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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: drying

'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

Where Y'at

Michael Kline

Here's where I am. Behind schedule, as per usual. but I took a much needed break from the pot shop and spent the day with the family!

Today I'm finishing up the trimming of my plates that will be my part of the POTR donation to the Penland School Auction. All of the POTR's are making dinnerware for a big group table setting! It should be pretty awesome.

I will begin a couple of big pots for my upcoming wood kiln firing sometime today, but the real excitement will be my visitors today. Can you guess who might visiting here shortly?

Film at eleven.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Big Blue

Michael Kline

Drying the last of the big jars out on the picnic table under super blue skies. Whether I'll have room or time to bisque these is the question. I can always glaze these bone dry if i don't get them in the bisque. Loading bisque load number 8 today so I'm on track with my minimum 10 bisque per wood kiln! Probably will be 12 altogether. I also have about 60 pots that were left out of the last firing. Having a surplus is always good especially since I'll be firing again with Kyle in October!

The day has already been productive and it will be non-stop all week. Have a great Monday! Are you GTD?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

$10 CM idea

Michael Kline

I'm probably not the first potter to save those little spongy foam thingys that Orton cones come packed in, but I thought I would at least share with all of you all who think pottery blogs are worth reading. If you want to send me 10 of something in return for this useful info, it would be appreciated. [imaginary tip jar]


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday News Roundup

Michael Kline

;-( 's or upside down ;-)'s

It's been a busy, busy week and a general whirl wind since my last firing (exactly a month ago!! 3/22), but everything looks good and just because I see a bunch of frowns on these jars, things are OK. Here are a few pictures taken by "my staff" to cover some of the highlights yesterday!

preparing to pour slip

coat of kaolin slip

awaiting bisque firing
drying in the pleasant breeze

Tomorrow is the "Fire on the the Mountain Blacksmith Festival" in Spruce Pine. An event that Stacey will be overseeing, so that means that I'll be taking care of the girls all day! Yay! Maybe they'll make some wads, clean some kiln shelves, or stack some wood while I finish up my pots?

;-( Lillian) ;-( Evelyn)


Michael Kline

late night buddy

Howdy. Just checking in on this Saturday morning. I hope everyone is enjoying Ellen Denker's posts. I 'm thrilled to have her posting here! Thanks Ellen!

After a beautiful-sunny-day-Friday, spent cutting wood and doing outdoor chores, I got in to the workshop after supper. I was so taken by Ron's videos that I had to look away from all of the plastic covering the pots on my shelves and head straight for the wheel. It seems that the week has been spent doing "covers" as in cover songs. First the batter bowls, aprés Scott Goldberg, which I will finish today,

and now the little covered jars aprés Philbeck! Maybe I'll called this series the "aprés" line! Has a nice allure, hinting at "style". [drats, there's that word! I'm still crafting a post on that topic for next week] I did just what Ron warned me not to, I think I threw them too thin. When I did the credit card move (ribbing the little band around the waist of the pots) I had a bit too much flex/movement. It's a cool pot and I really liked the direct nature of the technique! We'll see what I say when I try to finish them. ha. Ron's videos (part 1 and Part 2) are very well done. Check'em out! I'd better get a video camera so I can keep up with these vlogger/potters!!!

Ron's was a fun assignment, just in time for the boxes I'll be making for an upcoming show at the Crimson Laurel Gallery. I hope to use some part of this technique for the boxes.

Really, though, I wanted to show you this little series of jars, shown above, turned upside down. I usually turn my pots over as soon as I can without denting the lip to slow down and even out the drying. After I flipped these and flipped their lids, I flipped mine! These look better upside down that right side up I think! What do you say? Let me know (if you would be so kind).

For now, there is the beautiful sunshine to go out into and much plastic to chase for this weekend warrior. Stacey and the gals are visiting Grandmother's house (over the mountains and through the woods) so I'm cranking up and focusing on some clay!

Have a great weekend!

P.S. see my new poll on lower right sidebar!

Waxing Moon, Waxing Pots

Michael Kline

My late night java connection yielded some pretty good results. A lot of what I painted was white slip-wax resist-white slip, otherwise known around here as "white on white" (as in the cylinder on the left). The cylinder on the right utilizes regular wax in addition to my special black wax.

Fired bisque number 5 with some big bowls. To save space I stacked the bowls with ceramic fiber as a cushion. Years ago, Mark Shapiro and I had heard of someone using this technique in bisque firing and stacking bowls. I tend to get weird cracks if I stack big bowls without the wool. I'm not sure of the original source of this technique, but thank you, whoever you are!

Here are some other top secret techniques used today. When I cut the rims of these small plates, it leaves a burr along the edge of the cut. Just before bisquing, I "scrub" the burr down with a green pot scrubber. The green scrubbie is just rough enough to take the burr down without changing the edge too much. It doesn't lift out sand or coarse particles like sand paper might. Well, this process leaves the pot dusty. After the bisque firing. I rinse the plates off in a bucket of clean water. Here is a solution to soaking wet pots preparing them for some slip dipping. The wood stove was warm so I set the plates on the rack to dry.

No secret associated with the two little hollow rim bowls below. Just liked them.

Wednesday will be a big painting day now that I'm warmed up. I'll do some Chin Dynasty
Tz'u Chou peonies and even some birds! I want to do a video of my brushwork technique, so maybe check back for that, too.

Just One More Board

Michael Kline

I totally know where Joe and Cristy are coming from. Not necessarily from a triathalete/potter's point of view, but when you're making pots and have to stop to glaze and fire a kiln, it's not as easy as flipping a switch. It was such a breezy day yesterday that I turned these cups out before supper, came back and they were just right for dipping in the 6 tile slip! How 'bout that?

But, meanwhile back in reality land, there is still a bunch of pots that need leaves. Maybe I should get Sophia to wax them?!

Oh, and by the way, this jar was the only one that cracked during the fast drying in the sun/wind! Not bad, but don't you think the handles look a lot like it's cousin "rubbermaid"? Coincidence? Probably not. Be careful of what you have in your studio. It might end up influencing what you make!



Michael Kline

I do live in the mountains at an elevation of about 2600 ft. (792.48 m). And tomorrow is the first day of Fall. But the real reason fot the wood stove burning on this last day of summer is the relentless wetness and sogginess that is my pottery studio.

So I've got a lil' fire burning to dry out some pots so that I can start to bisque fire.

Knowing that the sun shines somewhere is my one comforting thought. But that ain't gonna dry all these pots out here, today.

I hope the sun is shining for you today!


Bad Places

Michael Kline

With over 400 pots made and no table left unpiled, I have turned to some unlikely places to dry the last pots. The sun is breaking through the clouds for now so I hurried these guys outside for a little sunning. Revealing this embarrassing situation, to you, my reader, shows that I have nothing to hide! Or should I say, no shame?

Which one is your favorite? Maybe I should build a couple of saw horses? But who has time when I should be glazing!?

The Sauna

Michael Kline

platter on a ladder and other damp pots under
the fan and near the wood stove on this beautiful spring day.

Even though it's fairly warm out I started a wood stove last night and cranked up the fan to dry out the wares. I dipped all of the big cups in # 6 Tile slip and that takes a while to really dry. A bit of irony here as just last week I was thinking to myself that I need to convert my dry box to a damp box just to stay ahead of the drying. The weather is such an important part of this making process.

With just a few days before the firing there are only two days to bisque fire. I've been working long days and it's this tight of schedule when I feel like a truck driver out on the road. At least I get to see the family in passing, but it's no fun being out in the shed. Gotta run.


Michael Kline

Spent most of the day running errands. I managed to pack the pots I'm sending to the Mudfire Potters of The Roan Show opening in April. There will be a 2 gallon jar among some plates, platters, some big cups, and yunomis.

Speaking of yunomis, the AKAR yunomi show opens in the morning. I hope you will see the show and get to buy some of the great pots the show promises to have. Some of the cups profits will go to the Studio Potter magazine. They are recommending that you register so that your purchases can be expedited without delay. The show sold out pretty quickly last year as I remember, so log on early. I think the show goes live at about 10a.m. EST. I have a few more yunomi that I didn't ship that I hope to post on etsy very soon. I'll let you know when I do that.

My friend Buck was over this evening to wire up the pug mill, mixer, and kiln. Hopefully, soon we'll be hearing the roar of the Paoli mixing up some fresh red dirt. I've been limping along with reclaim and previously frozen clay that has taken a lot of time to reprocess. Maybe now I'll have no excuses to crank those pots out. Let's hope...