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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: holidays

Pots in Action (On The Road)

Michael Kline

Lillian in Knoxville with vintage klineware in action!

As 2009 nears it's end, we rest between celebrations and I found time for a quick little post! We've had a wonderful stay in Knoxville with family for Christmas! We usually stay with Stacey's mother Jackie. My very supporting and loving mother-in-law Jackie has probably the second largest collection of klineware east of Great Falls, MT!

(That's where my Mom lives.)

Always on the prowl with the camera, wherever we go, I snapped a few corners in Jackie's house where my pots preside. I'm especially proud of this corner of the kitchen that has a few rare pots, the "ashes" and "knees" pots of some unknown craftsman, and a few of my oddities . The flat dish leaning against the wall is a molded dish that was supposed to be a square bowl, but when I flipped the drape mold over the clay slowly sat down flat. But it is a very popular dish at Jackie's. The jar in the corner was from an early firing of the wood kiln and is a little under fired, but not without its charms.

These two jars are from the first Etsy kiln opening. (see what I mean about Jackie's continued support!?) This is first time I saw these guys in action but I didn't have anything to do with the broken spoon. (disclaimer: as far as I know, the jars had nothing to do with the spoon's demise)

You can't tell it from this photo, but the platter in the foreground has been lovingly glued together. It's from my Penland residency days and is an early example of the cut rim edge I have been doing since then. The edges of this platter/bowl have some pretty bad cracks that Jackie has filled with some sort of wood filler or epoxy. It has some really nice painting of underglaze with an amber glaze on a light clay body.

We had a great time celebrating Jackie's 70th birthday the other night and there were even more Kline pots at my in law's home holding some really delicious "snacks"! Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures of the Colocotronis Collection of klineware. But it's in every corner. What great family support! In the beginning of most fledgling potters careers, the "friends and family" plan is what gives us the encouragement to keep going. After 22 some years I continue to be blessed with encouragement from my family and I'm most grateful.
Lastly, here's the dish rack at our house tonight as we take a break from the holiday party's and festivities and enjoyed some of Stacey's cauliflower soup on this cold winter's night. How many potters can you spot? (aside from the obvious klineware)

Well, we're off to our "New Year's Club" annual meeting tomorrow, so this could possibly be last post of 2009. It's been a unbelievable year. But I hope to do a wrap-up post before it's all over.

If I can't get to it before we leave,

Thank you for your support this year and thank you for making it a fantastic year here at ye olde blogge!!


Before the Year Ends

Michael Kline

One fear I have is that I may not have anything relevant to say, much less write a blog about, but "fools rush in" as the songs says.

After a few days of R and R with family for the holidays, I have managed to distance myself from the woes of studio completion, or rather, lack thereof. I have been sequestered from worries and concerns and I must say it is very refreshing. I've realized that it's a very stressful thing to a) not have a studio that one can make things in, b) stretch your skills and do things that require a lot of experience to do right and do well. Meanwhile...

I have been enjoying two books that I got from Santa this week. Both recommended to Santa by my buddy, Tom Turner. One is ironically titled, "Talking with the Turners" by Charles R. Mack. [No, it's not about Tom's family.] It's a collection of "conversations with southern folk potters" and includes a CD with recordings made by Mr. Mack in 1981. I really like what I've read so far especially since there are obviously a lot of stories about the ways that pottery was made back in the old days. I am hoping to hear from Mr. Mack to get permission to quote excerpts from the book so that you might want to add this book to your pottery library as well. With permission I hope to put a few of the audio tracks here for your enjoyment. More later I hope.

The other book has been on my wish list since it was published in 2006, Alabama Folk Pottery, by Joey Brackner. This is a big coffee table kind of book that isn't always easy to hold while reading in bed, but that's OK because it's really a marvelous object to look at and I'm sure it will be on your bookshelf soon if not already if you're a lover of old pots, especially old southern pots. In the short time that I've been reading it, I've realized that wonderful pots were being made all across the south, not just NC and GA, but it took an insightful and well researched book to spread the word about the Alabama pottery tradition. Hopefully books about the Mississippi and Texas pottery traditions are in the works, too! Of course as the nation grew it needed pottery, and as this book clearly shows the potters were pioneers as well. Maybe after I have read the whole book, I will be able to write a review.

I would hope though, that you set aside a few dollars here and there to get these great books. Times are tight but you shouldn't neglect your library. My library has suffered greatly since budget cuts shortly after our first daughter, Evelyn, was born, but I won't hold that against her. ;)
It's only because I don't have a realistic budget in the first place. God knows I could at least buy one worthy book each year with money saved from certain revenues collected from certain ads from certain said blog. [But I'm not supposed to mention that.]

I am so thankful to my family who gave these books to me for Christmas! They are my most wonderful supporters!

As far as the new shop is concerned, you can rest assured that I will continue to plug away at the punch list and keep you informed of anything exciting that happens, like electricity!!! I'm getting really close to getting the wheels in there and building a few counter tops and such.
As always, thanks so much for reading.