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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: Ron Philbeck

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 
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"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!!

Conference

Michael Kline

We come together at conferences to share our fascination and love of our vocation, but sometimes it simply comes down to communing with our peeps! I'm sure there will be plenty of time (when the power comes back on) for instruction of technique, exchange of ideas, and the validation for our irrational passion for the mud, but sometimes it's the simple act of coming together that we crave as artists. It's a tribal thing. #ncpotterconf

#groupie

#throwdown

Michael Kline



 I got the message from my "coach" and good friend, Ron Philbeck, to "go make some pots" this morning.

So I did! (after all the office work that was past due.) It was a sloppy 12 x 12 and they came a little after noon, but they are done and I'm off and running for the day. Sometime its takes a coach!
Thanks Ron. [Ron really is a coach. A Crossfit Coach! Go Ron!]

Speaking of coaching, why don't you take the 12 x 12 challenge with me. Post your daily dozen on your favorite social media outlet: blog, twitter, instagram, facebook. Use #12x12 as your hashtag and that way I can find your pics and collect them for a post on this blog next week when I get back from the NC Potters Conference!!

when the boss speaks, you listen

cooped up

Michael Kline

Your plate is always full, for better or worse. - Kyle Carpenter, friend, family man, and potter


Kyle Carpenter and Ron Philbeck and I have an ongoing convo. We check in with each other throughout the day [via a group iMessage] and it's a great camaraderie of pottery, family, food, drink. Whatever is going on we keep in touch and share what's on our plate. It's our "water cooler".

I commented that I sounded like a broken record in yesterday's blog post. It seemed like the kind of post I had written a few times before. By broken record I guess I was questioning whether I was saying anything different, was I revealing anything new, had I learned anything since the last time I wrote that blog post. I guess like pottery making, life has its seasons and blogs have their cycles of reflection. Kyle's response was right on and I felt that he was doing me a favor, saying that it was a fact of life for all of us. Maybe especially in this 24/7 news cycle culture and the world of selfies, facebook updates, and the always flowing streaming river of content. But I always have time for gems like this (thanks Doug)!

Thanks for the email comments everybody sent. I'm sorry for those of you who couldn't leave a comment directly on the blog. I'm working on the problem. Like my sluggishness in remembering and reacquainting myself with the longhand blog post, the commenting machine is a little slow to take all of your input all at once. But don't stop trying.

Here are a few thoughts I received today.
For me it's all about momentum...I always piddle around before stepping up to the wheel as it seems important to get my world in order beforehand. Once I start a new cycle I feel an urgency that lets me ignore all other tasks, so putting things in their physical or mental place before I start keeps my mind clear. With the sale of the art center I have much more time for dreaming and playing, but I have to learn another new way forward. Thanks for your comments on my blog...I always admire the way you think!

--Dan Finnegan
And this one,
Great post and so true! I can feel my procrastinations, mutterings and mumblings in your words. Sometimes it is hard to dive in to the icy water but once you are in all is fine. As your friend Mark Shapiro has told me 90% of getting to work/flow is just showing up! We tend to put up roadblocks at times and maybe that is part of the contemplative process. Just saying "Damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead" may work, but you can miss the quiet, nagging voice of uncertainty that may be needed to process direction. There may be no correct process for productive work. Maybe it is just being mindful of the process and not give in to long to the deer in the headlights scenario !  

Best, W
and this,
And a little pressure always helps!!

-- ap
Thanks for the reassurance. I welcome all of your comments, either through the blog or directly via email.

Just to keep you up to date,
  • It is currently -2 and howling here at the shop in Boonford.
  • I have spent the better part of the day dashing in and out of the bosom of home (and wood stove) to cover pipes, install heat lamps and seal up the hunkered down chickens in their coops. Listen to my favorite chicken podcast here.
  • Not much has changed in the shop except the dryness of the pots I made yesterday. The swirl ware yunomi are tucked under some plastic and await foot turning (trimming) tomorrow.
  • Must send pots soon to St. Petersburg, Fla for Florida Heat Surface Symposium show and to the Charm City for the Southern Hospitality show. Grrrr, more packing!
I hope you don't mind the sea of text. My aim is to try to write at least 500 words a day here on ye olde blogge. (not counting the above as writing, just some sort of public reminder) It's like Ron's Whole 30 goal oriented living.

I do hope you are safe and cozy this winter's night.

Conference 2014

Michael Kline




l-r, Martha Grover, Ronan Peterson, and Jake Johnson at the 2012 NCPC (photo: Pincu Pottery)

I hope everyone had a wonderful start to the New Year and shares my excitement for what's ahead!



It will be a busy Spring for me as I will be on a panel at this year's NCECA conference in Milwaukee and I will also be going to the NC Potter's Conference!



It's always great to reconnect and network at these events, but especially great to get charged up by seeing OTHER people make their work. My bro-in-clay, Mark Shapiro will be demonstrating at this year's NC Pottery Conference along with Michelle Erickson, and John Gill! I'll also get to hang out with my cousins in clay and my other bros in clay, KC and RP! At $225 (which includes Lunch and Dinner on Friday & Saturday, and Lunch on Sunday) conference is a no brainer for this potter!



So, I hope to see you at one or both of these get togethers! Let's conference!



Thanks for reading.


Pottery Bloggery Meetup

Michael Kline

Hi everyone.

Yesterday I had a nice time visiting with Ron and Scott up at Penland.

about this high
Scott is on "sabbatical" here, making pots in the Penland Clay studio, Ron was up for the day to visit. Penland is that kind of place, a crossroads. Sometimes I am lucky to find myself there making friends, visiting friends, or peeking in to see what's going on in the studios.

scott's NC pots, from the small salt kiln at Penland

We talked about pottery, blogging, kilns,  and making a living.


What else is there?


Oh, glad you asked.
Well,  God and Art, of course!

Here's another potter on sabbatical, Chris Staley with his latest video.





ALSO: After talking with the blogger boys yesterday, I have decided to reinstate the comments on this here blog. If you have anything to say, let us have it! Don't be shy, just say Hi!

have a great Mardi!

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!








Change

Michael Kline

I think that we sometimes confuse the "longing for new ideas or forms"  with the fact that we are merely bored with what we are doing. It is pottery's challenge to us, to make it well, and to do so over and over again. So we repeat. But with repetition/reiteration comes staleness/boredom. It is good to be restless.

Every morning I have 2 soft boiled eggs. I am comforted by this habit, not to mention satisfied by it. What clicked in my head yesterday to change that habit was risky in a way. It risks the comfort, but it promises a payoff, maybe something exotic. The real motivation, or as Ron puts it, "longing", is boredom. Boredom with one's work is not necessarily a negative thing. Not recognizing when we are bored is. This recognition is as critical to making fresh work as an an egg is to one's sustenance.

Reiteration

Michael Kline



Where did Monday go?

It's been a very busy week with pottery making and extracurricular activities, but a good week.

Ron and I talked a bunch last Saturday on our drive to Seagrove and the Pottery Center. Ron's a great listener and by letting me blather on about this way new way of approaching my studio practice, I have come to a better understanding of how it is working. It's working really well. The way it is working is very interesting to me. Since I am making much smaller batches of pots each day while trying to finish the previous day's work, I realize that I am returning to whatever form several times every few days. Instead of making 40 mugs in a day, I am making those 40 over several days. In the same way that one "sleeps on" an important decision to get perspective, I feel that making these small batches allow me to return to the form more frequently and the pot's reiterations happen several times during the week. Each time getting closer to the ideal I set out when making a form, whether it is a cup or a teapot. In my previous model, I would set out to make 40 mugs, and somehow get overwhelmed by the number and lose touch with the freshness that that first pot off the wheel sometimes have.

I guess I talked about this in a previous post.

The takeaway from this week is that engagement is altered and focused in a much different way with a good night's sleep and the subsequent "redo".

I am anxious to introduce some surface considerations and brushwork to the daily mix. I began yesterday by doing some slip combing on some tumblers. I feel like my thoughts are still clarifying and will write again when I have my little epiphanies. But the flip side of my current process is that I am not stopping as often to ponder (i.e. write blog posts or tweets.), but moving immediately into another little grouping of pots. It's exhilarating, really, like a nice through the field with Evelyn and Lillian!

Paintings

Michael Kline


towards the end of the auction with just a few more paintings left.
It's Monday and I should be "Twelving" but I just wanted to send out a ♥♥ post to everyone who painted a painting and all of those who came out in support and to bid on the paintings at the 1st Annual Potter's Palette fundraiser for the NC Pottery Center.

Fred Johnston walking a painting down the aisle.

Our auctioneers, Virgil Thomas and Mark Hewitt auctioning a beautiful painting by one of my clay cousins, Samantha Henneke.
It was truly a blast with a big crowd of enthusiastic bidders and many of the potter/painters. The paintings commanded $16,000 for the Pottery Center! Thanks to all who made it a success!

Here are Adam Landman and Ron Philbeck looking a little blurry. Could have been camera the poterazzi's camera. Maybe the beer? Maybe both? ;)
Ron and I had a great drive out to Seagrove and we talked about many things. Some of which I will share after I get some pots worked on. Until then ...
Thanks to all who made the event a resounding success.

Ronday

Michael Kline

Had a great visit with Ron today! Ron was bringing new pots to Crimson Laurel Gallery and I brought the first batch of pots for my upcoming show with Stacey, there, opening on the 7th of May. Ron turned me on to Eckardt Tolle and I shared the 5by5 programs. There aren't very many people that I can talk pottery blog to and Ron is my "ichiban" go-to potter blogger, for sure. We talked about the evolution of our blogs and the current state of pottery blogs in general. There are so many more pottery blogs out there than when we began and we both lamented about our inability to keep up with all of them! I guess that's a good thing, (so many out there), but also an unfortunate reality (no time to read them all). Ron's blog began as Potter's Journal. The title bar said that the blog was "A record of what's happening at the Pottery along with thoughts, ideas, rants, ramblings, and other fun stuff". Now is simply called Ron Philbeck Pottery, but remains a quintessential online journal of what's happening down at the center of the pottery universe in Shelby, NC. His, as well as my fellow POTR buddy, Shane Mickey, was the inspiration for me to start blogging in the first place. If I continue to follow Ron's lead, I'll be doing more vlogging (also known as vidding, or vid-blogging) in the future! Here is a vintage vlog from Ron done when he was still too shy to talk!

I'll be heading down to Shelby in a couple of weeks for the visiting Brit-potters to pick up some slipware techniques! ;-) Here's more info on that exciting event! Maybe I'll see you there?

Well, so much for not having enough time for blogging, but seeing as the girls have just now gone to bed and my hands are not covered in clay (yet) I'd thought I'd stick my head into your computers and say hi, before I head up the hill to finish some porcelain platters for the big show next month in Bakersville. I'll have some actual pottery pictures soon, but in the meantime here's one from a few years ago of Ron and Alex and I.

matisse, kline, philbeck, 2009

Penland Ramble

Michael Kline


SO it's been a while since I spent several days at Penland firing the sinks. I've wanted to post some pictures from those times, that seem so long ago, now, but I've lacked the time and resources, until now. (and even now I should be loading a bisque and getting the pots made) But blogging and potting are two different sets of hands, one pair covered in slurry, another copying and pasting! It's a situation I find myself in more and more. When to blog, when to pot, when to be with family, when to walk the dog, etc. You get the picture. There is sort of an inverse outcome of actions at play here. More blogging/less potting. More potting/less blogging. Until I get an "administrative assistant" here wedging the clay or handling the photo processing, Blogging may be slow in the coming weeks, cause the potter must make pots!!

Blah, blah, blah, on with the Penland ramble and in the garbage with the whining ramble!

;-)
jocelyn, kenneth, and jana posing by the
hot kiln with sinks on one of the
hottest days of the summer!

two guys, two hands, two scars.
Zack Lopez (l), Adam Whitney (r)

product placement: obviously this potter is sponsored by MudTools!
who really needs this many ribs!
;-)

cute kiln loiterers!

cups from the kiln.
love the soda on the edges!

famous bay area artist visits!

new Penland guest house
(where my sink is installed,
more on that next week after the ribbon cutting!
;-))
party people at the guest house


pink o'clock at Penland

Roundup

Michael Kline

late night buddy

Howdy. Just checking in on this Saturday morning. I hope everyone is enjoying Ellen Denker's posts. I 'm thrilled to have her posting here! Thanks Ellen!

After a beautiful-sunny-day-Friday, spent cutting wood and doing outdoor chores, I got in to the workshop after supper. I was so taken by Ron's videos that I had to look away from all of the plastic covering the pots on my shelves and head straight for the wheel. It seems that the week has been spent doing "covers" as in cover songs. First the batter bowls, aprés Scott Goldberg, which I will finish today,

and now the little covered jars aprés Philbeck! Maybe I'll called this series the "aprés" line! Has a nice allure, hinting at "style". [drats, there's that word! I'm still crafting a post on that topic for next week] I did just what Ron warned me not to, I think I threw them too thin. When I did the credit card move (ribbing the little band around the waist of the pots) I had a bit too much flex/movement. It's a cool pot and I really liked the direct nature of the technique! We'll see what I say when I try to finish them. ha. Ron's videos (part 1 and Part 2) are very well done. Check'em out! I'd better get a video camera so I can keep up with these vlogger/potters!!!

Ron's was a fun assignment, just in time for the boxes I'll be making for an upcoming show at the Crimson Laurel Gallery. I hope to use some part of this technique for the boxes.

Really, though, I wanted to show you this little series of jars, shown above, turned upside down. I usually turn my pots over as soon as I can without denting the lip to slow down and even out the drying. After I flipped these and flipped their lids, I flipped mine! These look better upside down that right side up I think! What do you say? Let me know (if you would be so kind).

For now, there is the beautiful sunshine to go out into and much plastic to chase for this weekend warrior. Stacey and the gals are visiting Grandmother's house (over the mountains and through the woods) so I'm cranking up and focusing on some clay!

Have a great weekend!

P.S. see my new poll on lower right sidebar!
cheers.


Trip to Seagrove

Michael Kline

shoot-out
brad lail (l) and ron philbeck (r) at ron's place on wednesday


It's late and I just want to post this before I go to dreamland. But I will fill in the blanks about my trip to Seagrove, NC and answer any questions that these pictures might raise. Just leave a comment. I look forward to the exchange. Don't be shy.

lead glazed fremington pitcher at ron's

a visit to whynot pottery:
meredith heywood's custom mudbox

mark heywood's
wheel and mudbox

mark hewitt throwing pitchers


removing a very stubborn 40 year old wheel head
with heat, lubricant, and 2 x 4's

the rusty truth

the reason I wanted to remove my Shimpo wheel head.
it's been a long road for this splash pan
and it's time for my own mud box! (and ball opener!)


Night, night!

Michael Kline


This strange pot is evolving slowly.

I like the bell shape and will tweek the shape and placement of the "mouth" more after my trip. I'm heading over to see my "cousins" and will make stops in Shelby and Pittsboro along the way. So I won't be making...

But I'll bring my camera and let you know what everyone is up to. Check in later this week for the Seagrove report!

Hope you're getting the pots made or getting the pots that are being made. All for one and one for all!

Pottery Bloggery Foggery

Michael Kline

A quiet gray day here at the pottery. Jack is snoozing in his box as I write this. Thank goodness he doesn't snore! (yet) Clay is thawed, mixed, and pugged. But first there were taxes to finish and still a layer of fine sawdust on everything in the shop to rid before I start to spin. Aaaaaa, what's a little fine sawdust wedged into my clay!

This morning, before I head up the hill, I'm planning a trip to Seagrove. Next week I'm meeting with my "cousins" to plan our show (June 5, 6th!!!) and was also checking out the NC Pottery Center to make sure they would be open so I could see the current show (Fire in the Valley: Catawba Valley Pottery Then and Now). I'll take my tripod and take some pictures for you when I visit.

I'm also hoping to see cousin Ron over Shelby on the way!

I also checked into Mark Hewitt's web page to see if there was anything going on over on Johnny Burke Rd. and found this.

Related to yesterday's post, Mark puts it in simple concise language, as only Mark can, "...take what you've learned and add to it."

[Want to learn how drive a truck? Well, I found this just for you.]

Let's make some pottery!

Film at 11.

Additions to the Collection

Michael Kline

,4 new pots!

It's been a busy week of online commerce and Etsy-ness and I'm chomping to get back in the studio and to make some pots, already, YO! But, alas, there's more packing and shipping to do tomorrow. I've been a little under the weather today and just lazing around and doing paper work. I thought I would catch ya'll up on some new pots that have graciously entered our life here on Snow Creek Rd.

The beautiful little jug on the left came all the way over the ocean in Ron Philbeck's suitcase! Doug Fitch, my Devonshire blogging buddy sent it over! What a treat to be holding on to this sweet pot. I'm sure it will be of help when I get back to making pitchers! It has such a beautiful patina that I'm going to refrain from using the dishwasher and hand wash it. heehee. But it has already been host to some iron weed clippings we made while walking the puppy, Jack. It's a most welcome addition to the British wing in our museum!

walkin' the dawg

Lillian taking a swigg!

A few weeks ago a package arrived in the mail from New England! In it was this beautiful wood fired bottle with nice fish stopper from my old buddy Tom White. Tom's been making pots up there in Northfield, Massachusetts for a good while and recently has been firing the wood kiln over at Sam Taylor's place where this piece was fired. It has a most rich surface and holds a good bit of tea. (tee hee hee, that is)

Next in our lineup of super-star pots comes this yankee-mingei jar made by CT potter (as well as potter buddy), Louise Harter. We picked this little gem up at the Liz Summerfield Benefit Auction a couple of weeks ago. I love thinking of Louise wiping her fingers across this just dipped pot and freezing the moment with fire! Thanks for donating it to the cause Louise. We must talk soon, it's been too long!!

small jar by Michael Simon

Last but not least, it was my great surprise to find this jar at a local sale for our animal shelter. I spotted it across the crowded room as if it had a tractor beam of hotness transporting me towards it. It is pot made by my teacher and friend, Michael Simon! To seize the pot, I practically tackled the people that stood between me and the table where this little gem sat. I snatched it up and guarded it with my life as I approached the checkout table! Well, actually Stacey took it up to the check out table and threw down the bucks! [thanks sweetie] I'm the luckiest guy on earth! I am guessing it may have been made while Michael was teaching here at Penland as he did many times. I ran in to Paulus at the sale and he thought it was from the late eighties! Ha! In 1989 I took a pivotal spring concentration at Penland with Michael that changed my potters life forever. Hmmmmm. Maybe this jar was made during that workshop? Hmmmmmm. Wouldn't that be something?

Well, that's it for now. Just thought I would touch base with everyone who's out there reading and share these pots with you. I hope you'll come and visit our little corner of the world some day. When you do, let's sit down and look at some pots!

Michael Kline

our dining table near my computer "work station"
with the Etsy collection, sorting through the images!

It's been a busy day of preparing the images for the online kiln opening on Tuesday. Lucky for me that my old eMac is still grinding along, chewing up pixels and uploading'em to the new shop on Etsy. It doesn't have anything listed yet, but I'm setting it up. I'm learning how to work around some of the ways the Etsy folks want everything to work and hopefully we can have a smooth run come Tuesday morning. Looking at all the great pictures and different views of these pots reminds me how digital photography has changed the way I see my work. Joy Tanner has a great camera, much more sophisticated than my point and shoot Fuji. I'm seeing little details that I had no idea were there. I highly recommend all of you potters taking big pictures on your digital cameras and then looking at them on your computer. There's something really interesting about the views you can have of your work. Some edges are out of focus, glaze details pop out. The lips of some cups are tapered differently than I remember.

All in all it was an interesting day, but at times I got a little zombified and had to walk away from the eMac. Mid morning brought a wayward potter/traveler. Ron Philbeck came by to pay a visit. Ron lives about and hour and a half from me in Shelby, NC, but we rarely get to hang out and we always get excited talking about pots and blogging. Today Ron stood at my door and reached his arms with a little bundle of something wrapped in tissue paper. It looked like it had made quite a journey and sure enough
it was this sweet little jug that Doug Fitch had sent along in Ron's luggage for me to study! Thanks SO much Doug! That was very kind of you to think of me. Now I have a souvenir of Ron and Sarah's trip to England! I hope that someday I'll get to make the pilgrimage to the Fitch Pottery in Devon. For now, though, I'll have a little bit of England to sit on my special shelf in my workshop next to my old southern pots. I'm sure it'll help me with my "pitchers" which I need to make real soon.