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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.

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The Best of Sawdust and Dirt

A record of the goings on around Michael Kline Pottery!

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Michael Kline


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.

Thoughts on the 36th Firing

Michael Kline

I apologize that I haven't got any pictures for you, sooner. I've been busy sanding and grading the work that came out on Thursday! I took two days to unload (and "digest") the pots. Mostly because of my busy schedule with family matters, meetings, etc. and not that I wasn't excited to see the results. Seems like I avoided the usual kiln blues by slowing down the unloading. I felt much more sympathetic to my expectations this way.

I wanted to jot down a few thoughts and issue a general warning to potters here before I sign off, before I forget. First off, there was a fair amount of kiln magic which I am always grateful! As I've never depended on the wood kiln as the sole decider on the surfaces on my pots, it's always a gift that a few pots come from the kiln much greater than the sum of it's parts, in no small part due to its firing "experience"!

The soda/whiting turds (as Keith Phillips calls them! ;-) ) had a minimal effect on the pots, but left a mess on the shelves. I won't try this again! The shelves will clean up OK, but it actually glazed the bottoms of the several pots that sat nearby. More on this later. I will try to sift through this later this week after the pots are off to the shows and I have time to sit down and look at the "the data" ( stare at pots and shelves and pictures).

One of my fatal flaws as a potter is go headlong in trying something like the soda ash/whiting "bombs" with testing it in a much smaller scale, in hopes for an expanded effort in a future firing. As Tom would say, test, test, test!

I will save some of my other notes for a later post and share with you a few pictures of the pots.

This series of bottles was one of the most satisfying ventures in this cycle. It's funny how the energy of a potting experience can endure throughout the process, and an especially successful one that continues to give pleasure when the pots come out of the kiln. It is the essence of making good pots I think, enjoying and reveling in one's work!

This bottle may be my pick of the litter! Maybe because it is wearing a new color. (lol) CLEAR!
John brought a bucket of Don Davis' clear glaze over and after painting some quick brush strokes in black underglaze I dipped this bottle in it. If I had only used this kind of approach/restraint with the soda ash/whiting! ;-)

I have lots of pictures to take for the online edition of my show at American Folk Art in Asheville that opens this coming week!! So I'd better get to it!

Here's a sneak peek of of a piece that will be in that that show. The show opens this coming weekend but the online version goes live tomorrow afternoon. More later..

Coming Up: guest blogger Don Pilcher
on Critics, stay tuned!