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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.

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The Best of Sawdust and Dirt

A record of the goings on around Michael Kline Pottery!

Filtering by Tag: brushwork

Painting Video--Rough Draft

Michael Kline

I'm loading my kiln today, but managed to have Lillian take some video of my brushwork. I think I need another take or two, but for now I thought it would be nice to share this with my readers as an advance rough-cut, and when I am finished firing I will put these together in a more polished version.



 I will be in Seagrove this coming weekend for the 10th Annual Cousins in Clay. More info on that show can be found here! I hope to see some of you who can make it.

The Chosen Ones

Michael Kline

yunomi cups for AKAR Design annual yunomi show swirlware decorated pottery

Out of the 30 swirl cups that I fired last month in the wood kiln, these are the 5 i have chosen for the annual AKAR Design Yunomi Invitational [2014] [2013] [20??]. I wanted to choose a group that showed a variety of color, swirl, and brushwork.

The process is a curious one, that begins with an invitation to do a show along with some of the best potters in the country and challenges me to make cups that push my abilities and techniques into new areas. Curious because in the end you might say these cups look like the kind of cups that you might expect from me. And you would be partially right, I guess.

But, contrary to my last post, this palette and style is but a subtle variation and refinement, not the kind of obvious change I talked about the other day. Each firing there are a handful of pots that are unusual and maybe not what I expect. Then I try to reproduce their goodness, whatever it may be, often missing the mark or guessing wrong on the combination of variables that affect a pot in the wood kiln.

So, to get a group of pots for a show like the Yunomi show, I might need 30 to get 5 or 6 exceptional ones. It's a strategy or process of "make bunch and some might fly" that many a studio potter are grateful for and since it's fun to make a lot of pots, its a great way to work.

But the other thought I have, or the other question you might pose, is who am I to judge?

Everybody has different tastes, different needs. Some like their pasta soft and some like theirs al dente. But in the end, I guess someone has to throw it against the ceiling to see if it sticks. [ba dum tssshhh] and I guess that would be me. But in the end, or at the point of sale, you, O fair and trusted customer, are the final judge!

The AKAR Yunomi show opens on the morning of May 15th and a LOT of the pots sell in the first hour! My advice would be to be take the morning or the day off, bookmark the website and get a front row seat! You should also follow AKAR Design on the Facebook for some fun preview action!

Thanks so much for reading!!

eKiln II Brief

Michael Kline





I ask for your pardon if I don't elaborate on the painting session in preparation for today's eKiln firing. There's much to do . Here, for the record, are some highlights with coded deco-descriptions. I'm plugged in and ready to dial it up. I'll be watching that pyrometer and reading that meter!

Pictures of Porcelain

Michael Kline







These pictures aren't the best. I hesitated to post these, but what the hell, it's been par for the course. It's no surprise that this segment of the process would be another steep learning curve. In this case the camera was having trouble focusing on the white, I think. Has anyone had trouble with auto-focus on white? I tried years ago to photograph an Alleghany Meadows bowl that had a subtle white semi matte glaze. I had to get another camera! My Nikon would NOT focus!
Looking at these pictures, though, is very revealing, showing black slip details as well as glaze details. Let me know what you think. Let's crowd source!

I'll take some more pictures after the next firing. More porcelain painting Friday as well as more plates in the home clay!

Good night to all of the night owls still up reading this and good morning to my friends in the British Isles!

Michael Kline



I'm glazing and loading the eKiln today. Firing tomorrow! It will be a light load, read: totally-experimental-glaze-test-slip-test kind of firing with real pots.

Call me crazy or call me over-confident! [See fingers crossed behind my back.]

But this is how I'm rolling into the fifth year of pottery bloggery.

New Slips

Michael Kline

Tea time with my Dan Finnegan Tea Stein! I'm also testing some different black slips that may work at cone 7. The Lug-1 black underglaze was recommended by Kyle. It seems a little thin and it may a watercolor look. Also mixed up a new base slip and added the mason stain 6666. Instead of EPK I am using redart and am looking to use a little less of the pricey stain. Loading the eKiln this afternoon!



Challenges

Michael Kline

Noon zipped on by as I stared at my sparklingly white porcelain bisque ware. I have set up my painting area and taken my new Ebony pencil to sketch patterns on the surfaces of some of the cups. Like a dog circling 'round it's pallet on the floor, and then scratching it, and arranging it, before lying down, I put things together at my table and in my mind to make my painting bed.

Painting pots with patterns is sometimes dreamlike and it is an activity that I definitely get lost in. My imagination drifts and travels around the pot with my brush and slip as my vehicle.

Like any 'journey, there's a lot of prep and planning, and then it's time for the rubber to hit the road.

After a while the pedal hits the metal and I'm off!

Every winter I have the habit of turning everything upside done (sort of). For the last month I have been working on developing a skill with an unfamiliar material, porcelain. This stuff couldn't be more opposite in character than the home clay. In almost every way it is different.

So now it will take some faith to glaze and fire it in the electric kiln opposed to my usual wood kiln. Actually it will take a big leap! I heard an actor being interviewed on a radio show today describe taking a role that was totally contrary to the roles he had played before. He described it as "jumping off the cliff".

Great metaphor. It's a good way of putting that decisive moment of risk taking!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Painting/Glazing Highlights

Michael Kline


As usual, I'm completely (well, almost) tapped from getting the pots painted, glazed, and ready to fire. Lucky for me, Courtney loaded the entire kiln! I don't have a lot to say. I just wanted to post a few pictures of the painting session (in no particular order) and make some ever so brief comments and then it's off to dreamland so I can be an effective stoker in the a.m.!

Thoughts?

horse-rabbit?

couldn't go wrong with the brush marks in this one.
flowin'!

trying to incorporate my style of leaves.
combing included free of charge.


we'll see if these wiped highlights show up
in the fired article.
a visitor to my studio recently asked if I took notes.
If you are trying something new, take a picture!

big pitcher with random leaf and
dots deco

lillian and her ballerina cup

iron, copper, cobalt

the stack

From Where I Sit

Michael Kline


Here's a quick view of some of the pots I've painted for the upcoming firing. I will try to keep you informed of the other pots I've painted as well as some source images from one of my favorite pottery books before the holiday break!

But for now it's lunchtime and then more brush play!

Questions? Leave a comment! Thanks.




Pots & Chores

Michael Kline


I finally finished my pots yesterday after slacking with other things and I needed a little warm up to my brushwork ahead and
painted a bunch of invitations to the studio tour coming up on December 3, 4, 5! Are you on my mailing list? [sign up here]

I also cut some wood that is too big/wide to stoke in the wood kiln, but makes nice heat for the house and studio. Nothing is wasted here! Unfortunately this makes for a lot of various pile of wood around the kiln yard. But I developed a pretty quick way of cutting and stacking.


I'll be deco-rotating the pots for the next few day until I haul them over the hill to load with Courtney next week. I will send images of some of the motifs that emerge from the session.
Digg Button

Have a great weekend.

Reruns

Michael Kline


I had a question from my devout reader, "ratfacedmacdougal", about a certain technique that I use for painting. I'm not sure what they meant, so I guess I'll have to review my youTube channel to remember!

But here are a couple videos that seem to be fairly popular. Not exactly the numbers that this video has and to my knowledge there are no "painting with wax resist " remixes, yet!

;-) (open invitation)



This video was one of the early ones.
I remember strapping my cell phone to my tripod with stretch wrap!



Back to packing pottery!

(drudgery...)

No More Blues, Just Green!

Michael Kline


After all of the whining about expectations and such last week I have good news concerning my most recent endeavor, the Spruce Pine Potters Market, or SPPM, pronounced, "sppm". Going in with moderate expectations, taking lots of pots, and putting my best foot forward, it did not disappoint! This years show was probably the best ever.

I finished unwrapping the few pots that were left and jumped right into fixing the e-kiln so that I could fire the pots I made last week. The 150 or so pots will be heading up the road to Courtney's wood kiln for a firing on Friday! So away with the bins of wrapped pots and onward with my brushes and some glazing!

I'm real excited to fire again, for a lot of the ideas that came from the last firing are still freash in my head. It was also nice to look over the pots at the show the other day as John and I set up the booth. The pots continued to reveal themselves and I had some nice convos with some of my fellow potters who always brings different perspectives. I'm looking over some notes and getting pots dec-o-rotated today as I nurse this old bisque kiln through one last firing before I gut it and replace all of the rusted parts and faulty switches, etc.


The old L & L's been under a roof, out of doors for the past 8 years and it shows. After taking the first section apart to replace elements, I realized what I feared to be true. Rust, rust, rust...The terminal covers have to be replaced, but I also realized that the terminals themselves were corroded and need replacing. Maybe it is time to replace this old kiln? Well, replacing it is way more expensive. And besides how out of place would a new kiln look surrounded by all of my other equipment that hales from the late sixties (Paoli mixer) to early seventies (Shimpo Scream™, and original Peter Pugger Classic)

I guess it wouldn't look all that bad!

;-)

Back to the brush! Thanks for checking in.

Michael

BTW, FYI, OMG! please sign up for my email newsletter to receive special offers and such in the upcoming months! thanks!

Sink Saga Continued

Michael Kline

white slip. wax resist. more white slip!!

I'm heading over to put the sinks in the soda kiln, Lucille, over Penland School way. Here are the sinks after their wax painting and slip dipping were done.

black wax resist. white slip

white slip. wax resist. more white slip 2

sorry, no picture of the
black underglaze slip brush work. layer o'tenmoku. layer of amber
it'll be a surprise for Wednesday!

I'm not sure what I'll do with myself tomorrow as I sit there watching the gas kiln. I'm sure I'll stick my head in a few studios and see what's going on!

Look for a Penland Ramble post tomorrow or Tuesday!

Back Story:34 Painting

Michael Kline

As I desperately try to regain some order and get a night's sleep before the craziness of unloading a kiln load of pots and get them ready for this weekend's pottery show, I realize that I have some straggling images from the painting and glazing session that lasted a mere 3 days. Usually I take 5 days, but I had no choice but to cram 5 days into 3 and failed miserably and had to postpone the firing by a day. But it all got done in the nick of time. But it means that instead of two days to prepare for the show I have one! Well, with no further ado...here are some pictures of some of the pots I painted and deemed worthy in their beautifully bisqued state to be put in the record.

Tomorrow I will unload the kiln and will try to get the "after" shots of these. Enjoy...

despite the tight time frame, i went the extra
mile and painted the inside of these bowls and many others.
Creativity knows no schedule.

one of the "boxes" for the Crimson Laurel show.
Let's hope this one makes it through
the firing!

top view of the above box

another of the Crimson Laurel pots.
this one is painted in my black wax.
I then dipped it in white slip.


some hump molded dishes painted in underglaze black.
more dots! I then glazed these with tenmoku, very thinly.


platter with black wax and plain wax