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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: coffee

Time To Clean The Shop Pots

Michael Kline





After the Firing, or as it became known in Stonepool parlance as ATF, is that special time reserved for all the things that should have been done, if it weren't for the rigorous demands leading up to a wood firing. Because after the firing there's the waiting.

One of the things that I managed to do today in my dazed-zombie-potter state was to bring the mugs down from the shop for their periodic washing. Coffee, morning noon and night, delivered by these great and noble cups, helped me make it through this unreasonable workload of a cycle.

Like a lot of folks, my dad drank coffee to make it through his work day. Lots of it. It's just one thing we had in common. He was born on this day on 1929. I really do miss him.

Coffee Break vol. 29

Michael Kline

I need a big cup of Joe today as I finish up the pots I need to make for next weeks firing! So I reached for this one made by Ellen Shankin! It holds a good bit of java and I usually use this one to make a big cup of tea. The surface/glaze feels like velvet. No, it's not flocking, but the semi matte, rich, chocolaty, glaze has a softness that breaks so nicely on the fluted lines that zig zag from lip to foot . The handle reminds me of a little cup I used to use, before I dropped it, that was made by my teacher, Michael Simon. I guess I call it a trigger handle because one can only fit one finger through the handle and it's nicely back-filled (and I noticed as I look at this picture I just took, that it has the tiniest little chip in it's handle). No problem. It's quite a survivor and veteran of our cupboard! I think Stacey got this from Ellen the last time we were invited to show with 16 hands. (2007?). The proportions are wonderful and the lines of the fluting give the curve of the profile a nice edginess without spoiling the coziness in the hands. The fluting may also provide some relief from the hot beverage as one holds or cradles as I like to do. This cup has such nice scale that fills my hands.

Thanks Ellen!

I just noticed that our friends in Floyd will be having their Fall studio tour on the weekend of November 26-28! Check out the web site and plan your trip now!

[disclosure note: this coffee break™ is not sponsored, nor was it prompted, by 16hands.com. ;-)]

Friday is The New Monday: No Rest For the Weary

Michael Kline

After the Veteran's Day Holiday and no school yesterday, it feels like Monday. But who am I foolin'? I don't really have weekends this time of the year, anyway! I guess it's been a long week, feels more like ye olde fortnight!

Still gawking at the beautifully clear skies we've had over the last few days and finding that the only time I can really be productive is when the curtains fall on all of that glaring daylight. Last night was another late night, but productive. After getting the handles on these really big tankards and retrofitting the lids on a dozen jars, I tore into making some yunomi(i) for the AKAR Yunomi show in the spring.

I know what you're saying, "spring??" Yes, April, I believe. Working back from the online opening, there's the deadline that the gallery needs the pots in January to begin photography of the gazillion cups Then there's rarity of a wood firing in December, here, and you get making them in November! This pottery doesn't happen overnight, ya know!?

[yes it does]
[huh?]
[overnight, that is]
[oh, I get it]
[ ;---) ]

What? All of that and no pictures???

[imagine image of a board full of roundish cups with
dramatic early morning lighting highlighting surface
details of wooden ribs and fullness of form]

What kind of blog is this anyway?

OK, back to some sort of sanity... Here are some ornaments Stacey and the girls worked on yesterday! in porcelain!! We're lining things up for this years BIG Toe River Studio Tour. Folks come from all over the Southeast to this 2 county 3 day weekend Crafts Mecca event! [If you're on my mailing list we'll be sending out our annual hand painted card to your mailbox very soon, announcing the time and dates. And it's not to late to sign up. See mailing list sign up button on the right. It's instant and it's free]

OK, I'd better put my auto-magical blogging pen down and start punching out items on my little chalkboard. I can't let all of this early morning genius time go to waste!

[it's actually just coffee energy]

Later.

Paper/Ceramic

Michael Kline




As I handle my mugs from yesterday and think about the next step for these pots I pause to share a little something that has struck me about this cup...



I was given this cup at the coffee house over at Penland and immediately noticed the pattern printed on it. It is a nice pattern of leaves that "flow" around 3/4 of the circumference of the cup and it shares the real estate with the following text,

MADE FROM PAPER AND CORN 100% COMPOSTABLE


The pattern is made up of leaves falling or flying, not ears of corn. So i had to think, was the pattern intended to enforce our perception of a green, sustainable, product and am I to start a compost pile made out of the leftovers my daily visits to the coffee house? Do handmade cups present overwhelming complications to the quick cup of coffee with their need to be washed, the burden of their bulky transport, their lack of spill control(i.e.plastic lid)? Makes we reflect on the question 'Why Craft now" which began last weekend's ACC Convenings.
Hmmm.

With all of that said, I have to say that the pattern is seductively pleasant. More questions ( for myself primarily, but please chime in with your thoughts): can I create a similar seduction with my patterns and pots? How are the patterns I choose to decorate my pots helping or hindering this seduction?

In addition, I guess there are many stories in the naked city of sustainablility and the green production of pottery. Can or should potters compete with the paper cup? Is the paper cup better suited to our lifestyle than the handmade( i. e. well crafted) cup? I realize as I pose these questions that time and place play a major role in our choices. Just as the suggestion of composting one's paper cup is dependent on a next action or an inconvenience, depending on the situation one finds themselves in.

Well, I'd better bet back to those mugs. The inconvenient truth is that those cups won't 'handle' themselves. I'll chock it up for my 12x12 if I can.

Please help us sort these questions out. I know its a pandora's box. But, any takers?

Have a great day.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

The Coffee Machine

Michael Kline

good cup, bad cup

Since I make my coffee one cup at a time, I tend to prefer cups that follow the standard size of my little plastic coffee filter holder thingy. Maybe my current favorite is the one on the left. The cup on the right is nice and all, but it doesn't get the use it deserves because of the slightly too wide rim. And, after all, I don't want to risk scalding myself just to use a cute little cup. So to avoid scalding myself [and anybody else for that matter] it's off to the shard pile for this little cutie......unless someone wants to rescue the cup.