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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: Stacey Lane

Beat-up Old Kiln/Beat-up Old Potter

Michael Kline


As the title of this post implies, this potter is feeling like his kiln, a little worse for wear. Ironically, throwing the pots, working the clay doesn't dry my hands out as much as wadding pots and loading the kiln. Wadding the pots is hard to do with gloves on, and the frequent washing (to remove the layer of wadding and glue from my finger tips) is hard on the skin. Handling the silicon carbide shelves and all of the craggly kiln furniture doesn't help much, either. Then throw in a few times that I grab something hot during the firing with the hole-e glove and you get really dry and hypersensitive hands. My hands feel a little like the skin of this kiln!



But with that whining aside, the firing of the wood kiln went fantastically well. The crew was awesome, the peanut M & M's flowed and the meals were plentiful! John Simmons and Kyle Carpenter were on hand to help finish the kiln after I spent the first 9 hours stoking solo. We missed my Ichiban Stoker, Alan Gratz. Alan was on book tour promoting his new novel, "Fantasy Baseball"! John Simmons was the closer, stoking the kiln for the final 4 hours, while Kyle assisted with the new and improved salting system. It would have been impossible to do this myself. I should also thank my wife, Stacey, for all that she has had to put up with this last week or so, and for her constant support (and fine cookin')!!


And now for the abbreviated Index for 37:
  • Dry wood and a gusty wind helped the kiln climb fast and we finished in 12.5 hours
  • We used half the wood than usual
  • We used a bout 30 lbs. of salt where I usually use 20-25.
  • The kiln was loaded with 300 pots
For now though, it's waiting. I'm trying hard not to have high hopes or great expectations and I'm squashing any paranoid fantasies with the excitement of seeing a kiln full of new pots!

In other News: I'm taking some down time these cooling days to catch up on all the projects that need attention. One of these projects is wring the Spring Newsletter. If you want to receive it go to my email sign up page and sign up!

Unfortunately last weekend's contest didn't happen due to the attention needed to load and fire the kiln. And next weekend's contest will not happen because I will be away selling pottery in Hickory, NC.

So we will hold a 'leave a comment' contest mid week when I unload the kiln, I promise! Look for it!

Michael Kline

babe, bunny, and beer

The studio tour weekend is over and it's time for a beer! Stacey claimed this "eine Kline bier stein" and we're so grateful to all of our fierce pottery fans who support us year after year, come snow or come shine. Thank you also to all of our new customers! We hope to see everyone again next year!

As for what's left, we'll be announcing the time and date of our Etsy sale tomorrow. So if you weren't able to make it this weekend you'll get a chance to shop for some of our pottery and jewelry next week! We'll let you know!

Check here at ye olde blogge or text "pottery" to 70259 to sign up for our mailing list.


Thanks again folks!

Reemerging

Michael Kline

last night's glorious crescent

Ah, summer is upon us, Solstice approaches and we're all busy getting things done. It may be pottery or in my case getting the shop finished. Actually I did a little while Buck Pollard and John Hagy did a lot.

Where to begin?

In preparation for my "Cousins in Clay" gig in Seagrove, Stacey reminded me that I needed to check in with Bruce and Samantha to see if there was anything I could do to help them set up their home and studio for the big weekend. It turns out that "apparently" Samantha's Dad had hurt his back and they needed me to come a little early. Bruce had a slightly hesitant tone in his voice and I thought that he just felt bad asking me to come early. "No problem," I said, and off I went to Seagrove.

After I washed some windows at the Bulldog Studio, Bruce discussed a plan to cover the windows for the slide presentation for Tommy McPherson that Saturday night. I was a little puzzled by this. Why did I just spend all that time washing a dozen sliding glass door-sized windows, just to have them covered? Hmmm...

I thought that Bruce and Samantha must have been under a lot of stress in preparing for the weekend that they just weren't thinking straight. So I went along with it patiently, not knowing that it was just a way to keep me busy during my extra day in Seagrove.

Well the weekend was a smashing success, and on Monday I came home to the fanfare of hugging, cold beers, and cheeseburgers on the grill! What did I see, though, as I glanced up the hill toward the shop? Someone had nailed a whole lot of boards to the side of the shop. Huh? At that point Stacey and the girls screamed, "Surprise!!!"

Stacey had cooked up a fantastic scheme to have the siding installed on the shop while I was away in Seagrove at the "Cousins" show! Everyone was in on it except me! The lumbermill, Buck and John, the girls! It was truly a wonderful surprise!

Stacey had called Bruce days earlier to set up the ploy to get me out of the way so that her plan could be implemented! John and Buck paced up and down the road as I finished packing the car with pots, waiting to get on the job.

Well they finished the back and the road side of the building and stopped there until this week when I helped them finish the "front" of the shop with the German lap siding I had picked up from Shawn more than two years ago.

before

after!

The siding was stickered and still in good shape, a little weathered, but sound. It gave the entrance of the shop a completely respectable and finished look and I'm sure that pottery fanactics will just flock to it's beauty!

john hagy, me, buck pollard

Thanks to my lovelies for this wonderful gift. Thanks to John and Buck for their hard work and craftsmanship!

And thanks for everyone for keeping their mouths mum (and restrained from blabbing on Facebook in their status updates)! As always, you're welcome to see for yourself when you're in the neighborhood. Come see us!

Unplugged and Revving It Up

Michael Kline

the seam of a 12 lb jar

I took a day off from the interconnected and interwebbed yesterday. It's amazing what you can get done when you're not checking email, tweeting, and blogging!

It was a quiet day of rain and pottery making. Stacey and the girls were in Knoxville and Jack was curled up on the floor snoozing. Here are a few pictures from yesterday.

12 lb jar
pots on top of pots on the table

The pots in the above picture are going to the Hambidge Center in Rabun Gap, Georgia, for their Spring Show. I was invited by Joy Tanner, who curated the show! I wanted to get a nice little grouping together from the last firing, but it seemed a little bit spread out stylistically.

Lindsay Rogers is on route to GA this weekend and was so kind to deliver these as well as all of the other WNC potters doing the show!! Thanks Lindsay!!

This show and my show at the Signature shop are both opening on the weekend of the 23rd & 24th. I wish I had time to go, but I'll be doing all I can to get the pots ready for firing#35. Well, with the exception of the workshop with master blacksmith Peter Ross up at Penland that I'm signed up for. Oh, and with the exception of the annual benefit auction for the Pottery Center over in Seagrove that I'll be helping out with...

Yowsah, it's looking like a action packed month! I'd better get busy!Hope you're ready for some fun!

Bird

Michael Kline


I gave this pot to Stacey, since it had a little crack in it. It was one of my faves from the bird series I started with at the beginning of the XXXII session. I'm enjoying a bagel and sausage for my late lunch on this very plate.

Here

Michael Kline


one of the great satisfactions of loading the jigsaw pieces of a kiln load
is the orderliness of the stack:
a sort of re-centering of the pots after
the shuffling of decorating and glazing.


What a week! What a month!

It's been quite a roller coaster ride this time around and I've taken the last few days to regain a foothold on the life. The kiln cools as I grab the domestic baton that Stacey has handed to me as she teaches at Arrowmont this week. I've traded a hectic life of pottery for the hectic life of Mr. Mom! It's been interesting to say the least. For the last 2 and a half weeks the girls haven't seen much of me and now I'm all they have here at the homestead. We're all holding on to each other as if we're on some sort of life boat waiting for Stacey to return on Saturday! Well, it's not that bad, I'm being a little melodramatic. But we do miss her!!

There's much to tell you about, but I'm afraid that so much will be swept away with the unloading of the kiln tomorrow and the events of the next few days, which I will have no choice but to give more attention to because they will be front and center in this potter's life. I do hope I can look back and write about last weekend's loading and firing of the kiln. Maybe I can weave in some before and after pictures with tales of the perils and the ecstasy of long hours, hard work, and the help of friends and family.

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!

Ring and Things

Michael Kline

drinking from life's big cup!

I'm back from the trip and sitting in the S &D offices here in Bakersville. Ahh, home sweet home. I got back and remembered this picture that shows my lovesome sporting some fancy rings. The engagement ring was made by Jones/Doran of Kutztown (when they lived back here in Saluda, NC). It was great to see them on my trip and stay with them and their lovely children in their great big house!

Stacey and I celebrated our 8th anniversary yesterday! Yay! The girls did victory laps around our house, one for each year of our marriage!