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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: bowls


Michael Kline

You know it's a slippery slope to post 3 times in a day. But at the risk of saturating you and plain losing some of you, I submit this last post of the day. Sometimes later in the day, when one is tired and a little bleary eyed magical (at least to me) things can happen. As I was combing these bowls I thought about the feeling I had doing them.

Joy is something that doesn't get talked about all that much, but it is something that guides a lot of what I do. Combing these slipped bowls was a lot of fun and if I had another hundred I could have really gotten lost in it and I'm sure some interesting designs might have emerged. sigh

Alas, (which I think is Gaelic for girl) I was saying, when something feels good and you enjoy it, it's best to follow that feeling. Some might call it passion. Whatever you call it follow it.

I know what you're probably saying, "But where is the vine, Mr. Kline?" and to that I would say, "It ain't over yet."

So thank you if you are still reading this. As always thank you for reading and indulging me!

Stay tuned for some mad deco-rotation in the coming days!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iBegyourpardon

Painting Memo

Michael Kline

I'm well into some painting and have been exploring inside/outside pattern. It is something I began last spring with a sawed off brush for the inside and a regular brush on the outside. I begin on the inside and follow the lines over the lip of the cup or bowl. In the case of my flat-bottomed tumblers and breakfast cups, I even continue the pattern on the bottom. Having fun and wanted to share the thoughts. But there is a lot of pottery to paint, so I'm off to my station! Hope you are well!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

12 x 12

Michael Kline

Just barely!

After a sawdust morning of cutting and splitting
firewood and a couple visits,
I managed to squeak these bowls out before noon.
More after lunch!

As The Crow Flies

Michael Kline

Here are a few items that will be in the Artisan Gallery show, "As the Crow Flies: NC Neighbors" that opens next week in Northampton, MA. The show features my work and the work of my "over the hill" neighbors, Michael Hunt and Naomi Dalglish. They may be over the hill as a crow flies, but far from over the hill with their pots!

Filling the Table, Filling the Kiln

Michael Kline

These are about 16-18" in dia. (40.6 -45.7 cm).
I used about 16 lbs(7.3 kg) per bowl.

All I can say is that if there is plenty of clay I can turn it into pots. It seems like such a simple factor in one's production. Having just pugged the clay, I pulled off a pile of pugs, versus opening a bunch of plastic bags. I can't tell you the difference in mixing your own clay versus commercial clay. It's not for everyone and it probably doesn't compare if you add up time, equipment needed, etc. But it makes me excited to make pots and that is probably the single most important factor in any good work! But how do we quantify that?

Juicy Bowl @ Ferrin Show

Michael Kline

Here is one of my faves from the firing. It's a serving bowl painted with black under glaze and a great example of the exponential power of wood firing and salt glaze. Although the pot is glazed, not sure, either amber, alkaline, or tenmoku, and then put to the test of fire and atmosphere, completely transforming the painting, the throwing, and everything else I might have intended. The result greater than the parts. Another provident result is the runniness of the glaze without the loss of the brushwork. Yummy. This pot is from the current solo show at Ferrin. You can see the show online here.

Doing What Had To Be Done

Michael Kline

not the ideal bracket, but they're paid for!

What was I thinking???

I finally broke down today and pierced the holy drywall on the south wall. A wall that I had first designed to have a big six foot wide window, but soon realized I needed the wall for shelving! But I couldn't decide on the shelves, brackets, and procrastinated the inevitable. Instead, I move stuff around constantly during the day, looking for space, when all I needed to do was put the effing cheap metal brackets up and get on with it (already) !!!

Anyway, the shelves helped to clear up precious table real estate for the pots coming off the wheel and I had my first real day of potting, aside from the time I took to put up the brackets. Incidentally, for those of you who like statistics, the brackets are now on their third tour of duty. First the Penland Barns studio (1998), then the Micaville studio (2001), now the Snow Creek studio (2009).

table of 4 lb. bowls

I made some 4 lb. bowls this evening and wanted to make a real simple serving bowl with a serviceable rim like the ones I used to make on the "bread" bowls, but not as pronounced. So I eventually came up with the ones on these. One thing I like about using bat pins is that I can put a pot back on the wheel and re-do a line or a rim, as I did on a few of the early ones here.

Handle Video

Michael Kline

Despite the advice of my inner director, I left my voice on this video. Here is a short handle tutorial that I put together for my upcoming Greatest Hits DVD. Hope you find this useful.

Soaking Wet

Michael Kline

Every day I try to go through at least one box and cull the junk that lies within. Stuff that I have moved around too many times. Today I found a plastic tote box outside in the slow falling rain that had a big crack in the top of the lid! Damn! All of a sudden I was in crisis mode. I found one of my favorite books, A Sense of Order, by EH Gombrich, with a bunch of pages stuck together, soaking. Damn! So I sprang into action to save it. Also in the bottom soaking were a folio of B/W photos I had printed from my photography days in college. I spread as many as I could out on ware boards to dry. Those I wasn't worried about so much. I just peeled what I could apart and soaked down the rest for later separation. They just need to be pressed flat from their "curled up on ware boards" state. (I'll go and visit Dan Estabrook who's teaching up at Penland, and see if he can help! :-) )

All this to say that I had but a meager pottery output today. But I had couple of good kicks on the treadle wheel and thought it a more than enjoyable experience. Quality over quantity.
The difference in the kick wheel and the old Shimpo is all in the breathing and rhythym. The treadle requires a little more coordination and focus. It's really best for smaller pots, under 4lbs. The old Shimpo has a bit more power and I use it mostly for speed, when I'm in a hurry, and larger sized pots, but it's loud. So for now I'm making smaller pots and enjoying the treadle kick wheel.

Until next time...

[Sleepy time]