Get in touch!

Use the form on the right to contact Michael Kline!

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.

Thanks for visiting.

The Best of Sawdust and Dirt

A record of the goings on around Michael Kline Pottery!

Filtering by Tag: how-to

Guest Blogger: Rob Haugen of Olympic Kilns

Michael Kline

Installing a New Electric Kiln – Part 1

Safety Considerations

Before Installation there are many things to consider before installing your new electric kiln. Actually, there are many things you should consider before BUYING a new kiln including amount of space, ventilation capability and electrical supply. Assuming that all of those factors are accounted for, the next concern is how to go about installing it. Where should you put your new kiln, and what are the things you need to be concerned about in terms of safety? Good questions! Let’s dive right in.

The first thing to take into account is space. Obviously you should have a space that’s big enough to accommodate your kiln but there needs to be at least 12 inches of space between the kiln and the wall. It’s a safety precaution but it will also help you access the back of the kiln for servicing. In fact, if you can give it an even wider berth, do it. It’s definitely better to have a kiln in a wide open room alone than shoved in a cramped space.

Next, you should absolutely remove anything flammable from around the kiln. Typically this goes without saying but it’s not uncommon to accidentally leave something flammable, like a shirt, near the kiln. Take time to make sure that your environment is safe and free of clutter.

Now that the kiln is in the room (away from the wall by at least 12 inches) you need to ensure proper ventilation. As the kiln gets hotter during the firing process, the room it’s housed in will also get hotter. It’s the same effect as if you were in your kitchen. Hot stove equals hot room. For a gas kiln, it’s essential that an exhaust hood be placed above the kiln to remove heat and gases like carbon monoxide. Even if you are going to install it outside, make sure that your gas kiln meets all local regulations in terms of ventilation. If you are unsure about proper ventilation, contact an electrician or other expert to guide you. You’re dealing with heat and fire so it’s definitely a case of “better safe than sorry”.

Your kiln is now placed in an appropriate area, free of clutter and set up with proper ventilation. It’s time to get down to the actual operation of the kiln.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of Installing a New Electric Kiln to learn about electrical requirements and how to stay safe once the kiln goes live.

Rob Haugen grew up with Olympic Kilns, following in his father's footsteps by providing electric, gas, and glass kilns. He works tirelessly everyday cultivating a deeper understanding of the ceramics industry and developing the Olympic Kilns.  Come by Booth #424 at NCECA and see the complete line of Olympic Kilns. 


Michael Kline

I had a question from my devout reader, "ratfacedmacdougal", about a certain technique that I use for painting. I'm not sure what they meant, so I guess I'll have to review my youTube channel to remember!

But here are a couple videos that seem to be fairly popular. Not exactly the numbers that this video has and to my knowledge there are no "painting with wax resist " remixes, yet!

;-) (open invitation)

This video was one of the early ones.
I remember strapping my cell phone to my tripod with stretch wrap!

Back to packing pottery!


$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


Michael Kline

I have been commissioned to make sinks for the new guest house at Penland and I will be painting and glazing them on Saturday. I've promised to give y'all a sink how-to, but unfortunately didn't do so well in technical writing as a young engineering student back in the day. But here goes...

First off, if you can make a teapot you can make a sink. But to make a big sink you'll need a few more chops to get'er done. First off, to make a finished sink that is 14.5" in diameter, I used 25 lbs. of clay! I threw the sinks between 15 and 16 inches. Also, I wanted to make them rather heavy to possibly avoid warping. (we'll see) This required a bunch of clay.

[sorry no pictures from the throwing stages. oh wait, here is a picture of some that were later destroyed and redone]

Then I let them dry really slow, and trimmed the foot as I usually do, but made the foot a little narrower as it related to the rim than I usually do for a bowl.

Then I cut a hole to accommodate the plumbing. (with the shrinkage of my clay, I made the hole about 1 3/4".

Then I added a coil that threw to make an overflow "chamber". After that was sufficiently dry I added a slab. [Well I guess, according top these picture, I added the short spouts that would serve as my overflow first. ;-) ]
Here are an assortment of little spouts that will carry overflow to the overflow chamber and down the pipe.
Doesn't this look like a strange kind of teapot? The two spouts will have a rubber tube between them! This is Kent McLaughlin's design that he freely shared with me and I hope he doesn't mind that I'm sharing with you?!?!

The overflow openings.
You leave a comment if you have a question. The overflow part is the critical design part.

  1. painting designs on the sinks and glazing them.
  2. moving them carefully over to Penland
  3. Load into their new soda/salt/wood/gas kiln!
  4. try to stay out the way of Sam Chung's class!
  5. Unload the kiln and deliver sinks to a waiting crew to install in the guest house.
Sorry I wasn't more thorough. I could have taken more pics. Until next time...remember questions comment if you would be so kind. I love hearing from you.