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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: porcelain

On To The Next One

Michael Kline

There are pictures on the camera as there are memories of the past few weeks, but today I start a (hopefully) productive week on the wheel with my home clay and set my sights on the wood kiln. The eKiln has done a fine job of producing new porcelain work that I'm very excited to show everyone who can make it to our opening this coming Saturday in Bakersville, NC. [We expect it to be a packed house.]

It was a very interesting journey into the land of vitrified white, but now it's time for my iron rich, unrefined clay of home. I'm looking forward to all of its course grained splendor after working with the smooth and white, and also looking forward to making some big pots. Since I have roughly a week to make the pots for my next kiln opening, the pots will have some pretty major scale. So, look out for jugs, pitchers, and crocks of large proportion to grace my worktable this week! I'll try to post pictures from the phone when time and cleaned-off-hands allow!

Until then thanks very much for your comments and thanks for reading! [and please visit our very generous sponsors! ]

Black, White, Blue, & Gold

Michael Kline

The painting has begun for my wood kiln firing! But these are not those...

In the previous post I had a web cam shot of the blue and white swirl yunomi with gold lustre. I spent a fair amount of futile time trying to photograph these pots and others. Shooting pictures for the blog is one thing. Having crisp color correct images for publication and print is a whole other thing. Maybe it's time to hire these out. Anyway, here, for your perusal...

bugs by Stacey!

In other news, the drawing for the gift certificate will happen this afternoon after my daughters come home from school, have a snack, and are prepped by the L' Oréal makeup team. So come back this evening a see the drawing video!

Back to my brushes!

Must Reads

Michael Kline

After a lapse of a month, here are my picks for this latest edition of Pottery Bloggery Must Reads. It's not that there isn't enough must read material out there, it's just that it's hard read it all, make pots, write a normal blog post, etc. yadda, yadda, yadda!

I could have just reprinted the last Must Reads and been fine with that. You can't go wrong reading any of those blogs. But as a self imposed rule, I've decided to try to widen the scope and spread the love around.

The first post is by Jeff Campana. The timing couldn't have been better for me as I explore porcelain clay bodies. In Clay Body Revisited, Jeff explains and justifies a thorough process of formulating, mixing, and testing a porcelain clay body. Check it out, here.

The next post is not really a blog post but an excellent article written by porcelain badass, Tom Turner. It's one of a slew of great articles Turner has posted on his web site. John Simmons told me about this article the other day, and after reading it, realized that it was a must read! I encourage you to check out the other articles out as well!

And lastly, Carter Gillies sent me to this blog about pottery, the creative process, and teaching written by Kelly Kessler. The thoughts are provocative and the writing is clear. I just kept scrolling down for more, a good sign of a must read! Kelly posts about every couple of days and I've added Kelly blog, Diving Into The Clay, to my blog roll, look for it!

That's it for now. If you have blog posts that you think are truly exception an have legs, please leave a link in the comments!

Pictures of Porcelain

Michael Kline

These pictures aren't the best. I hesitated to post these, but what the hell, it's been par for the course. It's no surprise that this segment of the process would be another steep learning curve. In this case the camera was having trouble focusing on the white, I think. Has anyone had trouble with auto-focus on white? I tried years ago to photograph an Alleghany Meadows bowl that had a subtle white semi matte glaze. I had to get another camera! My Nikon would NOT focus!
Looking at these pictures, though, is very revealing, showing black slip details as well as glaze details. Let me know what you think. Let's crowd source!

I'll take some more pictures after the next firing. More porcelain painting Friday as well as more plates in the home clay!

Good night to all of the night owls still up reading this and good morning to my friends in the British Isles!

And Now For Something Completely Different

Michael Kline

I just wanted to sneak this in before Don's post!

What is going on here, you might say? Well, I pulled out the home clay last night after taking the Turner Spic 'n Span Special for a spin around the shop and started my cycle for the wood kiln. Yes, on the heals of the very recent session with porcelain, (won't be the last), I'm going to try to simultaneously make stoneware and porcelain. What a crazy idea, right? Well here goes!

one for the losers (subtle), any guesses why?

Monday Meow Meow

Michael Kline

Another snow day here! Kids home from school, one with a fever, another sneezing! While Stacey worked at her jewelry in her jewelry shack, I scrambled to sort clothes, clean the kitchen, and enter a blog post. I guess you know where my priorities ended up.

Here are some pictures from around the shop from the last few days.

Trimming the foot rings on these yunomis/teabowls proved to be just another leap of faith in the porcelain experiment. The clay seemed to want to be trimmed at a firmer state than I am used to. Unfortunately I haven't developed a sense of where I am with thickness!


Here's a nice pattern that was left under my bat!

Scale is another leap that I'm making. The first round of pots shrunk way more than I am used to and I made a few more cups yesterday to move past my preconceptions and to hopefully get the scale I had originally intended. The cups in the foreground are made from 1.75 lbs. of clay

Life is tough for my studio mate, Snowtoe

But she's not really living up to her name, laying around by the wood stove all day while plenty of snow continues to pile up outside. She does seem to like running around in the dark chasing shadows, though.

Now on to the dishes, first the dirty ones and then the porcelain one's waiting inside that plastic bag in the studio. Have a good meow.


Michael Kline

I hope that this will be the last numerical cliche I will use this year, but I kind of doubt that I will be able to show such restraint. But this blog had to restart somewhere after a successful, restful holiday without blogging!

So, why make 12 by 12 when you can do 11 by 11 in '11? The sharply pointed winter light of the morning combined with the whiteness of this clay made it very difficult to work with my shades, but I fought through the visual pain of seeing/not seeing.

The clay is good, the hands a little forgetful, and the eyes squinting. That's how I began the first Monday of the year. More thoughts and ramblings will follow, but there are more pots to make today and I hope you will be along for the ride.

Until then...

Michael Kline

porcelain bowl, ca. 2000

This is pretty random, but as I was going through the old eMac I found this little ditty from about 1999/2000. It's evidence of pre-dirt Kline. This is from a series I did as a resident at Penland. The pattern was painted on bone dry porcelain with a can of shellac that Shawn Ireland had given me as he moved out of the Barns. The shellac was painted on and then the porcelain was reduced very carefully with an elephant ear sponge. I still own most of them they were so precious to me. I did sell a few of them , though.

I did love the translucency and the process challenged me to work with a completely different technique while still exploring the patterns I made with the brush. Some of the work had several layers of shallec that let different amounts of light through. The failure rate was pretty high. Sometimes I would just botch the pots from too much handling, sometimes cracks would appear after the salt glaze firing. The process was hard on my neck and back and eventually I gave it up. The nice thing about making things in clay and firing them is that they're around somewhere, either on the hard drive or in someone's home/life.

Here's one that lives in our living room

Looking Into The Coming Week

Michael Kline

It was a great day
working outside on the new shop with Buck.
We punched out a few details, windows in tool shed,
steps into studio, siding.
Thanks for all of you who have stepped up to vote
on the cups I will send tomorrow to AKAR.
If you haven't yet, see previous post and send in your vote!

I have reclaimed clay that was sitting outside and
frozen and will be throwing more pots this week.

I also have some porcelain courtesy of Tom Turner to play with.
When the power is finally turned on at the shop, I will celebrate with a cone 6 porcelain glaze firing in the old L & L electric kiln. (something I've been thinking about doing for a while)
I'll keep you posted, of course!