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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: ink

Form Factor--Design Challenge

Michael Kline

Evelyn had some leftovers when we ate out recently and it came in this nice paper container. When I saw this, I immediately rescued it from the paper recycling bin with the intention of painting it. It was a real challenge. First of all, the paper has a light coating that my ink didn't immediately dry, so I had to do some dabbing with tissue. Also it was slow to dry, so I used my torch, not so good. ;-) but the challenge was stimulating!

If only I had a whole stack of these, I could really work out/sketch out some variations in pattern that might include some of the eccentricities of the form.

It's amazing that this establishment uses paper for take out. Most places use styrofoam. It's really a shame, isn't it? I will go back to the restaurant and get the same of the supplier.

paper cup


Michael Kline

I painted a few paper plates that went out to some of my star customers from last week's Etsy Sale.

It's a great way to keep the brushes limber while there aren't any pots to paint. I hope to take this technique on the road to my upcoming workshops in NYC and CT. More on those soon.

Want a plate? Buy a pot!

Today I start making pots. Film at 11.

Guess who?

Drawings and Layers vol. 2

Michael Kline

Sometimes the sketch is better than the finished piece. I thought so after I painted these last night! But maybe I'm measuring success with a different ruler than other possible beholders. These were fun and I'm excited about the possibilities of this new design. I'm mostly excited to follow the brush and the ink and where it goes, where it takes me. Just as the kiln is the teacher, or the clay is the teacher, I follow the ink coming off the brush and react to it's nature. Of course there are patterns that I'm comfortable with and there's always the confidence or lack of to limit the outcome. But during the painting of these paper plates, I waived the concerns of the objects I was painting for a bit and it was so refreshing!
Should these be framed? Should they go on a pedestal in the gallery?

Maybe I should keep some of the best ones? Most probably I will give them to folks at the opening tonight as a gesture of gratitude for supporting me and what I do.
That seems more appropriate. But maybe we'll frame one, too?!

Hope to see you tonight in Asheville.

Daily Drawing Book

Michael Kline

Let's get back to work!

Enough of this talk!

Well, it's not so easy, is it?

Well, here are some more drawings from the Drawing Book I've been working on for the show. I'm not sure how this will all play out on the pots since I tend to decorate and glaze "en masse". [that's french for en masse] I have several bisque firings under the belt already, so maybe I should take some time each day after some ink drawing to do a few pots!

Some of the stuff that is going through my head, when I stop to think about it, is an attention to the materials and the process. In this case pen, brush, ink, paper, crayon, etc. It seems that I'm most pleased when the drawings come off from pure exploration of these mnaterials, and not from my preconceived notions of what the drawings should be. The above is a good example of a discovery that just touching the wet page with a tiny tipped brush would create these beautiful dots where the ink spread. The colored page on the left is one of that separates "chapters" in the book. Each "chapter has 12 pages. I'm sure my bookmaker friends could tell us what this is called. Essentially each "chapter" is bound this way.

I have some beautiful pots that my friend Sam made. On some of those pots are great little picture framed images that I think he masks out with a paper after he has dipped the pots in slip, then brushes iron or some oxides over the slip then peels the paper off and paints an image that seems to over step its frame in a beautiful way. I'm not sure of the sequence, but I incorporated that technique with these drawings. See below one such example of Sam's design.

mmm, more dots

meow, meow

Drawings and Layers

Michael Kline

a detail of a larger drawing

a slightly different detail
of the same drawing

loop-d-loop fun

loop-d-loop + reeds+ fake writing

Here are a few of the drawings I have been working on. These are all india ink on tracing paper and were photographed through the window of my studio. The above are each either two sheets, or three sheets that were put together in different orders. I'm playing around not only with line and form but with the various compositions and how they look together in varying degrees of transparency. I have bumped up the contrast a little to get an accurate darkness of the top sheet. I have been drawing these very quickly and usually do about twenty sheets over a ten minute flurry. Then I spend a fair amount of time looking at them in various combinations. This is awkward territory for me and I'm hoping to be more confident and less self-conscious. I think the drawings will be better.

Anyway, I hope this is a little window into what I'll be doing in the coming weeks. I will share more thoughts as this process evolves.


Michael Kline

Here's another drawing. This one is on tracing paper and it was scanned for this image. I like the light and dark that was created during the scan. Like my salt slip on my pots there is a lot of variation with a simple palette. The drawing has been fixed on the side of our fridge with magnets and the ink has faded from being in the sun and next to our stove. There may be a little sauce as well. Quite a lot to list in it's description if it ever makes it to the show in October! See how the drawing looked in this post from the past!