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Use the form on the right to contact Michael Kline!

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.

Thanks for visiting.

The Best of Sawdust and Dirt

A record of the goings on around Michael Kline Pottery!

Filtering by Tag: Pottery

Edges

Michael Kline

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Michael Kline


Rainy morning skies turned bright clear blue and my spirits lifted as I was just a little bit soggy from a lot of weekend rain and ever growing and deeper grass. Maybe my shoes need some more mink oil or something.

Just wanted to throw a couple of things your way and keep you up to date.


I continue to get a kick out of my inlay stamping carving and scraping. I slathered several coats of slip on the stampings and carvings of these plates Then I started scraping like a scratch ticket lotto freak looking for the payoff. I played around with layering black and white slip and the payoff, for the prefired time being, is really pleasing. Contrasts in the raw state don’t necessarily mean the same in the fired and glazed state. So I reserve my giddiness until I get more glaze and slip tests worked out.


But for the time being I am really enjoying the process despite the enormous time it takes. I feel several deadlines bearing down on my calendar and need to pull myself away from these pieces to produce some of my bread and butter pots, but it isn’t easy.

Before I go a couple pieces from this afternoon’s #pottersofmeerkat session. I threw several jars and the latter two I picture here. They were both stamped wet on the wheel and are a little lumpy. But I like how they are coming out. I’ll do some carving on them tomorrow.

Thanks for reading and as always, I hope you are lovin' the spin YOU’RE in!

Show-Room

Michael Kline



It’s spring in the mountains. Grass is growing, flowers blooming, and customers are finally streaming into the showroom here at the pottery.

This week I’ve been slogging through piles of stuff that has accumulated in my showroom in its winter dormancy. And just in the nick of time it was ready for yesterday’s visits! I have another group tour this Tuesday so I’ll focus on the grounds now that the showroom and studio are once again presentable.

What does a Kline pottery tour include, you ask? Well depending on the group, be they potters or not, I usually walk them through the kiln area, the studio and then, of course conclude with the finished pots in the showroom…aka “exiting through the gift shop.”

If the group is a class from the nearby Penland School, I sometimes arrange to do some kind of demonstration. The demo is usually brushwork, but occasionally I do a throwing demo.

So, if you want to take a tour of the pottery just drop me an (email)[mail to:michaeljkline@gmail.com] and I’d be happy to show you around. If you can’t come here in person maybe you can see what’s happening by tuning into one of my live streams and I’ll show you around with my phone! Here’s a recent stream.

There’s much pottery to make this week as I’ve just pugged about 600 lbs of reclaim and I don’t like to let that sit around too long. So my Shimpo will be spinning a lot of clay this week.

Stay tuned for the relaunch of my podcast that has been long overdue. I needed to revamp the format and release episodes more regularly. Currently I have 5 episodes in the wings and counting. Should be some good stuff for you there and j send my apologies to all the faithful for your support.

I would love your support for the podcast with a donation of ANY amount. Please see the “tip jar” at the top of the right sidebar.

Ok! If you’ve read this far I truly appreciate your readership and look forward to sharing more of my potter’ life in the coming weeks!

Ayumi's White Pots

Michael Kline


White Pots

Studio Assistant: Molly Spadone

Michael Wilson: Director and Filming

Chloe Beaven: Video and Sound Editing

Miles Beaven: Music


Here's is Ayumi's video transcription.

Best artist statement I've seen, heard, AND read, lately!




Like a lot of people, I split my time now between the digital world and the physical one. My head’s filled with amazing stuff I see online, and yet I also need the messiness of the clay and the materiality of it to feed me on some fundamental level. I remember going outside on a freezing cold winter night when I was at the Archie Bray almost twenty years ago. I looked up at the stars and remember thinking that it was the cold that made me feel alive and part of this world, it wasn’t just seeing the vastness of the sky. It was the sensation of touch, the cold air on my skin. And I think the importance of touch gets lost sometimes in the digital world, because it’s all about the visuals now. Being cold or being uncomfortable makes you aware of your physical self. I don’t think we necessarily need to be uncomfortable to be aware. Awareness can come in different ways and clay is one shortcut to this kind of awareness. It makes you remember being human and being vulnerable. And that’s a lot of what my work is about.




There’s a meditative quality to all this repetition we do as potters. It requires being completely present in order to make work. You’d think that this kind of repeat would make you spacey and not pay attention, but it’s the opposite, where things become focused and you notice all the tiny details like a scrap of clay hanging on, or crack starting to develop. This is the kind of work that hones my ability to see each pot as an individual and it’s a different level of quality control than what happens on an assembly line, because certain pots take on a personality. It’s like oh- “that’s the one with the snaggletooth or oh that’s the one with the pimple on it’s handle”.




Play is a huge part of my work. In making pots, in drawing, in taking pictures and in thinking about how I get work out into the world.




There’s this incredible sensuality to soft clay that I hope lives on it the finished piece, so that other people can enjoy it and be aware in their own way of play and being present. Soft clay is so much like holding someone’s hand or giving someone a squeeze to say hello.




The thing that photography and ceramics have in common is their ability to preserve the ephemeral. Clay can record a spontaneous moment, just like a picture can. I love the cycle of ceramics. Clay is basically decomposed rock, so in the studio, we record this spontaneous gesture into it, into clay, we fire it and then this piece comes out hard as a rock again and lasts forever. That lovely moment of play is frozen in time.




Most of my work is fairly graphic, so it reads well online. But my white decal pots are different, actually they’re pretty much the opposite. They’re invisible unless you’re up close. And then even when you’re up close, they’re still impossible to read unless you handle the pot. Turning the pot lets the light catch the opalescent drawing. Potters can’t exactly compete with our culture’s addiction now to cell phones these days. And I don’t think we should, but I think it’s part of the dialogue when we’re talking about making hand-held objects. So what makes these pots unusual is that touch and holding them is integral to understanding what they are. There aren’t any shortcuts to that. And this brings us back to this notion of being present. I think of them as slow pots, because slowing down allows us to notice things. When I take pictures, I say, here, look at these beautiful things in life. And when I make pots, I pay attention to all the tiny beautiful details that make a pot what it is. The way my tool furrows through the clay or mashes an edge or how a handle can be crooked to hold a finger. All these things matter because then when I also put a white drawing on a white surface that’s very subtle, I’m asking the user to work harder, to meet me half way, and to be present in that moment.

Thanks Ayumi!

Episode 7 : Ron Philbeck

Michael Kline


Show Notes (and names we drop) 




In this episode Ron Philbeck shares how he started on his path as a potter.

ronphilbeckpottery.com
Tom Gray
Warren McKenzie
George Griffin- Sopchoppy Pottery
Susan Peterson-Hamada
The Studio Potter
Bernard Leach-A Potter’s Book
Shoji Hamada


Carl Clary School Of Karate
Randy Johnston
Arrowmont
Penland
Clary Illian
Will Ruggles & Douglas Rankin
Mary Law
Byron Temple
Linda McFarling
Judith Duff
Kim Ellington

Joe Rhinehart
Hart Square
Seagrove Potters (SAPA)
Phil Morgan
Cady Clayworks
LDDK
Ben Owen Pottery
Jugtown Pottery
Dover Pottery
John and Kiowa King
John C Campbell Folk School
Isothermal Community College
Whichford Pottery
Leon Nichols
Marcia Bugg
Ron Meyers
Michael Simon

Follow Ron 
Follow Michael 

"Thank" Ron  on Twitter!

Podcast Apps

I have been using and loving the Downcast podcast app. I totally recommend it!
You might also like to try Overcast. It's a simple yet powerful app and it looks beautiful as well! So many options! ;-)

Questions or comments for Ron? 



Got a moment to leave a review or a rating? I'd be SO thrilled! ;-)

Thanks for listening!!

Check out this episode!

and Hoppy New Year!!

Episode 6 - Courtney Martin

Michael Kline



In this episode I talk with my friend, neighbor, and fellow Snow Creek Rd potter, Courtney Martin. We talk about cooking and the pots we like to use serving meals to friends and family, as well as my recent trip to DC, Courtney’s beginnings as a potter, and some of Courtney’s thoughts on pattern. We also answer your questions! We hope you enjoy the conversation!

Names We Drop

Bowl by Matt Kelleher

Show Links



 

 Follow Courtney 

Follow Michael 
Exhibition and other Show Links

POW!!! kickstarter project
"Days of Endless Time", at the Hirshhorn Museum 
Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show 
Pottery on the Hill 
Spruce Pine Potters Market 
Signature Show 
TRAC Studio Tour


"Thank" Courtney  on Twitter!

Thanks for listening!!

Check out this episode!

Episode 5 : Nick Joerling Part 2

Michael Kline



In Episode 5 of the podcast I continue my conversation with Penland potter, Nick Joerling. Nick has been a member of the community around the Penland School of Crafts for many years and his roadside studio is a favorite to visit.

Find out more about Nick here.


Nick and I at his Penland, NC studio

Episode Highlights

  • living and working in the Penland community
  • recording the object
  • a funny story about ye olde pug mill
  • Jack's 20 Questions
  • words and pots
  • Nick's literary queues
  • food, lust, and pottery
  • using pots or not
  • taking chances and playing
  • the
    boundaries that potters work within
Names We Drop
mug by Nick Joerling
Show Links
Follow Nick
Follow Michael

Podcast Apps

I have been using and loving the Downcast podcast app. I totally recommend it!


You might also like to try Overcast. It's a simple yet powerful app and it looks beautiful as well! So many options! ;-)

Thanks SO much for listening!



Episode 4: Nick Joerling, Part 1

Michael Kline



In Episode 4 of the podcast I have a rollicking talk with Penland potter, Nick Joerling. Nick has been a member of the community around the Penland School of Crafts for many years and his roadside studio is a favorite to visit.



Find out more about Nick here.



Episode Highlights
  • living and working in the Penland community
  • perception of time and the accelerated life
  • Thinking, Fast and Slow
  • hot and cold
  • gut flora and our desire for food
  • the "eagerness to pour" and beak placement on pouring pots
  • Nick's literary queues
  • Nick's early days as a pugger and potter in California
  • turning points in life
  • Time and timing in terms of the material of clay 

Names We Drop
Follow Michael
Questions or comments for Nick?

Thanks SO much for listening!

I promise to improve my recordings and give you a better audio in the future.
;-)

Surfacing

Michael Kline



Diana Fayt is teaching an awesome course on designing/creating dynamic ceramics surfaces. It's all online, so no matter where you are in the world you can have exclusive access to her course material!

 From Diana's course introduction:
The course will run for six weeks from September 23rd to October 21st, 2013. During the six weeks we will cover various surface applications on clay such as: mishima inlay, monoprinting on clay, carving and printing with your own block prints. We will explore using unusual objects as printing tools as well as learn how to use other clay drawing media.

Here are some testimonials;

“I also don't know how to thank you enough for this course. It's opened some very big doors for me, doors I didn't even know were there. At times I felt as if someone were tickling me, sometimes to that point where it seems like too much but you don't want them to stop. Thank you for sharing so much of your amazing process with us but also for sharing so much of yourself. I think this has a lot to do with the success of the course. The best workshops I've taken are with people with big, generous personalities. This workshop is the best of the best.”

“This course was absolutely wonderful.  It will take me a LONG time to come near mastering these techniques but they will be fun to work on.  The student work was at SUCH a high level, and the enthusiasm generated infectious.”

“A lot of inspiring ideas and some very helpful tips without having to leave home.”

"Thank you, Diana for sharing your talents with us! This was a great class, packed full of wonderful creative ideas I had no idea about, so I feel very blessed. I was also pleasantly surprised after signing up with how much of yourself you gave during the class--I guess I expected just the demo videos--but you gave a ton of time and attention to us, and I totally ate it up. I will sign up for ANY online class you teach!"

" I thoroughly enjoyed your e-course and learned all the surface decoration techniques I have been wanting to learn about. I think taking an online course is better in many ways than attending a workshop. There are no travel expenses, plus you are right there in your studio so you can practice each technique as you learn it rather than observing a bunch of demos and then trying to remember it all once you get back to your studio. Great video demonstrations, Diana,and thanks for the extras such as Wednesday wonders to get the creative juices flowing"

"What a great class! I am going to be learning from your demos and projects for months."

***Sign up through this link and you will have unlimited access to the videos and course information throughout the duration of the e-course (September 24th thru October 21st) plus for two more months after the course ends until December 21st.***

Pottery is Everything? Pottery is About People?

Michael Kline

This morning I want to share a couple of great videos.

One of the exciting things about the internet is it's interconnectedness and it's ability to share ideas. I started this brief session while making a second cup of coffee after seeing the kids to the bus stop.  A comment here led to a blog, new to me!, that led to a tweet, that led to a video, then to a second video.

Even though these videos have been around since last September, it's the first time I've run across them. Maybe you've seen one or both?




a quote from the Moggridge video, "Design is everything, Design is about people"

Can we say the same about pottery?

Here's the second video (that was auto-magically suggested to me by "the Youtube")

from the video caption, "'Is your school or workplace divided into "creatives" versus practical people?' Yet surely, David Kelley suggests, creativity is not the domain of only a chosen few."




People sharing.

Enjoy and pass it along.


In Praise of Liking Mistakes

Michael Kline

Chris Staley and Cody Goddard have made some incredibly compelling videos.  This is one of my favorites. Thanks to Laura and  Lori for posting this video in the last couple of days on their blogs.

I am posting it here today in hopes that tomorrow another potter blogger will post it on their blog. Keep it going!

Today

Michael Kline

Dear {recipient},
It's a snow day here.

No snow here, but ice earlier this morning in the higher elevations of our county.

That means that nobody goes to school, even if us low lying valley folks have no winter hazards. Snow days wreak havoc on this potter. So Stacey and I have split the kids up and Evelyn will join me in the shop with a stack of books to read while I get to work this afternoon. I was hoping to get on with my 12 x 12, but instead have done chores, including the hunting down of Evelyn's flip video camera. I will be "shooting video" of some of the P's of the R tomorrow. The complete set of videos will be rolled out on the POTR Facebook page this Spring in advance of our exhibit at the Toe River Arts Council Gallery this August.

Today? Well I'll try make my plates before taking Lillian to guitar and hoops practice. (25 x 5?)

Thanks for the surge in readership this past week. I guess it helps to post regularly. I have all but vanished from Instagram, and am limiting my time at FB as well. There's only so much time for social networking.

Here is today's video from Chris Staley. I'm not sure if this video explicitly defined  "beauty" but I did like some of the suggestions (1:40) made by Chris's students.



My apologies for not having the time this morning to consider such meta-physics, but here is a post that isn't afraid to go closer to the metal.

I hope everyone is able to leave comments without any trouble. If you need help just drop me an email.


Cookin'

Michael Kline


Just a quick post before heading up the hill to a long list of tasks in the shop. Ron has inspired me to eat better and this morning's nutrition comes courtesy of Stacey and the hens. Tamari roasted almonds and poached eggs!  (not pictured: black coffee) 

Visual nutrition comes courtesy of Seagrovian potter, Blaine Avery. Blaine "traded" me this bowl over a year ago. (Blaine, I owe you! This bowl continues to intrigue me and lives in the sink from almost constant use.)

Have a positive day, eat well, and make good work!








From Here To Digital Eternity

Michael Kline

swirlware cups

"Round and round we go, and where we stop nobody knows."

Here are some of the cups I packed to ship out today, I wanted to record these as they will be out of sight, and out of mind, soon and I found something in each that I wanted to save. To remember. Maybe in hopes that I would remember these qualities when I come back these forms again in the future.

Photographing the work has become easier and cheaper. But what is the cost to keep track of all of this stuff and why can't I find pictures that I actually need when asked by galleries? Is it in my iCloud? I'm sure there's an app to keep track of all these apps that hold various versions of these pics (or is it pix?) An app for an app for an app.

somewhere out there.

There are thousands of pictures on my various digital 'buckets' or 'bins' on this machine, or on various external hard drives, or saved on servers in some distant data center. Somewhere out there. Pity the archivist of the future. Which to save? Which to delete?

I'm not sure what I will do with all of these files and folders on the computer named "pottery" or "pots" or the very descriptive "pics". Go through them in my spare time?


meanwhile there is the work of the mind's eye,
the camera of the imagination.

i think I'll upload some of those pictures into some lumps of clay.




Internet Hall of Mirrors

Michael Kline

There are so many points of access to my little busy world. When I started this blog it was pretty much my only option. Now these options to share have exploded. My main choice to share what's happening here at the pottery has been Instagram. When something cool strikes, I can quickly post a picture and share it. When I do this, I can simultaneously send it to Facebook, Tumblr, Flickr, etc. Maybe you follow me at some of these venues? Maybe not. So if you just can't get enough of your internet pottery pal, here is a visual parade of the last few days.

11" tiles combed
favorite mug for this session (Bruce Gholson)

pots going to The Clay Studio in Philadelphia for upcoming show

jar with combing

oh, i can comb and incise!?!? little breakthroughs

red dirt test tiles for grass/weed ash glaze. exciting step.

knobandall

If this just isn't enough, check out what I'm listening to

Thanks for your eyeballs. Later.