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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: making list


Michael Kline

from Facebook
Hi Brett,

It all depends. Some weeks I'm very productive and some weeks things go slowly. At the beginning of my session before a firing, I may make a handful of pots a day. Closer to the firing deadline, I'm filling up tables, checking off my make list. Ironically, when I'm at the top of my throwing game (like now!) it's time to stop making! I should have stopped making pots last week, but my make list says that I still need so many of "x, y, and z". The compounded effect of this deadline kind of thinking is that the last minute making steals from the time I need to paint and glaze the existing pots and then steal again when they, too, want to be decorated. The image in my mind to describe this is one you might be familiar with. You know when there is an traffic jam on the interstate and everybody politely is waiting, then somebody decides that they are more important than the rest and passes  in the breakdown lane to get to the front? That's what the pots that I made yesterday will be doing to get into the kiln by Friday.

So to answer your question (or not) it varies. I try to average about 20 pots of various sizes a day. I also try to balance pots that require trimming and post-wheel work with pots that just have to be turned over to dry.

I'm not very good at making pots and decorating at the same time, so I tend to "stockpile" my bisque ware and sit down for a week before the loading and firing of the kiln surrounded by stacks of plates, jars cups, etc. All of them waiting for some sort of decorative treatment. Once I get rolling the intimidation of that many pots melts away and the exhilaration of painting patterns  becomes exciting.

So, Brett, I hope that approximates a good answer to your question.

Here are a few pots I've made in the last couple of days. 

Heading Over The Mountain

Michael Kline

In all seriousness, here is the "set list" for the upcoming conference at the troubled Arrowmont School. I hope that I will get to meet some of you if you're attending. I'm also looking forward to seeing some old friends. Usually these sessions are 2-3 hrs. These descriptions are usually pretty ambitious, with all the talk, question, and answer, I will be lucky to get a couple of the things on these lists done. But with just a little bit of focus...
for Thursday,
Demo #1 “Plates, Pitchers, Jars”

Description: I will throw small to large forms to be decorated. I will discuss my throwing evolution from “art school to old school”, tableware vs. bigware. A particular topic of discussion will be “capping”, a technique used in joining 2-3 sections of a pot.
and for Thursday/Friday
Demo #2 “Edges, Lids, Handles”

Description: I will finish pots from Demo #1 using wire cutter, fitting lids, and adding handles. Emphasis will be on preparing the pot for decoration, firing effects, etc. If time permits I will begin decoration demo.


Demo #3 “deco-rotation”

Description: I will survey the many surface strategies I employ, including underglaze brushwork, wax resist, dipping, pouring, slip trailing. Discussion emphasis will be on surfaces and firing with wood and salt.
I think I may end up doing more on the brushwork end of making, since that is something that not many people will be doing. I'm looking forward to seeing some of the demo's myself, especially Ursula Hargens and Bruce Cochrane! Of course I've always wondered how Ayumi makes her pots and will hopefully get to see her as well. There will be surprises and inspiration, no doubt. I will try to blog while I am there. I'm not sure how, we'll see.

Today, I'll get my clay ready, assemble the tools I'll need, and pack a few pots that will serve as finished examples. I'll be bringing some pots that will be for sale as well, so bring your checkbooks or debit cards!

Boy, yesterday was a big day on the blog, over 400 page views! Wow! If you're new, sign up with my commenting service, Disqus, and join in the fun, leave a comment, let us know what you think.
Thanks for reading.

P.S. Thanks for all the joke suggestions, here's just one from my mother-in-law, Jackie, who, like me, loves a bad pun:
A small boy swallowed some coins and was taken to a hospital.

When his grandmother telephoned to ask how he was,

a nurse said, 'No change yet.'