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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: brown pots


Michael Kline

Walking in the snow the other day I realized that our dog Jack isn't a white as I thought! This contrast got me to thinking about color and how we perceive it. As a potter I base a lot of my decisions on the pot as it appears before me at any given state. The reddish brown in its wetness, the pinkish hard bisque fired state, and the finished, glazed, and fired piece. The latter stage is maybe so complex that it's hard for me to put into words. Anyway, let's just say there is a very important player that isn't included in this drama.

To illustrate, let me go back in time, a little. A couple of weeks ago I was making a pot roast and needed some fresh thyme. The thyme was in the Lindsay Rogers pot up in the studio window. When I got there I needed a taxi for the thyme.

So I reached for this bowl that sat in a pile on a shelf. The bowl was in this pile because as I unloaded my last kiln these pots seemed lackluster and uninteresting, and put aside. Uninteresting until I put one into action!

I snipped bunch of thyme and dropped it into the bowl and hurried back to the kitchen to the roast. On my walk down I looked intot the bowl and noticed a liveliness that didn't exist when the bowl came from the kiln. The bright green of the thyme and the brown and gold flecks of the bowls were a thrill. (don't you think?) Well, I thought so.

There are many layers of subtlety to my experience as a maker and sometimes I have to put the blinders on and just make. But in this case I am missing out on so much potential. One of the processes that anyone working with clay (with the intent on firing it) grapples with is seeing with the mind's eye. The glazes and clay change so much on their path to being finished that one must imagine what it will look like, feel like in the end. It is a process that can can debilitating or exhilarating. I have to be somewhere in the middle of intuition and practicality.

Using this pot invited me to look at its qualities, it's colors, and form a new experience. After all of the pots I have made in my life, I still have to remind myself why I am making them.

Well, that's the excitement of ceramics!


Michael Kline

four pound cup

Scale and proportion don't always translate like you would want. Maybe visually this 'cup' seems right, but the handle seems way too big. [compare to the size of the banding wheel to the cup] Of course, after it's dry enough to pick up safely, I'll know better abut the feel.

More Pots From XXIX

Michael Kline

More pictures of pots that I liked from the kiln today.

I like this platter because it has a successful "white on white" color
and the bird is decent. It's about 14 inches in diameter. There is a
strange line going across the middle of the pot that sort of distracts me, but
I like it.

I like this pot because it's a little new/old technique of dipping
the pot in slip on its side, getting an oval field to paint an image.
It sort of reminds me of a cameo. The inside of the pot was ribbed
out after I had torched the pot, thus crackling the surface of the pot.

This pot has some nice handles and the bird looks chipper.

On Deborah Woods suggestion, I'll post a few pots I didn't like tomorrow.
It's late, time for some sleep.

21st Century Crockery

Michael Kline

As I looked for a spare horizontal surface that was out in the sun I found this gem of modern furniture. Doesn't this sum it all up? I took this picture with my handy dandy cell-phone-camera to exploit the rich colors of the table and the flat rather dull reddish brown of the drying clay pots.