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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: faith


Michael Kline

Noon zipped on by as I stared at my sparklingly white porcelain bisque ware. I have set up my painting area and taken my new Ebony pencil to sketch patterns on the surfaces of some of the cups. Like a dog circling 'round it's pallet on the floor, and then scratching it, and arranging it, before lying down, I put things together at my table and in my mind to make my painting bed.

Painting pots with patterns is sometimes dreamlike and it is an activity that I definitely get lost in. My imagination drifts and travels around the pot with my brush and slip as my vehicle.

Like any 'journey, there's a lot of prep and planning, and then it's time for the rubber to hit the road.

After a while the pedal hits the metal and I'm off!

Every winter I have the habit of turning everything upside done (sort of). For the last month I have been working on developing a skill with an unfamiliar material, porcelain. This stuff couldn't be more opposite in character than the home clay. In almost every way it is different.

So now it will take some faith to glaze and fire it in the electric kiln opposed to my usual wood kiln. Actually it will take a big leap! I heard an actor being interviewed on a radio show today describe taking a role that was totally contrary to the roles he had played before. He described it as "jumping off the cliff".

Great metaphor. It's a good way of putting that decisive moment of risk taking!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Michael Kline

slipped plates
click on image to enlarge

Sometimes, in the course of working, things don't go as planned or the pots aren't as money as they could be. Sometimes the "not caring" after one of these pots leads to more daring maneuvers. Sometimes those maneuvers pay off and leads to other creative paths. The other thing about ceramics is the time lapse of cause and effect. What may "feel" good, often may not work technically. The materials change so much in the process that experience and careful observation have to come into play. Aha, empiricism. Can you "see" the one that's not like the others. I didn't center that one on the banding wheel before I scratched through the slip. But I liked it and went for it. What had I to lose? After all, as Cynthia Bringle might say, "It's just clay." So I try things and wait for the kiln's final say and go from there.

Working within the pottery's restraints requires faith.

If you're a potter, what do you think about the nature of experience and the creative moment? If you're not a potter, how does the nature of risk and discovery effect your work?

Back to it!