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192 Jim Boone Rd
Bakersville, NC, 28705
United States

828-675-4097

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: museum

Marks

Michael Kline

I have two good friends named Mark, both whom make enviable pots. One of the Marks has a show at the Ogden Museum that opened last week. And the other Mark is coming to Asheville and Black Mountain soon to open the Karen Karnes show at the Asheville Art Museum.
I had a chuckle when I read the former Mark's statement from the Ogden Museum web site, and I wanted to share it with you. (maybe you'll chuckle, too!)
About his pots, Hewitt says, " they break new ground while tipping their caps to the great jugs and jars from the potent pottery tradition of the South; and, while delightfully big-assed, they are also profoundly big-hearted."
Concise.

Tom Turner: Part 2: Salt Glazed

Michael Kline


If I had taken more notes and been a better student I could then pass on more information to you about the pots in this post. But as it stands, it's been over a week since I visited Tom and looked at these pots and I didn't have my notebook with me.

One important thing that happens, though, when handling pots or objects of any kind is a sort of downloading of non-verbal information. Textures, weights, shapes become internalized and this data is kept in hand memory and visual memory. We become scanners and cameras as we handle and turn these objects. You don't have to be a potter to do this. All of us handle hundreds of objects every day. Our relationship with any object is the product of these sensory interactions merging with our own needs and desires. We need a cup of tea or coffee, we desire that particular cup. The necessity of food and eating for survival is the primary job for which pottery exists, the culture of that pottery is lead by our desire for function and style. The available technology at any given time in history is the catalyst for expression in the art of the potter.

Although I don't consider myself a scientist, I am infinitely curious. This curiosity leads me to answer questions that I have in my work as a potter. As a contemporary potter I am fortunate to have examples of previous potter's research available in collections like Tom's, like the Mint Museum's, and others, like the Freer/Sackler. In any research discovery stands on the shoulders of the past. Unfortunately, a lot of what I do in the studio is redundant in the search for these answers.
I'm not sure, yet, how to minimize this. But continuing to study is crucial.
No matter if you are making pottery or sculpture, no matter if you are new to clay or a veteran, it is essential to the success of your work to know the history. We may be doomed to repeat the failures of the past, I know I have, but we can also enjoy the satisfaction of perpetuating good ideas and good forms with our work.
I meant to talk more specifically about the marks on some of these pots, but I've gone on a tangent. Last week, Tom and I were were looking at handles, their attachments, and capacity marks. These images show a few ways of marking and embellishing.


In the process of answering questions about these pots we learn about the needs and desires of the people who made them and the culture that surrounded them. In turn, we learn about our own needs and desires, both as potters and as people. Thanks Tom for sharing.

I'd better get myself in that studio and make some pots today! Thanks for indulging.


Tom showing proper form when holding an old pot

***Click here to see another Stedman/Seymour pot you might find very interesting. I can't imagine what it was for or how it might have been used. Maybe you have an idea?

More From the Trip

Michael Kline

the entrance to the National
Museum of the American Indian
in Washington, DC

So, today wasn't as productive as I would have hoped. Is it ever? I did take a big bite out of the showroom clutter. I made a trip to the dump and stored some non-essential crap things into the deep storage unit of my shop attic. I pugged all of the clay (about 300#) that had frozen over the winter and needed some regrouping. Yay.

Here are a few more pictures of pots I encountered on the trip over the weekend.

the original "port-a-potty"



an interesting bowl from Julia Child's kitchen,
now located in the
National Museum of American History



one of the Museum of the
American Indian corners(?)

I took hundreds of pictures on the trip, mostly of the family. I averaged about 200/day! I'm still editing. More tomorrow.

Back Home

Michael Kline


For Jenny: a beautiful piece that we saw in the "rotunda" of the
National Museum of the American Indian.
Sorry I don't have any more info about it origins, etc.


We're back from our mini vacation in Washington, D.C. and it's always great to be home. The grass has grown with all the rain and sunshine the past few days, and the green from Spring is spectacular.

I'm getting realigned for pottery making, today, and firing later this month.

I'm also dreaming up a pottery give-away for this week, so stay in touch.


Oh, and here's the link to the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian that I mentioned in the caption above.