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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: organization


Michael Kline

You might see candy canes but I see bacon. Maybe I was hungry when I decided to pause to take this picture? But it hints at what I've been thinking about as I look over the calendar and plan out my year, my firings, and our income for the year.
Deciding on what shows to do, planning my kiln openings, planning my teaching gigs, have consumed quite a bit of energy lately. In reality, a lot of what I'm doing this year has already been penciled in as early as last summer. (thank you Red Lodge for your wonderful lead time, you deserve a link!) Other events trickle in and, before I know it, the calendar is filled up and the pots are practically sold, right?


Kinda far from it.

But.... it's a good direction to be moving, right?  Hey, in these times of economic volatility, I'm grateful to be filling up the calendar! Anyway, the firing dates have to be reasonably spread out and allocated and clay has to be dug, processed, and ready for action, etc. There's a lot to plan and coordinate! Things have to click. Momentum has to build! Blogs have to be fed...

Maybe my potter readers would benefit from a post expounding on all of my vast knowledge of organization and getting things done! "Don't pay any attention to the man behind the keyboard!" I'm not the most organized potter, but maybe I can share a few techniques that I do to help me stay on top of things in my next post!

Just maybe.

I'd better make a note of that...

Thanks for reading.

Learning Curve

Michael Kline

each pot has a number to avoid confusion and delay!

With all that we do that's new and exciting comes an eventual realization that the road is steeper than we had thought. But it's going well and I'm coming up with some ways of organizing the sale and come Tuesday I should be ready to answer emails and phone calls and start packing pots to ship. At least I hope. I hope I'm not like the Maytag man, for those of you old enough to remember that ad. By the way you can "Get exclusive content and interact with THE MAYTAG MAN right from Facebook." right-cheer

this square makes measuring a snap!
(at least with pots under 10")

bird's eye view
ha, cracking myself up!!
ugh, sorry...

crude yet refined!
maybe this should be my motto?


Big Rain and the Hatch

Michael Kline

Had a nice conversation with Alex tonight about those wall pockets. It was good to hear he was tying flies in hopes for some fishing here in the hills sometime soon. Meanwhile outside there was a lot of rain as I hustled jars that had been sitting outside under the roof to catch a breeze and be dry for the big kiln loading. With the rain came some big hatch of teeny little flies that were sneaking in through the open door and hovering near the lights! I'll save a few for Alex.

I didn't follow my boss's advice to start painting today, and instead, continued to throw a few more large platters. I lost a couple in the bisque kiln and thought it would be worth squeezing in. The cracked platters had been stacked with sand in between and had little hairline cracks. Damn!

I worked on cleaning up the wall pockets and cutting holes in the backs. I first took a fettlin' knife to the edges and them smoothed them with a chamois. When I came in this morning several had cracked from being too wet from the throwing and then being closed in the throwing. Alex says that he thoroughly dries the interior before he closes the forms. That should do it for me. My red dirt is really prone to cracking in its wet state. So I spent some time repairing the cracked ones and had an idea to try to "dart" some in the future. One of the intriguing changes that happen when one flattens a thrown form is how that form changes. Exciting, huh? Welcome to my world of pottery intrigue!

Anyway, I shuffled and organized the bisque ware and pots still needing to be. It's becoming clear that there won't be time or room in my electric kiln to bisque everything, so the last few pots will be raw glazed, bone dry glazed.

The punch list is bigger than I thought and I'll start hitting it in the a.m.

So long for now.


Michael Kline

Toni and I spent the day in and out of the shop, tooling over to Penland for a bagel and then lunch at the coffee house. It's been fun to see Ron over there, having a wonderful time, as far as I can tell.

I worked on a couple of ill-fated jars and then decided that we should attack the tool shed with everything we had. Unfortunately, I took that to mean a trip to Lowes (about an hour away) to buy BRACKETS! What was I thinking? Organization , I guess. Well after an entertaining trip to Banner Elk, NC we hauled almost everything out of the 'shed' to start the organizational parade.

the tool shed and some organization!

In other studio news, the pedestals are getting a makeover with new paint! I'll be using them at the Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands in a few weeks! They're basically boxes that fold flat when they are in transport, with a MDF board top with styro-foam inserts to give them rigidity. They are light, yet pretty strong for my big pots. The only thing that isn't so good is that they are cardboard and don't take water too well. But since they're just cardboard, their damaged bottom edge can be trimmed in their length without affecting the width of the 'box' and wooden top.

These pedestals are from Easy Pedestal out of Rhode Island.
I've had these for about 6 years, in the mostly damp conditions in the Mushroom Factory
and they're still in pretty good shape.

new paint on the old pedestal tops.

I worked this evening after the girls were put to bed and Stacey came back from her meeting, figuring out how to best use the new brackets! With music cranked on the stereo and hammering and cutting happening, I wondered what the neighbors must think sometimes. I thought of Tom Waits and this song.