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192 Jim Boone Rd
Bakersville, NC, 28705
United States


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: Shawn Ireland

Current Rotation Revealed

Michael Kline

Here are the current rotation of mugs and cups in the shop, revealed! For the color version click here. Thanks to Stephen Dean for guessing almost ALL of the pots. He will be rewarded with the adulation of his peers.

mug rack with pots from Tom White, Michael Simon, Kyle Carpenter, Shawn Ireland, Mark Hewitt, Bruce Gholson, Matt Hyleck, Maria Dondero, Ayumi Horie, Hayne Bayless
Several of these pots have been featured in my Coffee Break Series.

Here are the links to those posts,

Marsha Owen
Michael Simon
Tom White
Kyle Carpenter
Shawn Ireland
Linda Christianson
Steven Colby
Hayne Bayless

Cheers everyone! Have a great week!

Plaster, Videos, and Ireland

Michael Kline

This week has flown by, as it does. Wednesday Kenny Sedberry and I went out with the video cam and filmed four of our  POTR guild. We started out at Bandana Pottery, where Naomi Dalglish made a cake plate, and Michael Hunt deco'd some plates and threw cups off the hump.

Kenny and I tried our hands on Michael's stick propelled wheel.

Next we headed over Stan Andersen's studio on Water Street. Stan had many great stories which we captured on video, but we had to scramble to charge the batteries during our lunch break! One of the videos is Stan outlining the fascinating history of majolica-ware! I may post that one here next week. 

After lunch we went to David Ross's place over on Snow Creek Rd. where David made a huge slab platter. We're making the videos to document our guild and will begin releasing them in April on our Facebook page.

I made new reclaim bats this week. They are 22" x 22" x 2". Of the 4 I made in 1998, 2 are left and are chipping and flaking. Besides I need 4 to reclaim my barrel. I am well aware of the economics debate that I've had before about whether or not to reclaim. But its not always about economics for me, although my bank account would beg to differ.

One more thing: Don't miss my buddy, Shawn Ireland's show at AKAR that went live this morning!
He's got some beautiful pots there! Get them while they are still available!

Shawn Ireland, carousel candlestick, courtesy:AKAR design

Let the Sun Shine In

Michael Kline

It's Saturday and the girls are in school today!! It's a gorgeous day and I've been meaning to do a blog about this cup! It's a cup that I made in MM (that's 2000 in Roman). It's made with a grolleg porcelain, Helios, from Highwater Clays in Asheville, NC. It claims to be one of the world's best clays, maybe second only to my red dirt home clay! heheh...

I wanted to show it here as a reference to the hydro-abrasion (a Michael Sherrill term) that I mentioned the other day (see video). I can't remember if I have talked about this particular phase of my making career, but it all happened back in 1999 when my studio mate at the Barns at Penland, Shawn Ireland was moving out and was passing off stuff he didn't need or want as he was packing up. He came in and held out a quart can of Shellac and asked me if I wanted it. I didn't know, at the time, what the hell I would do with a can of shellac. I didn't know the work of Jim Gottuso yet, after all! I said yes just to help the guy out, you know how it is for hoarders, it was like a small intervention. ;-) Actually Shawn was very neat.
So, I went to the list serve (clay-arts?) and looked up some possible reasons Shawn would have a can of shellac in his studio. I knew shellac was used for woodworking projects. Shawn was also painting on canvas towards the end of his residency, and still makes wonderful paintings, so that was possibility. But lo and behold, there was a thread on the list serve that very day on using shellac as a resist! And so began hours of painting and sponging away the porcelain to get these translucent effects on the porcelain. As you can see the edges stressed out from all the handling and cracked in the firing. This was common.

The process was extremely time consuming, but I didn't mind that. But my wrists were suffering from all of the very careful handling of the constantly thinning pots, not to mention a chronic stiff neck. Then there was the frustration of actually going through the clay wall. And then there was the almost impossible way to photograph these pieces for the record. So this chapter in my career was closed about a year later. But like all good stories, it's worth telling again. I have a new can of shellac and I'm preparing to use it on some of the pots I've been making in the last few weeks. I'm even going to try it on some swirl ware!

For those of you keeping score, this piece was fired in the salt kiln at the Barns at Penland and it is lined with my 1% Copper glaze. Fired to cone 10.

OK, back to this wonderful Saturday afternoon of porcelain pottery making. I've just getting around to using my Matt and Dave porcelain that they were so kind to send me last summer! I'll let you know what I make with that! So far it's been really nice! Thanks M & D!

Hope you have a great weekend, too! Did you make your 12 today?

Righteous Wood Kilns vol. #3

Michael Kline

The kiln at the Penland Barns built by Shawn Ireland.

The girls and I were taking a walk behind the resident artist studios, the "Barns", at penland this evening and I was struck by the simple beauty of Shawn's kiln and its shed. I shot this with the camera phone and I will have to go back and take a better picture of it with the Fuji camera.

Finger Pointing

Michael Kline

Now I know why I never see Shawn. He's been busy working on his beautiful house, making lotsa pots, and today is firing his kiln!

Here's Shawn pointing at something?!

Here's GA-VA artist-potter Mike Henshaw pointing out some of his careful notes in the log book.

The point is it's getting HOT in there.

Coffee Break vol. 2

Michael Kline

Today's coffee break is happening in this Shawn Ireland cup. It's from way back when we were resident artists at Penland, probably 1999. For the longest time I drank out of it every morning, no lie. It's about 3 1/2 inches high and has some rare SPI brushwork, probably iron slip under a thin shino type glaze. There are a few small chips around the rim and it has a nice coffee stained interior from the thousands of cups of coffee I've enjoyed from it. How much is a beautiful pot worth? Especially one that one has derived so much enjoyment?