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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!

Filtering by Tag: batter bowls

Last Wet Week

Michael Kline

red dirt harvest!

As I head into the last wet week, I finally have a batch of red dirt, the first since November! But it looks like I won't have the time to mix it with the fire-clay and feldspar till next session! That's OK, I probably have enough left from the reclaim batch I just ran through the pug mill for the coming week. It's exciting to get this clay in my hands finally after what seems like a "non-profit" process! I just need to come up with a more efficient way to process the dirt.

new cut rim and compressed platter edge

When I make the small plates with the cut edge, all seems right. But When I make bowls or platters I don't feel that the cut edge is helping the pots, especially bowls. Today I made 10 12-14 lb. bowls and platter/bowls with wide lips. [sorry, no proud picture of the table full of big bowls. I'll try to remember to brag tomorrow]I don't intend to cut the edges. I'll just paint a design on the rim, instead. But the last couple of these I had an idea to cut the edge on the wheel directly after they were thrown and while the clay is wet. One of the main reasons I don't do this until after the foot ring is cut, is to avoid cracks that result from the downward pressure of the trimming tools. The cut edges are somewhat compromised, structurally and tended to crack at the cut edge.

So my idea was to cut the edge while it was wet and then slowly compress the rim from both above and below the cut edge. As my friend Pat would say about now, "You with me?"
The result was pretty nice, I thought, so I made another. By compressing the edge just a bit I might avoid cracking, but the firing will have the last say on this matter!
After supper I made a few knob and all pill box jars. These were some of my favorite pots in the last firing, so I want to continue to cover this one to see where I can take it. Well it's very late as I write this but I wanted to jot don a few of these ideas before I went off to dreamland! Tomorrow is a short day as I get to pick up the girls from school and do something fun with them.

The girls were practicing their bike riding tonight. Evelyn is riding well on her own and Lillian is still on training wheels. But they're both are getting a lot better! It's hard around here to find a flat and safe road without a lot of traffic. So we wait till after supper when traffic slows down to get out on our stretch of Snow Creek Rd. Stacey bought some bright orange traffic cones for the road and I think I'll leave them out there. It's amazing how much slower (and quieter) people go around them!! But that may not fly for long.

Well that's all for now. The week ahead promises to be kind of crazy with the deadlines approaching, so hang on!

What Day is it Anyway?

Michael Kline

It's been crazy with the school closings around here this winter and it's wreaking havoc on the ole schedule. Stacey tells me that we've had been over 60" here in Mitchell County so far this season and the kids have had only 5 full days of school since the Christmas break! Yikes. Sounds like the old days when kids walked 5 miles to school. Maybe they'll have to re-instate that policy so these kids can have a summer break!

Why am I not making pots? you might ask...Well I needed a snack and I wanted to check in with the blogs . Here is a picture of some batter bowls that I explored last night. It's been several years since I made any batter bowls. (Possibly since I was a resident at Penland 9-10 years ago.) Where does the time go? Too long without batter bowls. It's not that we haven't been regular pancake and maple syrup eaters during that time. But I've been exploring the crockery / large jar forms and haven't made a lot of tableware kitchen pots. Maybe I'm getting back to being a kitchen table potter, instead of a pedestal potter. I've always been best at the smaller pots. After my accident in '05 I couldn't make a lot of tableware and worked mostly on tooled pots. Now that my fingertips are nimble, again, I'm enjoying the finer points of tableware.

Thanks for the comments several of you sent in about the audio experiment. I admit the recording wasn't appropriate without pictures and it was perhaps hard to follow without pictures, so I've added a few. I mostly wanted to see how the software worked and where and how the "feed" bounced around. Several years ago, my friend Matt Pogatchnik lent me his MD recorder that I hoped to use to record interviews. The device works great but the interface with the computer was awkward and time consuming. I now have an iPod touch which has a great recording program built in and I will be using that to do the interviews.

Do you have a favorite Potter of the Roan or other Penland area potter you would like to ask a question? Let me know and it might show up here someday as a podcast.

Are you getting your 12 made? OK, how 'bout 6?

Have a good.....Tuesday?