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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: crunch time

'til the Midnight Hour

Michael Kline

I feel a little crazy rationalizing today as the last "wet" day for next weekend's wood firing, but here goes...

I finished these jars off this evening and will get them to drying with a little help from the weed burner, gonna "fitch" 'em! They're all about 30 inches now. The one on the left will sport a lid. I'm not that thrilled with the forms and regret not mapping these out. The bases were a little narrow for the height that I

planned on making and it would have helped to sketch them out on graph paper just to keep a better eye on the overall line.

I have a few more plates to make and maybe a board of 6 lb jars for the back of the kiln and then it's a race to dry them. I plan on loading the kiln on Friday. These jars will be raw glazed and loaded green. I usually have a few pots in every firing that I make at the last minute and load green, but not on the scale.

I'm heading to the doc in the morning to have him look at my leg. If you remember I took a fall last week and it doesn't look like it's getting better. My schedule and constant standing while I make pots hasn't helped matters.

But on a very positive note, the opening Saturday was a great success and a very fun evening. I'm sorry I didn't make it to the after-party at Shane Mickey's, but I'm glad that I got these big jars one coil closer to today's finishing.

This promises to be an interesting week and firing 38 will probably have to least number of pots, but some of the biggest pots, yet.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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!

View From the Crunch

Michael Kline

The return of the swirl. These tankards (steins) are made with 2.25# of clay! I'll be taking one these to the Pizza Shop for a fill-up of some of their fine brew! Still potting here as crunch week continues. Last wet day is the 12th but it might have to be moved to the 14th with recent schedule changes with the family. Empty bowls at Penland tomorrow night. More later or in the a.m.

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!


Michael Kline

a tumbler in mid-facet
the table and it's trimmings

dipped in slip tumblers/vases

"I'm tellin' 'bout the midnight rambler
Well, honey, it's no rock 'n' roll show
Well, I'm a-talkin' 'bout the midnight gambler
and everybody got to go
"--the Rolling Stones

"...inspiration illuminates at the strangest times...the still of the night can bring the sharpest clarity to the creative mind that otherwise might struggle in the fog of daylight and all its distractions.:))..we are a weird mob" ---Sharon Risdale from Facebook

Here I am telling you all about it. The crunch week has begun in its typical late night fashion. All of this with some sort of hope that in the flurry something good gets made.

I began this series with the intention of faceting these pots and ended up throwing some new shapes and not even faceting some. Funny how change comes along. Although the unfaceted ones will be a bit heavier than intended, they will make nice vases. It's a tough call to leave the pots as they are and take the risk of a hunch that they will be good. But I guess it's all about the gamble. More news tomorrow.


Michael Kline

Since the Potter's Conference in Asheboro last weekend, I've been scrambling to get things done in time for #34 on the 20th! I've been blessed with warm weather and a absence of the usual precipitation. The wood, still frozen or otherwise damp, has been slowly thawed, cut, dried, and stacked. The pots that still need to be made are knocking louder and louder on my imagination's door. Details surrounding the loading and firing are being attended to. During this mad dash, I've had the hardest time sitting down in front of the Mac to relate all of my day to day thoughts and concerns. How does blogging fit into my work flow when there is so much to do?


For now Twitter seems to be an easy way to check in with y'all using SMS via my cell phone. You can follow me on the Twitter sidebar to the right or go here.

Please accept my apologies for the rather slack proceedings here at S & D. I hope everyone is doing well. Bye for now!