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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: jars

Postal Mailing

Michael Kline

I'm getting ready to mail my card out for the kiln opening! (see countdown clock to the right!) I'm a little late but you don't have to be if you're not signed up yet! Please sign up on my mailing list, there's still time. I'll be licking stickering stamps tomorrow night!

I'm getting some "pedestals" cut for the kiln opening yard! Here's one of the pedestals with a jar on display. We'll have a preview of the pots on Friday, the 7th. There will be light refreshments on Friday and maybe a birthday cake! Then on Saturday morning, the 8th, we'll have the sale!

I better get busy and make the pots I still need. Here's my list:
  • teapots
  • small mugs
  • platters
  • 5 gallon jars
  • 8 gallon jars
  • wine cups
  • pill boxes
  • pitchers
Have a good Saturday folks!

Unplugged and Revving It Up

Michael Kline

the seam of a 12 lb jar

I took a day off from the interconnected and interwebbed yesterday. It's amazing what you can get done when you're not checking email, tweeting, and blogging!

It was a quiet day of rain and pottery making. Stacey and the girls were in Knoxville and Jack was curled up on the floor snoozing. Here are a few pictures from yesterday.

12 lb jar
pots on top of pots on the table

The pots in the above picture are going to the Hambidge Center in Rabun Gap, Georgia, for their Spring Show. I was invited by Joy Tanner, who curated the show! I wanted to get a nice little grouping together from the last firing, but it seemed a little bit spread out stylistically.

Lindsay Rogers is on route to GA this weekend and was so kind to deliver these as well as all of the other WNC potters doing the show!! Thanks Lindsay!!

This show and my show at the Signature shop are both opening on the weekend of the 23rd & 24th. I wish I had time to go, but I'll be doing all I can to get the pots ready for firing#35. Well, with the exception of the workshop with master blacksmith Peter Ross up at Penland that I'm signed up for. Oh, and with the exception of the annual benefit auction for the Pottery Center over in Seagrove that I'll be helping out with...

Yowsah, it's looking like a action packed month! I'd better get busy!Hope you're ready for some fun!

On Edge

Michael Kline

Up late with a bisque kiln, so I thought I would say hello and post a few pictures. As the title of this post cleverly alludes to, it's that time of the session when things get kind of nerve wracking and I make the mental transition from throwing at the wheel to surface and glazing work.

Also speaking of edginess, here are two ways I treated some hump molded bowls (aprés Bandana Pottery) The above edge is just "thumbed" across the edge of the mold while the clay was pretty soft. The picture below shows a bowl that has been cut with a wire to get a sharper edge. Which one do you prefer? I sort of like the first example. The process, there, seemed a little Natural, while the wire cutting was awkward. I think that shows in the end. Oh well, I have to explore the possibilities with this "cover".

I made a variety of sizes just to see how proportions worked with the mold. Also this is a good way to remember how much clay I used if I want to repeat these shapes in the future. (this is a good use of the blog for those out there wondering why they should start a blog of their own. since this blog is searchable you can go back and review whenever you want.)

Lillian came up for a spin on the treadle wheel Saturday! She's doing pretty good despite the fact that the wheel head is just below her shoulders!

On Sunday it was back to the Seagrove area for the NC Pottery Center's annual membership meeting. It was a gorgeous drive and pleasantly warm.

Here's one of the highway signs you'll see as you near
the town of Seagrove.
Six exits to pottery!!

During the membership meeting I was voted onto the Board of Directors at the Pottery Center so I'll be making frequent trips there. It's a real privilege to be asked to serve on the Pottery Center Board and I'm really excited to be a part of that fantastic nexus for pottery in our state. I'll try to introduce you to some of the wonderful potters working there. If you're interested in Seagrove and it's potters check out Three Corners Clay blog. It has announcements about Seagrove area pottery.

Back home there was much to catch up on. I scrambled to finish up the wet work and these lidded jars, the first in a long while. I can't remember the last session that I made lidded jars. But I've enjoyed these in addition to the knob-and-all's that I made last week.

More kiln work is in order for the morrow, hopefully that'll get wrapped up so I can get the brushes out for to begin the leaves and birds (and who knows what else) There's always a surprise that emerges when one sits down for several days with a brush and hundreds of pots! I hope I can record some of the fun. See you then!


Michael Kline

late night buddy

Howdy. Just checking in on this Saturday morning. I hope everyone is enjoying Ellen Denker's posts. I 'm thrilled to have her posting here! Thanks Ellen!

After a beautiful-sunny-day-Friday, spent cutting wood and doing outdoor chores, I got in to the workshop after supper. I was so taken by Ron's videos that I had to look away from all of the plastic covering the pots on my shelves and head straight for the wheel. It seems that the week has been spent doing "covers" as in cover songs. First the batter bowls, aprés Scott Goldberg, which I will finish today,

and now the little covered jars aprés Philbeck! Maybe I'll called this series the "aprés" line! Has a nice allure, hinting at "style". [drats, there's that word! I'm still crafting a post on that topic for next week] I did just what Ron warned me not to, I think I threw them too thin. When I did the credit card move (ribbing the little band around the waist of the pots) I had a bit too much flex/movement. It's a cool pot and I really liked the direct nature of the technique! We'll see what I say when I try to finish them. ha. Ron's videos (part 1 and Part 2) are very well done. Check'em out! I'd better get a video camera so I can keep up with these vlogger/potters!!!

Ron's was a fun assignment, just in time for the boxes I'll be making for an upcoming show at the Crimson Laurel Gallery. I hope to use some part of this technique for the boxes.

Really, though, I wanted to show you this little series of jars, shown above, turned upside down. I usually turn my pots over as soon as I can without denting the lip to slow down and even out the drying. After I flipped these and flipped their lids, I flipped mine! These look better upside down that right side up I think! What do you say? Let me know (if you would be so kind).

For now, there is the beautiful sunshine to go out into and much plastic to chase for this weekend warrior. Stacey and the gals are visiting Grandmother's house (over the mountains and through the woods) so I'm cranking up and focusing on some clay!

Have a great weekend!

P.S. see my new poll on lower right sidebar!

Jar the Memory

Michael Kline

There was something nice about this tiny jar that I found compelling. I'm not sure what is is, maybe proportions, maybe handles. Pottery is a subtle game. The trick will be to remember this pot and be ready to recognize it when it appears on the wheel again.

Hiding in the Process

Michael Kline

the tools used to make the jars

Whenever I'm throwing a series of pots, say, these 2 # jars, it seems it takes a few flops and a few bad ones to get to where I'm wanting to go. Self conciousness, the right firmness of the clay, the tools needed, the ability to focus all play their role in the beginning. Then a flow happens in the repetition, a kind of hand jive with the clay and the whell.

Hopefully next week will be more of a flow. I'm sure these little jars will be fine. One of the saving graces of pottery making is its redemption through repetition. It's my constant hope that there will be one or two out of this bunch that will really shine, that's all I can can hope for. Of course from a business standpoint, there will be many more that are just fine and will appeal to the folks who support my work at my upcoming sales. But what I'm talking about are the ones that have a little extra. That little extra is what Christopher Alexander and his team of architects called "the quality without a name" in their work, The Timeless Way of Building. The poetic combination of clay, glaze, firing, handling, that adds up to a greater sum than it's mere parts. Maybe in my lifetime of making pots this will happen a few times in each kiln load.

the table "at the end of the day"


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.

Tech Talk: Short Clay, Big Jars

Michael Kline

The clay I use is a little bit short.

To counter the openess of the clay I turn the pot in the opposite
direction a few turns to "close" it up.

The flakiness near the bottom is from over drying with my torch and also shortness of clay, but it's a nice texture. After more ribbing, though, it goes away.

From last night. These jars range from 15-18 lbs. (6.8-8.2kg) in clay. Thrown in two sections using caps. I'm going to make a few more of these today. I need to fill a kiln up!

Additions to the Collection

Michael Kline

,4 new pots!

It's been a busy week of online commerce and Etsy-ness and I'm chomping to get back in the studio and to make some pots, already, YO! But, alas, there's more packing and shipping to do tomorrow. I've been a little under the weather today and just lazing around and doing paper work. I thought I would catch ya'll up on some new pots that have graciously entered our life here on Snow Creek Rd.

The beautiful little jug on the left came all the way over the ocean in Ron Philbeck's suitcase! Doug Fitch, my Devonshire blogging buddy sent it over! What a treat to be holding on to this sweet pot. I'm sure it will be of help when I get back to making pitchers! It has such a beautiful patina that I'm going to refrain from using the dishwasher and hand wash it. heehee. But it has already been host to some iron weed clippings we made while walking the puppy, Jack. It's a most welcome addition to the British wing in our museum!

walkin' the dawg

Lillian taking a swigg!

A few weeks ago a package arrived in the mail from New England! In it was this beautiful wood fired bottle with nice fish stopper from my old buddy Tom White. Tom's been making pots up there in Northfield, Massachusetts for a good while and recently has been firing the wood kiln over at Sam Taylor's place where this piece was fired. It has a most rich surface and holds a good bit of tea. (tee hee hee, that is)

Next in our lineup of super-star pots comes this yankee-mingei jar made by CT potter (as well as potter buddy), Louise Harter. We picked this little gem up at the Liz Summerfield Benefit Auction a couple of weeks ago. I love thinking of Louise wiping her fingers across this just dipped pot and freezing the moment with fire! Thanks for donating it to the cause Louise. We must talk soon, it's been too long!!

small jar by Michael Simon

Last but not least, it was my great surprise to find this jar at a local sale for our animal shelter. I spotted it across the crowded room as if it had a tractor beam of hotness transporting me towards it. It is pot made by my teacher and friend, Michael Simon! To seize the pot, I practically tackled the people that stood between me and the table where this little gem sat. I snatched it up and guarded it with my life as I approached the checkout table! Well, actually Stacey took it up to the check out table and threw down the bucks! [thanks sweetie] I'm the luckiest guy on earth! I am guessing it may have been made while Michael was teaching here at Penland as he did many times. I ran in to Paulus at the sale and he thought it was from the late eighties! Ha! In 1989 I took a pivotal spring concentration at Penland with Michael that changed my potters life forever. Hmmmmm. Maybe this jar was made during that workshop? Hmmmmmm. Wouldn't that be something?

Well, that's it for now. Just thought I would touch base with everyone who's out there reading and share these pots with you. I hope you'll come and visit our little corner of the world some day. When you do, let's sit down and look at some pots!

End of a Session

Michael Kline

I wish. There's painting and glazing, stoking and burning, unloading and packing. Sometimes I wonder how it all gets done. One pot at a time. Here's a couple of pics for those of you keeping score at home.

A few jars waiting to get scratched and painted.

The studio is insulated! Just in time as it's
starting to get nippy.


Michael Kline

I just wanted to share some pictures of the handles I just put on some jars. I put a couple on yesterday, maybe a bit too late, ouch.

So with the rest of the jars, still a little soft, I went ahead and attached them. What was I waiting for anyway? I guess it's a holdover from the old types of handles I make, that get pulled off the pots. These just get "laid" on and thumbed into place. So with my left hand inside the jars I used my right to do the thumbing.

By thumbing, I mean that use my thumb to smooth the handle into place after it has been set into position. I use a little water on my thumb for lube. Here is an archived post on handles. Today's handles weren't done exactly as in the archive, but close. I didn't add the coil on the top of the handles.