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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.

Thanks for visiting.

The Best of Sawdust and Dirt

A record of the goings on around Michael Kline Pottery!

Filtering by Tag: photography

Pots in Action

Michael Kline

Ayumi Horie has begun a Instagram Page, Pots in Action, based on her Pots-In-Action concept of a few years ago. If you are on IG check it out!

Dormant For Today

Michael Kline

I took a walk around the shop in today's beautiful sunshine. Here are some scenes from the day off.

melting ice from the storm

so many postcards 
sign by Lillian

punch list and plaster

view from showroom

wood kiln door edge

mostly broken door bricks

back of the kiln with crumbling stucco and sooty spies

light, cone pack, and plate

glazed wads

leftover teapot lids

calipers and saved trimming

buckets holding treadle hostage

packing and shipping accessories

information center 
blue and green tarpscape
the wedging table

Straight Outta the Camera

Michael Kline

black slip over white slip/wax resist,
salt glaze

combed kaolin slip
copper glaze/salted

amber glaze w/ black underglaze
wood ash/salt effect

Well sort of. I sharpened each by 5%. The light boxes were dropped down about 18".

Now I miss the shadow a little bit. Thoughts?

Processing the Process

Michael Kline

Everywhere I walk today is a now familiar squishing sound. The clay beneath my boots is saturated with the rain. On the hill and in the shallows behind my house, squish. I suppose it could be solidly frozen or covered with snow. That wouldn't be bad.

I've struggled and deleted a couple of drafts to this return to the blog. Soggy brain, I suppose.

As you might have guessed by some of the previous picture only posts, I have been looking at my pots thought the lens of my camera. Seeing the pots through the camera and the subsequent viewing on the desktop photo software give one a very different view of one's work. It takes the same rigor that one develops over the years to imagine the pots after we've treated them with slips, glazes and fire or heat. The ceramic process is somewhat of a dream that is usually idealistic and never incorporates the slightly uneven firing, or the glaze applied too thickly, or the number of things that can happen during a firing. Nor does this dream imagine the wonderful things that are somewhat mysterious and surprising about the process of finishing clay that renders it into a hardened ceramic pot.

But the perspective that the camera and the photo process give, help me to see the details of the pots that in a different way. Similar to the distance that time gives after a firing. The ceramic dream gets revised and the reality of the finished pots sinks in.

So, like Rip van Winkle, I slowly wake up from my long blog sleep and dream about the pots I will make in the coming weeks. The blog helps me to process the process and understand the results of the kiln. I look forward to sharing it all with you here. I hope you will come along with me.

Thanks for reading.

- Posted using BlogPress

Weary But Well

Michael Kline

Alas, I return with good tiding of comfort and joy. Tis the season of eggnog, quite possibly my favorite beverage, next to bourbon. They go well together, too! The wood stove is crackling, the kids hum Christmas carols as they lolligag around the house on another snow day from school, and I just listed a few more pots to replace the ones that sold today at Stacey and I's annual Online Christmas sale!

It's been a dizzying two days behind the camera and the computer to put all of this together. But now I can sit back with a cold one and pray that I have enough packing material to ship all of these orders out in the morning!

You know, being a potter these days doesn't just mean getting behind the wheel. It also means getting behind the tripod and clicking away pictures to use in an email campaign. It means knowing a little about photoshop and and little about spreadsheets. It's a whole lotta stuff I didn't learn in school. Maybe these days they are teaching student-potters how to do this stuff to stay above the waterline!

Anyway, I just wanted to check in and say that all is well on Snow Creek Rd. The chickens are all cozied up in their new chicken condo that John and I finished last week. The wind howls outside and the roads are icy. But the shop is open 24/7. Stacey and I have some great stuff for sale. click on the "shop" tab above to check some of the listings. [clicking the images will take you to ETSY.]

Time to make my rounds and check on the animals before I call it a day. Tomorrow it's shipping day! I bid you a good night!

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

devil's walking stick or honey locust

The air was warming and the sun was so bright on our walk the other day. You could hear the ground thawing and percolating. Jack and I were getting muddy for the first time in a month, unusual for these parts. I had my camera with me as I often do on our walks and tried to capture some of the things I was seeing. Although I rarely use imagery in a representational manner, I am always looking at nature and patterns in nature. It's endlessly fascinating.

two birds

goldenrod leaves
goldenrod flowers/seeds

broom sage

The 15" of snow that fell on the 18th of December was slowly soaking into the field and leaving these beautiful shapes. It was sort of like laying on your back and looking at clouds, something I remember doing often as a child. Except I was stalking over these looking for interesting shapes. Here are a few of those. If someone had seen me from a distance they might have thought I had gone crazy, hopping around in the middle of the field taking pictures of the ground. I'm sure jack was wondering himself what was going on!

Please indulge my captions. Let us know what you see.

As always I love your comments. Don't be a stranger.

dog/lamb in repose
person wearing hat/sombrero



Click here for today's blast from the past.

What I See

Michael Kline

one of the joys of trimming!

so I got tired of all the Roman numerals!

[NOTE] If you're just joining the blog, I usually inscribe on each pot the firing number in Roman numerals. But XXXIII began to take too much scratching. So I've made a stamp!

I know you're probably wondering what other 33's you know of. Well here are a few, excluding the obvious sports figures who donned a jersey with the numeral 33, from Wikipedia...
  • In reference to gramophone records, 33 refers to a type of record by its revolution speed of 33⅓ revolutions per minute. 33s are also known as long playing records, or LPs. See: 78 and 45
  • A significant number in modern numerology, one of the master numbers along with 11 and 22
  • A song by The Smashing Pumpkins on their album, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. Also a song by Coheed and Cambria on their album, The Second Stage Turbine Blade (the songs are not related)
  • The title of the first episode of the new Battlestar Galactica television series
  • The 33 Strategies of War is a book by Robert Greene
  • 33 is the coming of age of a hobbit in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings
  • In French, Italian, Romanian, Spanish and Portuguese, the word a patient is usually asked to say when a doctor is listening to his or her lungs with a stethoscope (Trente-Trois, Trentatrè, Treizeci şi trei, Treinta y Tres and Trinta e Três)
  • The code for international direct-dial phone calls to France
  • A normal human spine has 33 vertebrae when the bones that form the coccyx are counted individually
  • The number printed on all Rolling Rock beer labels
  • The namesake of the private club, Club 33, located in Disneyland's New Orleans Square.
  • The Scottish Rite of Freemasonry has 33 degrees.
  • Number of victims, including the suspect, that were all killed in the Virginia Tech Massacre, April 16, 2007.
  • 33 were Uruguay's national Independence Heroes that liberate the country in 1825 from the Brazilian Empire, they are popularly known as "Treinta y Tres Orientales" (The Thirty-Three Orientals), one of Uruguay's national states and its capital city is named " Treinta y Tres" after them.
  • A religious image of the Virgin Mary from the XVIII Century is known in Uruguay as "Virgen de los Treinta y Tres" (Virgin of the Thity-Three) consecrated by Pope John Paul II in his visit to Uruguay in 1988.
  • 2008 is the first time in 33 years that the United States has sent a satellite to explore and orbit Mercury (January 15, 2008)
  • Progressive Metal band Meshuggah released their album "Catch 33" in the year 2005.
  • In 2008, musician Teddy Geiger gives clues to fans about his new single, "march" which dropped March 3, or "33". In late May he announced 33 brand new songs that his fans could choose from to create their own album, called TG33.
  • '33' (three-three) is a Nigerian produced brand of beer.
  • N.A.S.A's Pathfinder landed on Mars, location 19.5° N by 33.3° W, on July 4, 1997.
  • The number of the French department Gironde
  • Beethoven's Op.120 consists of 33 variations on a waltz by Anton Diabelli
  • Dante wrote the Divine Comedy in 3 canticas - each consisting of 33 cantos.
  • United Nations symbol has 33 segments.

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?


I Don't Mean to Offend, Tease, or Brag

Michael Kline

Here are some particular nice details that I picked up while looking at all the pictures yesterday.

It may be my 48 year old eyes, but some of these details weren't noticable to the naked eye. Or at least my naked eye. [why do we say naked eye, anyway?Do we mean to imply that the eye lid is some kind of garment?]

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the devil in the details and I'll try to post a few more when I get time. There are still quite a few nice details to share.

But there's Etsy work to be done. The sale is going to happen on this coming Tuesday at 10 a.m. [August25th]. I hope you can help me spread the word. You can use the "[+Share]" button on Facebook or here below this post. I thank you!

"tell you Ma, Tell your Pa, Our loves a gonna grow, ooo wah, ooo wah."