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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: bricks

The Kilns of Madison County

Michael Kline

not a kiln
Yesterday, I visited one of my favorite places in the mountains, Madison County. The landscape is full of beautiful communities and small farms. Although there are a lot of bridges to cross the many creeks that flow through it, this won't be a survey of the many bridges, kilns (or barns) of Madison County.

I was in Madison Co. to help Alex Matisse and some friends lay some brick for a new wood kiln. Alex Matisse is back to blogging and you can catch up with the news at East Fork here! It was a hot day, but under the beautiful post/beam kiln shed, a breeze kept us happy.

I had forgotten how much I enjoyed building with brick! Especially the beautiful brick Alex had recently hauled up from Alabama. As I laid the brick I began to think about a new kiln that I hope to build in the coming years. I've been feeling a little cramped in my kiln for a while, especially when I load big pots, but what an investment of time and money! I remember what seemed like an eternity to finish my current kiln and the stress that it was for Stacey and I. But now that the studio is relatively finished, I can think about the future!

It's OK to dream, right?
Well, it's time to get back to drawing and potting!

Here are a couple of shots of the new kiln at East Fork.
keeping it plumb.
from l to r, Alex Matisse, Matt Jones, and James Ward

at the end of the day
quite a few bricks were laid

Return From the 18th Century

Michael Kline

table where brick is made

I've been having too much fun surfing at high speed to take the time to blog! Well, I've got to start somewhere.

After the Craft Fair in Asheville, which went really well, I took the family to colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. I've wanted to go there ever since I visited Jim Chalkley in Norfolk a couple of years ago and I did the pottery show at the Hermitage. I think Jamestown was celebrating the 400th anniversary at the time.

Williamsburg is home to the College of William & Mary where my fellow potters Andrew Coombs and Kevin Crowe hail from. I'm sure there are more of you W & M potters out there, only time will tell.

Back to: Colonial Williamsburg. Williamsburg is an historically preserved late 18th c. city. See this link to view a map. It was pretty amazing being there, although it took some getting used to. There is nothing there that wasn't present or in the historical record of the time.

brick kiln being fired

We were lucky to be there the day they were firing the brick kiln. It would be fired for 4-5 days slowly drying out the bricks and bringing them to about 2000*F. They fire the stack of bricks once a year and during the fair weather months, the brick is made by stomping the clay, then forming the bricks by hand in the brick form.

They wasn't a potter in Williamsburg at the time that this city was "preserved" and that is why there wasn't a pot shop in the hitorical village, only the brickworks. Most of the houses there were were made of brick. In nearby Yorktown, William Rogers made pots. Steve Earp has some interesting posts at his blog, "This Day in Pottery History".

I have hundreds of pictures that I took there and I'm trying to edit them so I can show more here. I'm also trying to get back to the swing of things in the pot shop as well. I guess I'll have to knuckle down and organize my time. With the high speed and the new Mac, I may have to disipline my online time. Oh my.
speaking of disipline!
I'll schedule another post this evening after the gals have been put to bed.

Thanks for your patronage (or matronage) as the case may be!