, recently???) that pottery takes time. I read it quickly with an under my breath, “yeah it does” and read on without much further thought on the real big idea that it was trying to get across to me. Not only does pottery take time, but time is the essence of anything that is good. Especially something handmade. Think about touching clay, even in the most minor and inconsequential way. Touching the object over and over again to smooth an edge, to attach a handle, feeling its weight, these actions represent caring. Caring takes time. Caring makes stuff good.
I guess this answers my questions to the prefiring-self. Maybe? All that time I spent in the studio I was caring that the form was good, that the weight was right, that the edges were attended to, that the painting was alive, etc. I do have a willingness to make these pots the best they can be. I am willing, but maybe not quite able.
The long hours and lack of sleep made me less playful, less joyful in my work. “The work” became just that. Oh yeah, there is always adrenaline, as my fellow potter Seth Guzofsky pointed out to me in a conversation, but that comes in a limited quantity, just like the sand in an hourglass.
But don't let me bring you down, I did have joy and it wasn't all work. That's just the melodramatic-me being just that! I feel that way after not blogging for a long time ;-) and especially  just after unloading a kiln full of pots!
So, now I head up the hill to take another look at the pots that wait to be sanded and cared for a little more. My joy meter goes way up after spending more time with the pots. It's a good way of trying to answer those aforementioned questions I have for myself. I will sand and sort all with the hope that  they will have a life out there in the world, maybe in your hands. Someone’s hands. Someone who cares. I guess that’s what it’s all about. 

About Time

Michael Kline

Don Pilcher lives in Champaign Illinois where he taught for many years at the University of Illinois. A gifted potter, thinker,and provocateur, Don shares his unique views on the field of contemporary ceramics. Visit Don's web site where you can read more of Don's stories. He can be also reached at don@sawdustanddirt.com

O
n page 86 of A Moveable Feast, Ernest Hemingway suggests that we all carry the seeds of our own demise – but that the best of us cover them with finer soil and higher yield manure.

Demise has been on my mind. I just got word that my classmate from art school, Elsa Rady, died last week. In that way she joins the list of vital southern California ceramic artists, recently departed – Paul Soldner, Otto Heino, Ralph Bacerra. I don’t know the details of their estates. But I do know that many potters my age and beyond have made some highly detailed provisions for their heirs. I also know that nobody offers workshops on how to orchestrate the very last phase of a studio life or how to ensure that one’s body of work finds a deserving and appreciative home beyond one’s lifetime. But if you keep working and don’t die, you must eventually confront these matters…or roll the dice with your heirs.


In my own case, I’m driven by this story from a few years ago. A story about a friend of mine. The potter died leaving thousands of finished pieces; he made in the thousands and sold in the hundreds. I can relate to that. None of his five children wanted any of his work. (That’s a story of its own.) His wife was able to gift about a dozen pieces to a local museum…who, in truth, cherry-picked the collection. Friends and distant relatives took another hundred. But she still had a very full basement and a guest bedroom absolutely bursting with pots of every description.

Now, in my imagination, the potter is given a four-hour pass from heaven. He’s back on earth, standing next to his wife at the door to the impassable guest bedroom and she says to him, “What do I do with all this pottery?” Long silence. And the pottery is not all. What about the poisons in the studio; the barium and lead? And the exotics; that five pound bag of rutile, smelted with spar and re-ground into colored grog; the only compound like it in the whole hemisphere? Who gets that? In this scenario, where is the fine soil and high-yield manure?

Before I answer that, I’m also considering an e-mail I haven’t yet deleted. I received it as a forwarded copy. It was written by one of America’s premier dealers and concerns the retail potential of a large body of work by a prominent potter who was most active in the 70’s and 80’s. He’s still living. The dealer was kind but very clear. He wrote that there is a ready market for the work of about eight ceramic artists and he named them. After that, there is virtually no reliable interest. (That’s probably a true statement when discussing established brick and glass galleries. But through the Internet places like Rago Arts and E-bay move plenty of work.)

Now, about the fine soil: the finest we can provide comes from extremely careful and realistic planning. Again, online, there is a planning document about end-of-life decisions entitled “Good to Go” – clear enough. It contains general medical directives, information on revocable trusts, various financial provisions and so forth. For my directives, especially related to my ceramic life, I’m expanding those items to include a detailed list of potters, schools, art centers and institutions who might want (and know how to handle) not just my work but raw materials and equipment. And I’m having short conversations with most of them to gauge their interest. It’s not that I know of any particular urgency, but these are the kinds of jobs that can remain undone until it’s too late.

It’s neither fair nor realistic to expect that my heirs will know how to manage toxic chemicals or delicate pyrometer couplings. To this end, I’m establishing a fund of several thousand dollars to hire a knowledgeable individual to distribute my studio assets and rehab the space for some other use. This step has the added advantage of bypassing that famous scene from “Zorba the Greek,” a re-distribution of assets that unfolded like vultures on a carcass.

As to my work, I’ve set aside a number of boxes bearing the recipient’s name, containing certain pots and a letter from me. Since my name is not on the list of eight, I’ve left the rest of the pieces to my executor to dispose of in any way and at any time he or she sees fit. One of the saddest conversations I’ve ever had was with a husband and a dealer concerning the recently deceased wife’s work. The three of us met at the dealer’s gallery. The husband was sure he had been left a fortune. Time has shown that the work was nothing special. The conversation began obliquely. I said, “I don’t know who might show this work.” It ended thirty minutes later with the dealer saying, “I doubt they’re worth anywhere near that.” Long silence.

Almost every year a few of my pieces go into museum collections. They are gifted by collectors of my early work who are getting to that age. They are NOT purchased by the museums. But the collectors or their heirs get a nice tax deduction. The curators contact me to authenticate the work and, in the process, I’m occasionally able to enhance the gift in some way; a tax deduction for me and some personal pleasure. This is one of those times where deep sentiment and self-interest meet social good. And it may be the only way some of us get into the Met.

Finally to the high-yield manure – best for last and an alternative ending to the stories above. In this narrative we skip two generations; we think conservation, not conversion. Arrange to keep the body of work intact. The custodial heirs or other interested parties can spend fifty years developing a compelling history of the artist. Include notebooks, photos, press clippings, articles, monographs, catalogues and an infamous appearance on YouTube. Once all the contemporaries are dead, the next generation ushers that work onto the collectibles market. Even splitting the assets, the great-grandchildren could do alright. Really good to go.

Lunch Read

Michael Kline


I just read the latest over at Fahrenheit 2300. Thought this was worth sharing.
All too often, objects are handed down to us, stripped of any memory of the men and women who handled them on a daily basis, who kept them on shelves in their homes. Pieces like Persons’ Yale mug remind us that real people with real lives actually owned these vessels, and they were capable of holding more than just water or beer, but also great significance to those who chose to keep them.
Check out the whole post here.

Challenges

Michael Kline

Noon zipped on by as I stared at my sparklingly white porcelain bisque ware. I have set up my painting area and taken my new Ebony pencil to sketch patterns on the surfaces of some of the cups. Like a dog circling 'round it's pallet on the floor, and then scratching it, and arranging it, before lying down, I put things together at my table and in my mind to make my painting bed.

Painting pots with patterns is sometimes dreamlike and it is an activity that I definitely get lost in. My imagination drifts and travels around the pot with my brush and slip as my vehicle.

Like any 'journey, there's a lot of prep and planning, and then it's time for the rubber to hit the road.

After a while the pedal hits the metal and I'm off!

Every winter I have the habit of turning everything upside done (sort of). For the last month I have been working on developing a skill with an unfamiliar material, porcelain. This stuff couldn't be more opposite in character than the home clay. In almost every way it is different.

So now it will take some faith to glaze and fire it in the electric kiln opposed to my usual wood kiln. Actually it will take a big leap! I heard an actor being interviewed on a radio show today describe taking a role that was totally contrary to the roles he had played before. He described it as "jumping off the cliff".

Great metaphor. It's a good way of putting that decisive moment of risk taking!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Michael Kline

There is a fair amount of fear/anxiety that is associated with any glaze firing, but I only imagine beauty when painting my pots, complete denial that anything bad can happen.

;-)

ode2joy

Michael Kline



You know it's a slippery slope to post 3 times in a day. But at the risk of saturating you and plain losing some of you, I submit this last post of the day. Sometimes later in the day, when one is tired and a little bleary eyed magical (at least to me) things can happen. As I was combing these bowls I thought about the feeling I had doing them.

Joy is something that doesn't get talked about all that much, but it is something that guides a lot of what I do. Combing these slipped bowls was a lot of fun and if I had another hundred I could have really gotten lost in it and I'm sure some interesting designs might have emerged. sigh

Alas, (which I think is Gaelic for girl)
Oh....as I was saying, when something feels good and you enjoy it, it's best to follow that feeling. Some might call it passion. Whatever you call it follow it.

I know what you're probably saying, "But where is the vine, Mr. Kline?" and to that I would say, "It ain't over yet."

So thank you if you are still reading this. As always thank you for reading and indulging me!

Stay tuned for some mad deco-rotation in the coming days!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iBegyourpardon

Paper/Ceramic

Michael Kline




As I handle my mugs from yesterday and think about the next step for these pots I pause to share a little something that has struck me about this cup...



I was given this cup at the coffee house over at Penland and immediately noticed the pattern printed on it. It is a nice pattern of leaves that "flow" around 3/4 of the circumference of the cup and it shares the real estate with the following text,

MADE FROM PAPER AND CORN 100% COMPOSTABLE


The pattern is made up of leaves falling or flying, not ears of corn. So i had to think, was the pattern intended to enforce our perception of a green, sustainable, product and am I to start a compost pile made out of the leftovers my daily visits to the coffee house? Do handmade cups present overwhelming complications to the quick cup of coffee with their need to be washed, the burden of their bulky transport, their lack of spill control(i.e.plastic lid)? Makes we reflect on the question 'Why Craft now" which began last weekend's ACC Convenings.
Hmmm.

With all of that said, I have to say that the pattern is seductively pleasant. More questions ( for myself primarily, but please chime in with your thoughts): can I create a similar seduction with my patterns and pots? How are the patterns I choose to decorate my pots helping or hindering this seduction?

In addition, I guess there are many stories in the naked city of sustainablility and the green production of pottery. Can or should potters compete with the paper cup? Is the paper cup better suited to our lifestyle than the handmade( i. e. well crafted) cup? I realize as I pose these questions that time and place play a major role in our choices. Just as the suggestion of composting one's paper cup is dependent on a next action or an inconvenience, depending on the situation one finds themselves in.

Well, I'd better bet back to those mugs. The inconvenient truth is that those cups won't 'handle' themselves. I'll chock it up for my 12x12 if I can.

Please help us sort these questions out. I know its a pandora's box. But, any takers?

Have a great day.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tom Turner: Part 2: Salt Glazed

Michael Kline


If I had taken more notes and been a better student I could then pass on more information to you about the pots in this post. But as it stands, it's been over a week since I visited Tom and looked at these pots and I didn't have my notebook with me.

One important thing that happens, though, when handling pots or objects of any kind is a sort of downloading of non-verbal information. Textures, weights, shapes become internalized and this data is kept in hand memory and visual memory. We become scanners and cameras as we handle and turn these objects. You don't have to be a potter to do this. All of us handle hundreds of objects every day. Our relationship with any object is the product of these sensory interactions merging with our own needs and desires. We need a cup of tea or coffee, we desire that particular cup. The necessity of food and eating for survival is the primary job for which pottery exists, the culture of that pottery is lead by our desire for function and style. The available technology at any given time in history is the catalyst for expression in the art of the potter.

Although I don't consider myself a scientist, I am infinitely curious. This curiosity leads me to answer questions that I have in my work as a potter. As a contemporary potter I am fortunate to have examples of previous potter's research available in collections like Tom's, like the Mint Museum's, and others, like the Freer/Sackler. In any research discovery stands on the shoulders of the past. Unfortunately, a lot of what I do in the studio is redundant in the search for these answers.
I'm not sure, yet, how to minimize this. But continuing to study is crucial.
No matter if you are making pottery or sculpture, no matter if you are new to clay or a veteran, it is essential to the success of your work to know the history. We may be doomed to repeat the failures of the past, I know I have, but we can also enjoy the satisfaction of perpetuating good ideas and good forms with our work.
I meant to talk more specifically about the marks on some of these pots, but I've gone on a tangent. Last week, Tom and I were were looking at handles, their attachments, and capacity marks. These images show a few ways of marking and embellishing.


In the process of answering questions about these pots we learn about the needs and desires of the people who made them and the culture that surrounded them. In turn, we learn about our own needs and desires, both as potters and as people. Thanks Tom for sharing.

I'd better get myself in that studio and make some pots today! Thanks for indulging.


Tom showing proper form when holding an old pot

***Click here to see another Stedman/Seymour pot you might find very interesting. I can't imagine what it was for or how it might have been used. Maybe you have an idea?

Laughs

Michael Kline


Here are some things Woody Allen has said about making pottery:

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying.

I was nauseous and tingly all over. I was either in love or I had smallpox.

If you're not failing every now and again, it's a sign you're not doing anything very innovative.

Most of the time I don't have much fun. The rest of the time I don't have any fun at all.

Confidence is what you have before you understand the problem.

Life is full of misery, loneliness, and suffering - and it's all over much too soon.

Eighty percent of success in [the studio] is showing up.

=)

Moving Onward

Michael Kline


All good things must end, sometime. Even blog-cations. Is that a word (yet)? It's been a rollicking two weeks, the usual ups and downs. I've mostly been packing up the old shop and moving it , albeit prematurely, to the new one. After Ron's culinary suggestion, I've been eating a lot of tomato sandwiches and loving 'em. I've made some pots but not nearly enough for my Sept 1 firing. I've been helping my daughters learn how to ride bikes which brought back memories of crashing over and over again until I got it figured out. It's a good metaphor for making pots and trying to get them right. After a while it just flows like that. I've been culling "the collection" as it has become known as, pottery and artwork from as far back as my university days in Tennessee. That's where the hammer is such a friend to a potter. A lot of the stuff I got rid of wasn't of any importance and the act of breaking one's bad pots is an act of joyful release.

Way back in the early days I had a high school student work for me after she came home from school. She was high energy, confused about some things, but sure about a lot for her age. Emily would come to the shop in the afternoon full of rage some days. So we would just go out to the "rock" with a couple of pots reserved just for that very moment. In those days that grade of pottery was plentiful and we would sometimes need to throw several pots. A scream was also in order as one threw at the rock. That was the way we rolled then. Now Emily is going to Alfred to work on her PhD in Ceramics! I am so proud of you, Emily, formally known to Shapiro and I as "the shredder"! Check out this article about Emily.

I am no stranger to angst, and apparently it comes and goes with many of us potters. As basket weaving became a cliche for an easy grade in college course work, potters have gotten a label of eternally peaceful at their wheels and always smiling. Mostly it's true, it is joyful work, I can't think of a better way to live. But this career comes with its foibles and its sucker punches. It's back breaking work and its competitive. It's archaic in these times of high tech and yet it's essential as an antidote to the massed produced plastics that have invaded every corner of our kitchen. Some of us use wood and local materials as a reminder of the old ways, we carry that torch for better and for worse.
After a good soaking rain last night, in the words of George Harrison,
Little darling, it seems like years since it's been clear
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun,
and I say it's all right
It's all right

Coffee Break vol. 3

Michael Kline


Well another day, another cup of coffee, before I go....back to my carpentry. I only need a little shot for the afternoon, so another little cup. This one, by Linda Christianson, I won in a cup exchange at the Utilitarian Clay Conference at Arrowmont in 199? How lucky is that? It has a soft square shape and the bottom has a ghost pattern of black stripes from whatever pot was below it that fumed up, maybe a plate? I remember Linda at the conference was asked about her handles, which have a nice ridge in the center, "What if someone says that your handles are uncomfortable?" She responded, " Maybe that handle isn't right for them."
Right on. I think some criticism is constructive, but at a certain point, one must stick with one's instincts. Whether its handles, or whatever. If it's true and it works for you, then most likely it will work for others, but maybe not everyone.

Now back to my Vienna Roast...so long.

Day of Rest

Michael Kline


This afternoon I sat with some friends in the yard watching our kids splash around in the pool and realized, "Hey, I'm sitting here without a care in the world, not even pottery!"

We started out the day with a fishing trip up at John Ferlazzo's pond and wound our way back and found ourselves in Bandana again, so we stopped by the pottery sale. While we were there the rain came pouring down. We had so little will power and couldn't help ourselves from these Shawn Ireland birds.

I don't think I've ever regretted buying pots, or birds, that I really responded to, but really couldn't afford. I heard once that you forget your extravagances, but regret your economies, or something like that...A long time ago Karen Karnes egged me on to buy a beautiful Jan McKeachie-Johnston basket at the Demarest Pottery Show. It was way beyond what I could afford. But I've never regretted it, and have since forgot what I paid for it. These birds weren't expensive at all, but with dwindling cash left for my new shop they seemed extravagant. I don't regret it a bit. The shop will get built.

Some Pots From XXVII

Michael Kline






I'm beginning to appreciate the pots from this firing and get over myself. Here are a few of the pots I have been looking at this evening. Of course I didn't mention in the previous post that the results of the firing always exceed the expectations of the potter, eventually. After all, that is why I am using this kiln.

A Review

Michael Kline

One of my blogging goals was to have a place to share thoughts as I make my work, a place that I can talk out loud. I wanted to simulate what happens at workshops when I am asked questions. So this blog is, in a way, an ongoing FAQ, where I am frequently asking the questions, and hopefully coming up with some answers. Another hope for the blog was that it would be a self revelatory process. It would give back ideas, open up conversations with readers and myself. And thankfully it has been all these things, and more. I am realizing that there are a lot of folks like me out there. I have met a lot of people who have told me that they read the blog regularly. There are friends who have told me that they don't read the blog, that's ok, too.
Another thing that is happening is that I am reading a lot of other pottery blogs. I guess I didn't know that so many potters were blogging. What a great surprise! It's great to read about, and see what everyone is up to, what we are looking at for inspiration, what we read, etc. I started out thinking that I would keep the blog strictly focussed on pottery. I think I've stuck to that mostly, but I'm finding that potters do all sorts of things besides standing at a wheel throwing pots. I certainly have become aware through this blog that I don't throw pots everyday. When it comes to reporting from the studio there aren't always fresh pots sitting on the table to photograph. It all comes back to the many hats we, as potters, have to wear to get those pots made. And that is what I am finding interesting in the pottery blogs. I guess I just wanted to admit these findings to myself as much as report report them to you, the reader.

For the record, I did get my hands dirty today in the studio, I just thought I would spare you the obligatory photo of the table full of pots. It's ok, right? It's all in a potter's life. Thanks for reading.

The Avant-Garde of the Cabinet

Michael Kline




























In lieu of showing work that would be happening in the atelier, since there isn't any, here is another in the ongoing documentary of the domestic scene here at the "Biltless" estate. I just emptied the dishwasher and took notice of the lineup of dishes and it was a particularly pleasing sight with that certain "je ne sais quoi". For those of you who may be stumbling upon this blog by some sort of random google search, this is actually some very serious business for a potter. Think of it as the Nielson ratings for dishes. I won't mention any names but there is a pecking order. If you've ever been on the bottom of a human pyramid you know what those sad bowls and plates at the bottom of the stack are feeling now.

More Pots From xxvi

Michael Kline


A nice group of cups that remind me of my love of the small pot. There is an intimacy we have with cups of this scale that we can't have with larger pots that are more athletic in their purpose. These small cups are made to hold gently but firmly like a bird in the hand. The cup on the left took a bad hit to the lip and I secretly grinned, knowing to myself that I could selfishly sneak this one into our cabinet. The cup in the middle has a remnant of a Edgefield slip trail motif. The bird on the right has Little Orphan Annie eyes and was snatched up by potter Hewitt at the show last weekend. I thought it looked like a sea gull, Mark thought it looked like a seagle! Ha.


One of my painting warm-up cups.
This bird is particularly curious about the number 8.
Perhaps it thinks it's a juicy black worm of the wax resist variety.
I hope Julie Sims is enjoying this cup. After all the hard work
she contributed to "xxvi" this is the pot she wanted.
It is a sweet cup and it is a testimony to small is beautiful.


A ten gallon jar inspired by a DS
from the Potter's Eye exhibit


I liked this murky alkaline ash glazed
jar that sports the flat bottomed lid, i learned from Kim Ellington.
The pattern in underglaze brushwork comes and goes
as the eye surveys around the pot.


A one gallon jar with wax resist brushwork.
The subtle color doesn't come through in this
picture, but it has some nice subtle pink
and yellow spots, typical of the middle back bottom
of the kiln, near the exit flues of the chimney.

What Keeps Potters in Business

Michael Kline


Here is an illustration I found in The North German Folk Pottery Book. The translation from the german text is,
"They call me a pottery seller;
I like to see lots of pots being broken."



Yeah, who needs bubble wrap, anyway? Support your local potter(s)!