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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.

Thanks for visiting.

The Best of Sawdust and Dirt

A record of the goings on around Michael Kline Pottery!

Filtering by Tag: birds

Odd Bird-Fellows

Michael Kline

There are times when piles of mail, pots, coupons, cables, and angels come together in a moment that just has to be documented!

This plate came from Kyle Carpenter's salt kiln a couple of weeks ago.  The drawing is as awkward as the bird seems to be trying to take flight. Maybe it's a turkey scrambling to get out of the road and an oncoming car, may be it's one of our hens being terrorized by Jack? Some of the choice pieces are in a show in Iowa City. Others lurk here for study and some for sale in the showroom. I will reopen my online gallery soon where some of these pots will be available. Stay tuned here or sign up to get email announcements. 


Blue Birds, Chicks, and Bloggin'

Michael Kline

Spring break is behind us and the chicks were wild!

Even the bluebirds wanted in on some pottery fun!

But seriously, I have been curbing my enthusiasm for bloggering every little thing I do and have found it very productive!

Who would've known?
;-)

After a visit with Turner last week and some close examination of some alkaline glazed pots Catawbaware, I had the thought that some of these handles must have been thrown. It's quite possible that they were pulled, but I had a hunch about some of these. After some brief experience over the past few years of my fascination with this style handle, I thought there's no better way except to do.

here's the cylinder that I will cut the handle from.
I carefully scored with a needle tool. If you go too fast you may lose control of the soft clay and bang up the handle.
The cut handle layed out on the table to measure equal length for each handle.
A trial attachment.
The handle with a coil added to the upper part of the attachment and smoothed in.
Not bad to my eyes. But we'll see where this goes. The only drawback to this kind of handle is that it makes it harder (but not impossible) to balance a piece of glass on the handle to get a glass run in the glaze. But I like the lines and the thinner cross section of the handles. I think they will be easier to hold.

Back to it and then a trip to Asheville for a visit to Kyle's and then Clay Club at Odyssey!

Answer

Michael Kline

basketball activated glaze fountain!

Well, not much of a contest. No prize. If you had looked at the pictures on Tom's page you would have probably seen the picture above. I'm feeling rather dull these from these rainy mountain days, I guess. Also after looking at all of the pics I have taken for the upcoming Etsy sale!

here's a sneak peek pic

Check back to find out when it's happening. Hint: it's going to be very soon.

Birdland

Michael Kline


Knowing the tight deadline I'm on and knowing how much effort and mental capacity it takes, I willed myself into bird territory last night and tried some new stuff, including clouds! I'm glad I did. Let me know what you think. Suggestions are most welcome!



i had the thought that I should show the birds in their most
enviable state: flight. I sketched these out with wax




beginning of a pattern including pencil "map"
and first couple of elements

the other elements of the overall pattern

Here are some things I jotted down last night in no particular order of importance,
  • it's hard to judge the pots at this stage, better just to forge ahead without too much thinking.
  • see the mark before it is painted
  • I'm just getting warmed up
  • often the marks are a lot like the pots. repetition brings [can't read my scribbles] out the best marks when an unselfconscious place is arrived at [?]
  • some marks are real duds!
More later, I hope. I have to mix my alkakline ash glaze and some RJB today, so that it will be ready for Friday's dipathon.

Thanks for coming along for the ride!

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.

Chicken?

Michael Kline



Ironically, Kyle mentioned "loosey-goosey" in a comment earlier. How 'bout these geese, er, chickens? These are from last night.The upper left is the first and the lower right is the last. It was a fun excercise that took maybe 5 minutes max. I didn't value the plates for they are a little on the potato chip side of weight(too thin) and I thought it was a good opportunity to practice a different way of painting.


The chicken/bird on this Greek pot started it all. I was tired and wanted to do the bird quickly and see what happened when I wasn't so careful with the brushwork! Back to the iglaze™ machine...

Another Bisque Note

Michael Kline

I wanted to put this in the blog so that I would remember...instead of unloading this pot and thinking, "what the hell is that little black blob on the glaze!??"

This cup has been painted and glazed. After that, I brushed some wax resist over the glaze and then cut through with a sharp little bitty trimming tool (that Becky Lloyd had given me a while back). Then I brushed some black slip over the cut through design of forlorn birdy. I'm curious if the slip will "float" in the glaze surface or fade into the under glaze.

[FIRING NOTE: The kiln may need a new coil or two as it's struggling to get to temperature. I have put some fiber on the lid to help it along. After all, it is 12 years old! It could be a long night of "stoking"]

Not A & W

Michael Kline


Mug by Sam Taylor

A frosty mug for ya! This is a special room-temperature micro-crystalline glaze. Just leave your pot outside (not underneath roof) on a cold night. Unfortunately this glaze is very unstable and melts when you either pick it up or when you fill with any liquid. If you find yourself asking "why would someone leave such a beautiful piece of pottery sitting around on a saw horse?" have no fear, it has a great sense of balance!

Another Retro Card

Michael Kline

Small Jar with bird and 4 handles
h. 6 in.
2003

Here's another card, this one from about 2003, after I built and fired my then "new" kiln. I love the glaze color and the handles of this little jar. Inspired by the old Jugtown pots of Ben Owens Sr., most likely. The texture of the glaze is what I would characterize as sugar. What? No pattern?! What was I thinking? The hand formed bird atop the lid is a little stoic, but has a certain charm I think.
Where is it now is any one's guess. Somehow the pots we make go out into the great big world.
This bird has flown.

Finally

Michael Kline


Lucy Dierks inspires me with the pots she makes and the birds that inhabit them. I hope you like this one, Lucy. It's coming your way in a little brown truck, soon! Lucy was the winner of the Disqus contest a little while back. You can see her work at her beautiful web site, here. Congratulations, Lucy!

Painted Birds: A Start

Michael Kline


Spent the evening setting up the shop for painting as well as a little winterizing. I covered a couple of windows in the doors that had broken out, and covered the main entrance which I have yet to put a door in. Then I turned on my portable propane heater. Pretty nice to be inside. It was about 50 and dropping outside. I got started on some birds on some cups and plates. They are somewhat stylized as are my other motifs, specifically vines/leaves. It was a nice warm up.