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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.

Thanks for visiting.

The Best of Sawdust and Dirt

A record of the goings on around Michael Kline Pottery!

Filtering by Tag: cousins

Cousins in Clay Collaborations: Part 1

Michael Kline

Here's a video of moi painting some resist on a bone dry porcelain cup thrown by Samantha for our Cousins in Clay™ collaborative project. It was interesting to handle another potter's pots. The forms of Bruce and Samantha were unfamiliar to my hands and to my brush. I have become accustomed to the forms I make and paint and there is an evolution between the forming and the painting that becomes internalized over time. But handling these Bulldog pots forced me to stretch a little bit. We used Minwax water base Polycrylic protective finish.(clear gloss with green food coloring so we can see it better on the porcelain)

Working with S & B was a blast and I can't wait to see how their crystalline glazes look on their surfaces that I painted. We'll try to continue the narrative with additional videos and stills. If these pots are successful in the end we will have a special online sale. So stay tuned for all of that.

If you would like to view this video in HD (high definition), click on the youtube button at the bottom of the video window to watch on youtube proper and then check the button that either says HQ or 360p, etc. It takes a lot of bandwidth in HD and may be a little choppy depending on your connection. Also, the sound didn't seem to upload (at least not on my computer?? so don't try to adjust volume), sorry.

If you have any questions, just leave a comment and I'll get right back to you.

Where's That Confounding Horse?

Michael Kline

frumpy swirl yunomi
It's been a busy week and not much blogging has occurred here. I knew it was bad when Stacey pointed out that I hadn't posted in over a week! Yikes, crack that whip! So where is that horse I'm supposed to get back on, anyway? I guess, at the moment,  I'm staring into my headlights (read: computer monitor) and don't know quite which way to post. The stories seem too numerous, so this will be my kick in the pants post and hopefully I will gather thoughts to share my visit to the cousins in Seagrove this week and some of the fun stuff we did, (we shot lots of video with Evelyn's HD Flip video camera, which cost me 5 bucks to rent, btw), an uplifting quarterly board meeting at the NC Pottery Center, and of course there is the continuing and uplifting saga of my porcelain experiment to update you all on.

I have a lot of announcements to make, too [which I will dole out a little at a time so I don't come off sounding like one of those annoying arts calendar PSA's that start to sound like Charlie Brown's teacher after about 15 seconds].

In the meantime, while I dream of future-soon-to-be blog posts, can you guess which came first in the swirl cups above? In other words, are these red-dirt-clay with porcelain swirls? or, porcelain-clay with red dirt swirls?

The secret will be revealed to you on Saturday.

Cousins in Clay Newsletter

Michael Kline

Last night I sent out my email newsletter about my upcoming sale this weekend in Seagrove, NC with my "cousins" Samantha and Bruce.

If you did not receive the email and are not on the email list you can click here and join. Here is a link to the newsletter. I'll try to send some updates from Bulldog Pottery where I will be showing my latest pots along with Bruce, Samantha, and Professor Emeritus Val Cushing!!

More information about all seven of the potters showing this weekend can be found here and here!

Hope you can make it!


Michael Kline

Tonight, I celebrate little victories here at the pottery. After taking a few days off to travel to Seagrove and visit with the cousins, I got back in the shop to...... make pots? NO! More carpentry, of course. I've been wanting to build a new and more roomy ware rack to handle all the all pots I work on during a firing session.

handy for drying towels, too!

Here it is in all of it's glory. It's moderately stable. Just needs some lateral support. Perhaps I'll add some ceiling support. After some adjustments to the depth, it works relatively well. (Just needs more pots!) I'm planning on a rack to handle smaller pots next door to this one, maybe next week when I get the urge to taste more piney sawdust.


After shoveling some snow this afternoon, I made it up to the shop to start a fire in the wood stove and get going on some pots. Something, anything! So it was a board of mugs.

I don't know about you, but I'm always interested in the origins of phrases, sayings, figures of speech. Especially if it's something to do with pottery making. So, where did the term mug shot originate? Follow this weak link and decide for yourself. If anybody has a better origin, please comment to the effect. These mugs certainly take on the characteristics of faces. At least in my eyes. Do you see? In Catawba Valley pottery traditions, handles were often called "ears". I've never heard of handles being referred to as noses, but that's what I'm seeing in these pictures.

Come Sunday, these mugs will get dipped in some kaolin slip and get combed.

Tune in tomorrow for that and hopefully I'll have my Seagrove/Cousins post edited and ready for your consumption. Bottoms up.

Michael Kline

This strange pot is evolving slowly.

I like the bell shape and will tweek the shape and placement of the "mouth" more after my trip. I'm heading over to see my "cousins" and will make stops in Shelby and Pittsboro along the way. So I won't be making...

But I'll bring my camera and let you know what everyone is up to. Check in later this week for the Seagrove report!

Hope you're getting the pots made or getting the pots that are being made. All for one and one for all!

Pottery Bloggery Foggery

Michael Kline

A quiet gray day here at the pottery. Jack is snoozing in his box as I write this. Thank goodness he doesn't snore! (yet) Clay is thawed, mixed, and pugged. But first there were taxes to finish and still a layer of fine sawdust on everything in the shop to rid before I start to spin. Aaaaaa, what's a little fine sawdust wedged into my clay!

This morning, before I head up the hill, I'm planning a trip to Seagrove. Next week I'm meeting with my "cousins" to plan our show (June 5, 6th!!!) and was also checking out the NC Pottery Center to make sure they would be open so I could see the current show (Fire in the Valley: Catawba Valley Pottery Then and Now). I'll take my tripod and take some pictures for you when I visit.

I'm also hoping to see cousin Ron over Shelby on the way!

I also checked into Mark Hewitt's web page to see if there was anything going on over on Johnny Burke Rd. and found this.

Related to yesterday's post, Mark puts it in simple concise language, as only Mark can, "...take what you've learned and add to it."

[Want to learn how drive a truck? Well, I found this just for you.]

Let's make some pottery!

Film at 11.

Peak of Summer

Michael Kline

"LOOK OUT FOR THOSE HEADS!!" girls gone wild!

Not much clay work these days. I've spent the last two weeks enjoying the richness that this peak of summer has to offer. As my daughters prepared for their upcoming school year we thought it would be nice to go to the beach if we could. So we got in touch with our old Penland buds, Geoff Calabrese and Andi Steele's and made a trip to their home in Wilmington, NC and some beach time. On the way back from the shore we paid a visit to Mark Hewitt's place in Pittsboro, NC to see the crew fire up the old salt kiln for the 77th time.

Alex Matisse side stoking "the Beast"
Julie Jones waiting for the next stoke and for that annoying potterattzi to get out of her way!

It was Alex's last firing with Mark and Joseph, and Julie's first! We were fortunate to be at Alex's last firing with Matt Jones last year, it's crazy how time flies. Julie Jones was part of my excellent class of 2006 at Penland. After a couple of big bursts of rain and thunder, a lot of side stoking (not me although I was itchin' to help!! I was in my Birks and beach garb!) we headed over to the Pittsboro Market for a light dinner and some great music by some local musicians. Then it was time to roll on towards the NC Pottery Center for the opening of the new show there, "The Historical Pottery of Fayetteville."
the exhibit announcement postcard

a sweet little earthenware bank by well known Fayettville potter, E. A. Poe (1858-1934). Yes, that's Edgar Allen Poe!

One of my faves from the exhibit. A little
Chester Webster pitcher
with birds, leaves, and flowers

Awesome show! Had a great time seeing all my Seagrove "cousins", Bruce, Chris, Meredith, Michael, Jennie, Chad, Vernon, Pam, David, and Blaine, (among others) at the opening. I missed seeing Samantha who was not feeling well. I also had the pleasure of meeting Deborah and David Garner who had a show of their Webster reproductions.

I bought a copy of the fairly new book "The Living Tradition: NC Potters Speak" and was happy to cash in on my gift shop discount as a member of the Center! Full of interviews by Dr. Terry Zug, and Penland School's own Michelle Francis, I was pleasantly surprised to see that many of the potters had autographed my copy! [Bonus! ding, ding, ding!] I would really recommend this great book for your pottery library. If you order it through the NC Pottery Center, you might get an autographed copy as well. And if you join the Center, you will get a discount on anything you order. And if you tell'em I sent ya, I'll get even more of a discount next time I buy some books! JUST KIDDING...Anyway, the book is full of anecdotes and photographs of some of our wonderful "treasures" from the great state of pottery . [hey that sounds like a license plate idea]

Lot's of Looking!

Michael Kline

show announcement from the old days
when I went by the alias of O.K.R.A.

Just wanted to thank everyone who's visited this month! Over 10, 000 page views so far! WOW! I guess the firing and the Ferrin Show were interesting to folks out there. It was a busy month and it doesn't seem to be slowing down anytime soon. I am gearing up for a visit to Seagrove and my "cousins in clay" next weekend and then we are having our annual Spring Studio Tour the following weekend. Then it's time to fire the kiln again for the July show in Asheville NC.


Hope you all will come along for the fun!

NC Pottery Center Auction

Michael Kline

3 gallon Jar
that I donated to this
years NC Pottery Center Auction

Thanks to my cousins, Samantha and Bruce, over Seagrove way, for delivering my jar to the Pottery Center for their annual auction. The auction will take place on the 18th of April, coming right up. I hope you will be able to make if you're in that neck of the woods. This event is free and open to the public!!! The theme for the auction is "the many faces for the center". I went to the auction last year and had a blast . There are all manner of pots and sculptural pieces, beautiful antiques and a who's who of contemporary NC pottery on display before the silent and live auctions. Of course there's lot's of great food and time to sit down and chat. I hope you will be able to support the Center this year. It's a unique place of great importance to our state's pottery history and a beacon to light up the road ahead.