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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: firing results


Michael Kline

There is something about a pot that is completely different and the one that we take risks with. The soldier pot at the front lines. When they come out of the kiln most times they look like risks taken. But I am really intrigued by the possibilities presented by this piece. It is what we call a keeper. Maybe the definition of a keeper is a pot that approaches a priceless-ness. At least for the time being. A bookmark. A mark of some kind. A reminder. A pot to study. To figure out. Worth more in the hand than in the bank.

The cross hatch pattern is taken from an Italian jug that sports quite the bird and an area with this type of cross hatching in manganese and iron. [a responsible blogger would have source imagery] Maybe I will steal some time away from packing and shipping EtsY sale pots to scan the image for you.

In the meanwhile here's a toast to the luxury that all potters should take. the pot that we don't sell. In this season of commerce, here's to the keeper.

[NOTE]: Here's what it looked like before it was fired. [read post]

[UPDATE: Jenny Mendes saw the inspiration for this pattern and posted a picture on here blog! How I envy her! Check out Jenny's blog here.]

35 Faves

Michael Kline

Here are a few pots that will be in my "favorites of the firing" gallery here at the pottery tonight and this weekend. Time for me to set out some pots on the lawn! Have a great day.

35 Peeks

Michael Kline

I'm a little late with this sneak peek, but here are some images from the kiln!

i like the black vine on the round jar
and the restrained amber on that jug!

mmmm, dots!!

i love the contrast of color and texture in this picture
through the bag wall

a Kyle Cupenter Carp!
I'd better hide this one when he
comes over to claim his pots!

A big day ahead! Unloading the kiln will be on top of the list. Also that list will include,
  • paint signs
  • clean up around the kiln
  • clean show room
  • post preview pics on this page
Until then...

First Peek:34, Sort-of

Michael Kline

If you are a Facebook fan, or if you follow me on Twitter, you may have already seen this. I thought I would give you guys the first peek. But for all the rest who are just now seeing these, enjoy the thrill of the surprise! The above shot was taken by sticking my camera (and arm) through the stoke port from the POV of the firebox. I like the contrast of the pots and the lava flow on the bag wall bricks! The pictures below were taken through the spy holes

top of a chicken waterer

spout of a pitcher
yum, a tenmoku over hakame cup at the bottom front.
that's cone 10 and 11 standing.
perfect heat!

more tenmoku with under glaze black brushwork

Finally, Images for Blogger

Michael Kline

while cleaning the wall by the
wedging table(l) and smearing clay all over it anyway, I
decided to try a little wall drawing with a clean throwing sponge!
It was fun!

The Toe River Arts Council Holiday Studio Tour began and we had a pretty good day despite the slow traffic. Everyone who came today, with a couple exceptions, bought pottery or jewelry, or both! As usual I was still getting the studio set up with sanding and pricing the new pots, when the first customers came. After doing this tour for 12 years now, I have a steady following and it's always nice to see folks!

So, this evening, I've finally found some time to crop the pictures for blogger. It's very easy to upload images to Facebook and Tumblr with taking the time to re-size, etc. But here are a few faves from 33!

i did a lot of slipware trials in this kiln load and
it's some of my favorite new stuff!

this pitcher was one of the few
pieces glazed with my dwindling bucket of
willie hillux 5% copper glaze
and one of the first pots to sell at today's sale!

this pattern is inspired by a baseball seam

I like the cartoon-y look of this bird!

I painted this bowl with the restraint that Dan suggested

stacks of cereal bowls

this is a sweet half gallon jug that was one of my faves
mainly because of my new favorite motif, the jack or astericks

serving dish with blue stained glass placed on the rim before firing

more combing inspired by blogger Matt Grimmitt!
the slip is #6 tile and the glaze is tenmoku!

Back Stack of 33

Michael Kline

Here's the back stack. Notice bag wall on the left slowly leaning to the left...I'm preparing the onslaught of images on Facebook just because it's really easy to upload and resize. I'll post them here later.

Thoughts and Highlights

Michael Kline

The kiln the afternoon of the firing.
As you can see, the kiln is in need of some serious maintainence!
That will have to happen before the next firing.
More about that to come after we open the kiln and get an assessment of the latest cracks.

It became a cold wet day. A chill to the bone for most but for those around the kiln it was just fine. No better place to be on such a day.

wood adjustment station
While not counting our chickens before they hatch, the firing seemed to go as usual except for a couple of snaffoos. The big one was the wood being cut a little long! doh! So I set up a table and a jig to cut the wood to the correct length while Alan kept up the stoking.

Another potential problem was the grate system. Before I start to load the kiln I always check the iron grates (3" schedule 40 black pipe) with the slam of my square edged shovel. This usually gives me an idea how solid they are. They all seemed fine when I did this, but about halfway through the firing, they started breaking in half. The snaffoo on my part was not having any back up grates. I usually have a few around for this very need. So we just kept stoking! I adjusted the dampers and primary air to make up for the stokes laying on top of the coals. It seemed fine! Maybe I can save my $$$ and go without in the future. But I think it worked only because we already had a pretty big pile of coals by that time in the firing. Going without grates in the early part of the firing may not work as well without the coals.

the "golden key" being stoked

Kyle Carpenter came by to visit the potters of Snow Creek Road on the big firing day! As an honorary fireman, we gave him the key to the kiln. And he stoked it! All the while he was brandishing his new DSLR. I was hoping to distract him enough that he might forget it and leave it behind, but no such luck.

Here's Alan (aka the big cheese) Gratz pulling a salt ring at the end of the long day.

Evelyn came up for a visit and did some reading from her new set of books. I think she decided to read her "Dragonology " book for the firing! After shivering and wimpering about the damp cold and wind, we set her up next to the chimney. Since there's no insulation around the bricks it's a pretty cozy place to be.

Here is a pot I'm hoping to see throught he spy. It's at the top of the kiln. I placed glass on all four handles that I saw slumping onto the pot around 1500°F. It was pretty cool. Then it started to run around 2000°F.

And now I sit here and wait it out. I'm about to head out to run a bunch of errands. But before that I'll walk up to kiln again and check the pyrometer and maybe pull the dampers out. Maybe I can get a snapshot through the spy bricks. If I only had that hi temp camera that I could lower into the kiln to get some sneak peeks!

XXXII: Others

Michael Kline

some of my favorite pots from the
firing were the double dipped RJB slip with wax
resist like this pitcher. it's always nice when a little
fly ash melts on a pot's shoulder.

this was the only pitcher that i made during this brief session

a design from a Tz'u-chou vase that I incorporated in many
pots. I use new motifs on as many pots aas I can to see how they work on various forms

a hollow rimmed bowl

one of the many cylinders that I explored in the last session

this is a little flask made by my friend Micah Cain.
Micah is a resident up at the nearby Energy Xchange.
He gave me a few of these to paint. the pinkish blush was
occurred when the flask tipped over in the kiln and laid against another pot.


Michael Kline

this particular kind of glass (some stained glass remnants
that Shane Mickey gave me a long time ago) is the only
glass that seems to be compatible with the slip only surfaces. Thanks Shane!

blue glass run on copper green glaze fired on the front
near the bag wall.

the little orange spot at about eight o'clock
came from a flask that had fallen onto the jar during the firing.


copper green glaze over black underglaze

These are all 2 or 3 lbs of clay and range in height from 5 to 8 inches.

XXXI Results Pt 1

Michael Kline

These just in, I mean out! Still waiting for the back to cool a little more before unloading it.

I love the transparency the slip has with the wax resist.

This one is a tad bit more yellow than in life. This plate actually has a bird in the center with the blue glass "sprinkles" and plate glass at the edges that have melted towards the center forming a sort of flower petal.

I love the copper glaze when it reoxidizes! The red is from early reduction
and then the copper changes back to green/turquoise later in the firing.

I love the subtle dots in this plate. The brushwork could have been a
little more restrained, but I'm still learning. ;-)

More later today.

Juicy Bowl @ Ferrin Show

Michael Kline

Here is one of my faves from the firing. It's a serving bowl painted with black under glaze and a great example of the exponential power of wood firing and salt glaze. Although the pot is glazed, not sure, either amber, alkaline, or tenmoku, and then put to the test of fire and atmosphere, completely transforming the painting, the throwing, and everything else I might have intended. The result greater than the parts. Another provident result is the runniness of the glaze without the loss of the brushwork. Yummy. This pot is from the current solo show at Ferrin. You can see the show online here.

Got Pics?

Michael Kline

green and amber glazes
ladled/poured over wax resist pattern

tea cup w/tenmoku

painted by Lillian!
tenmoku test

Just when you thought it was safe to catch up on all of the other blogs you've been putting off so that you can look at more pictures of pots from the most recent firing, (not), here are a couple more.

It's time to pack up the Subaru and head N. I hope to hit the road after lunch and drive up I-81 to PA tonight!