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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: chickens

Wednesday Pictures

Michael Kline

Maybe a few pictures can tell the story of Wednesday. See
(my apologies to iPad, iPhone, & iPod Touch users.)

  • Kathy King brought her class for a tour, a demo, and here, a paper plate painting exercise.
  • Chickens in their even larger indoor palace.
  • some pots and shots around the shelves and tables of the shop.

Here is a slide show of the above images. My apologies to you with iPods, iPads, and iPhones...

Crunch Time

Michael Kline

not a knob

[disclaimer: If this post seems kind of random, it is!]

Too many things are going on here at the same time. Maybe only in my mind, but blogging has taken a backseat to my daily tasks. And just like a backseat driver, it keeps barking at me to write, to post, to edit and share. With the usual rush to the finish, there are less opportunities to stop and reflect. I thought I would heed the backseat and post a few pictures that may allude to what's going on around here with the risk of completely under-reporting.

Earlier this week I made my travel plans to Tampa and the NCECA conference, where Simon Levin, Mark Shapiro , and I will be reporting on lectures, demos, etc. I don't know what it is, but I cannot seem to either, make up my mind, or make good decisions when it comes to these kinds of online transactions, so thank you Stacey for handling this for me!

In the midst of last minute throwing in prep for my upcoming wood firing, I headed up to Penland to watch the amazing potters from Jingdezhen, China who are on tour after their demos at this years NC Pottery Conference in Asheboro. They were all pretty amazing in their individual skills. Unlike our potters, here, these folks do only one task, i.e. throwing, trimming, under glaze painter, enamel painter, hand builder. And they do it masterfully. I wish I had more time to show some of the videos I shot, but...someday in my dreams I'll be able to edit and share!

I'm mostly throwing my home clay and Highwater's Zellastone. I'm making tankards, mugs, cereal bowls, jars(large and small). The table and shelves are filled up with pots covered in plastic, waiting for a moment of attention, a handle or two, a dip in some slip. They are all so patient! More pots to throw today, then I really have to call it quits. Otherwise there will be a big crashing sound and a burning smell! We don't want that!

random picture of pastoral calm

I have a contest in the wings for Saturday, and will post more pics of the goings on in the shop in the coming days. So see you then!

How's The Feed?

Michael Kline

By the time you read this I'll be high tailing it up the hill for some crunch week fun. Yes, once again it's crunch time! Tis the season, fellow elves of the holiday gift market! This time, it's a truckful of pots for our annual studio tour here in Mitchell County, that will be fired with Courtney Martin at the "other wood kiln on Snow Creek Rd".

In other news, I have a new warehouse at Facebook for "Sawdust and Dirt", which I am archiving various photo collections, guest bloggers posts, and who knows what else. If you are on Facebook, visit and revel in the comp-pile-ation of 'Dirt. You can also write a review! Make your voice heard!

So, let's get to work. There are pots to turn! Check in later for the Crunch report. Make it a great week!

Coffee Break vol.27

Michael Kline

At long last I have managed to pry this cup out of Stacey's coffee crazed grip! I got this fine whiskey cup from Kyle (over a week ago!!) and have finally been having my coffee this morning. It accompanied me along the way of all manner of chores!

Maybe I'd better hide it from Stacey and have my whiskey in it tonight!
BTW, Kyle is firing his kiln today. Here's to a good firing Kyle!

Chicks and Marriage

Michael Kline

nine years ago Stacey and I got married
in the little church over at Penland!
[photo by Nancy Barnett]

Wow 9 years!! Where does the time go? I guess time does fly when your having kids and making a home. I guess I forgot to mention keeping a pottery business afloat , and building a kiln and studio! It's been a blast, Stacey!

So, like so many parents with kids we'll celebrate our anniversary with the girls tonight after their swimming lessons and then hopefully we'll get away (sans kids) on a date by ourselves to hear some music, have a nice dinner, and use big words of affection while gazing lovingly into each others eyes!! I just hope that I'll remember some "grown up" words!


Speaking of girls, I just couldn't help share these pictures Lillian took last night of the new chicks in our hen house!

These are just a couple from the 150 or so that I just downloaded from the camera!! Ha! She's really been enjoying taking pictures with the old FujiPix. When I was Lillian's age (1967) the camera and it's film were reserved for special occasions with the occasional snapshots. With digital cameras it's become almost too easy to snap off a few hundred. But it's pretty cool that she's getting into taking pictures!

In other news I'm getting ready to do some drawings and paintings for a show I'll have this coming October at the American Folk Art Gallery in Ashville. Betsey Rose and I have been planning a great show of new pots, as well as some new drawings in ink and other goodies, TBA. You'll see it first here so stay tuned.

here is one from a few years ago that
hangs in my showroom.

Jug Redemption

Michael Kline

Not counting my chickens yet, but I'm happy with these handles and especially happy that these have made it this far. I hope Tom, my handle critic, likes these.

I'm painting pots, but don't have any pictures for you yet. Hopefully later.

Still Grey: Saturday

Michael Kline

I'm feeling much better and even managed to split a truckload of firewood. Unfortunately as I take a little break to pause and reflect and have a Saturday afternoon candy break with the girls, the cord wood is still in the truck. As our wood pile has been getting down to nothing, it's good to know that we have some wood ready to burn.

So, here are a couple of pictures of the pots I made last week! I tried to get over this cold ASAP and stayed in bed for two days and feel fine now! Usually I try to work through a cold but it tends to hang around longer as a result. Now I'm ready to head in there on Sunday and get back to pottery work.

As you can clearly see, these two pots were too dry to reshape. To create the reservoir where the chickens can peck their little heads in for a cool drink of water, I cut the pot with my fettling knife parallel to the base and push the side of the pot in. I think I should do this when the clay is still a little softer, d'ya think?

Then I add a little coil of clay to the lower "jaw" to bring it's height up a bit, thus creating a vacuum. Or is it a vacuum? Hmmm. I'll have ask Stacey's Uncle A.J. ( he worked on the space shuttle!!) He's my go-to scientist! (That is, if I can't get a hold of my other rocket scientist pottery neighbor...)

That's all for now.

Keep on turning...

Film @ 11

Michael Kline

Despite a sucky afternoon with an oncoming cold,
I managed to sort out the clay, clear the decks and make a few pots.

Ever since the recall of the chicken waterer, I've been painstakingly refilling my chicken's plastic water bowl. Now that it's warmed up the water isn't frozen 5 minutes after I bring it out! And!! Thanks to my neighbors Marissa and Lindsay, our rooster, Pavement, now has a girlfriend, unnamed at the moment. We hope they have a family! More about the happy couple later.

I'll sign off and hit the sack. Maybe I can fend off this cold with a good night's rest.

Counting The Eggs

Michael Kline

I've been back putting pots away, putting the booth away, enjoying the beautiful clear cool skies, visits, tether ball, whiskey, some truck camping, etc. You know, the usual.

I promised a recap of the long 4 day show in Asheville and hopefully by typing this intro some memories will return, so be prepared for some stream of consciousness.
Hmm, to start with, I hadn't used my booth for a crafts show since 2005. So I rearranged things in my shop to accomodate my 6' x 8' booth. It wasn't easy, but it fit. I didn't want to have to make any big changes at the show, but brought my handsaw anyway.

I didn't need it because I was very lucky to get this corner spot!!! Wowsa. How lucky is that? This booth not only had enough space behind for storage and sneaking around to snack, but was also at the entrance of the show. Although Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday were cloudy, the weekend was nice and I had a great view of the weather and the oncoming craft enthusiasts! Usually I did the show in the windowless arena floor that you saw in the previous post. I would have to say my attitude was much better in the light of day versus the arena/stadium lights.

One usually tries to predict what to show and where to put it, although one doesn't know who will be coming to the show and what they may be shopping for. This speculation also extends to the prices of one's work and the market. I price my work consistently with my show room prices and my local and national gallery prices. Some of my fellow crafters thought that my prices were a little low. Some customers picked up pots looking for the price, flared their eyes, put the pot down and walked away. I don't know. I guess everyone has different expectations.

In the end, I sold almost all of my jugs, most of my bigger pots, and lots of little plates. My cylinders, although I sold a couple to some enthusiastic folks, didn't get much attention. My little jars and tumblers weren't as popular as I thought they might have been. Some pots were looked at, picked up and marvelled at, but nobody took them home, excet me! What is the message there? Wrong market? Since folks reacted visiblly over and over again, I would have to say the price didn't match people's perception of the pots worth. Hmmm. I guess you could say that I just didn't meet the right person to close the deal.

Maybe next show.

I failed miserably on documenting the many beautiful objects that friends and colleaugues brought to the show. I took my camera with but didn't organize my time to get around and use it. I was busier than usual and that was a good thing. So next time you'll have to join me and see for yourself. I thought the quality overall had bumped up a notch since I had done the show. There were some new faces with great work. Some folks that have been showing for a while brought new work that really blew me away and that was encouraging and inspiring.

I look forward to doing the show again next year and hope to do as well as I did this go-round. But I should never count my chickens before they hatch.

(this from someone who hasn't seen an egg all summer from his 4 roosters!)



Michael Kline

January 2008

This week we lost one of our hens, affectionately known as "Booger". She was a good layer and we'll miss her beautiful brown eggs. Evelyn and Lillian made these headstone's to mark her memorial in the shadow of the coop. Luckily we will get more chicks soon and Silky will have some company.

?-March 17, 2009


Michael Kline

Sometimes the chickens come home to roost, sometimes they're just here to eat the leftovers. Whatever may be the case, these chickens insist on ceramics. In the late eighties there was a billboard in Brooklyn, NY where I lived at the time. It read "When dining out, insist on Ceramics!

I guess you could say that these birds insist. This might make a good image for Ron's pots of domestic bliss. This is more like domesticated bliss. Who knew that chickens like their eggs scrambled?

I hope everyone out there is insisting on ceramics when you dine out!