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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: pots in action


Michael Kline

I often think that my glaze palette is a little dull, kind of gray. But I was pleased with this image that reminded me how pots serve their riders.

Shop Cups Contest

Michael Kline

I'm wrapping up the deco-rotation, and set to dip the pots in slip and glaze. But first it's time for one more coffee break. Here are my choices tonight. How many can you name?

The first one to name all the cups correctly gets a special prize. When I get the right answers I will announce the winner!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

~~Ayumi's Pots in Action!~~

Michael Kline

Photo Contest Highlights the Importance of Handmade Pots in Everyday Life

For the past five years, people from all over the world have been contributing hundreds of photographs to potter Ayumi Horie's Pots in Action web page. The forty-eight photographs that have been submitted to her inaugural online contest show the many ways that Horie's handmade pots being are being interacted with in everyday life. One woman sips tea from a love bird cup in front of a memorial to her recently deceased husband, a rainbow flows out of a cup in a Texas kitchen, a man lounges in the pool with a paper umbrella in his cup. This ongoing crowd sourcing project seeks to both celebrate people's creativity and underscore the importance of beautiful, handmade objects in everyday life. Voting ends September 14th, 12 noon EST.

Click here to see the entire Pots in Action project and click here to see the map!

Ayumi Horie is a full-time studio potter in the Hudson Valley of New York. She is on the board of the Archie Bray Foundation in Montana and has taught many workshops in functional ceramics and the internet across the U.S. and internationally including Haystack Mountain School of Arts and Crafts, Penland School of Crafts, Greenwich House Pottery, the Northern Clay Center, and the International Center for Ceramics in Denmark among others. Ayumi makes functional pottery in earthenware, drawing from folk traditions and comics in the U.S. and Japan.

For information visit:

A Week In Review (incomplete)

Michael Kline

Where does one start to remember all the crazy stuff that's happened in the last week? I've looked over the pictures that serve my memory and they just don't seem sufficient, but that's what I have for now. It's been HOT, of course, and the hay was cut and some of it baled by my neighbors, Larry and Robert. It was a dusty mess, for the grass was already pretty dry before it was cut. But it was nice to see the landscape minus the forage.

Speaking of cutting, my summer helper, Antonia Campenella, came by Wednesday to get the wood cut for XXXVI and learned more than she probably wanted to know about my wood cutting and stacking technique! We don't quite have enough for the firing, so I guess I'll have to send her over to Courtney's to steal some wood, while Courtney and John are in Japan! [heh,heh, heh...] Dohh! I forgot that Courtney might be reading this...just kidding CM ;-)
After a day of hot sweaty wood cutting, I got together with Buck and John for some demolition and reconstruction of this-here fine shed! You might remember John and Buck from their heroic and sneaky efforts in finally getting siding on the shop back in June. Well, the tres sneequi amigos were back at it! This time we stole Nick Joerling's old shed while he was teaching a workshop at the Bascom! We rebuilt it that afternoon in the field just below the shop in the blazing heat and dust of the hay baler! Don't worry, Nick has visitation rights and is even welcome to camp out in it for old time's sake. Rumour has it that this was actually Nick's first home when he moved to Penland in 1986!

Here's a non sequitur.

How fast did it take for the term "pots in action" to become a cliché household word in these pottery blogs? Here are a couple that I captured in the "act" of being pots. The above shows two "cousins of clay" performing their all-important duty of laying down the sour of the orange juice just to enhance the bitter roastiness of the fresh brewed coffee. One of my favorite combinations, cousins, citrus, and coffee!

Here's another clever product placement, er, I mean, pot in action. This time the actors are cousins of another kind. A glass pitcher by my friend, Kenny Pieper, and one of my ceramic yunomi, sweating it out during supper at the picnic table. Although similar processes there is one material difference between glass and clay. Clay is obviously more mysterious and infinitely more subtle, whereas glass is immediately recognized in its transparency and glare. [ed. huh? it must be late]

Meanwhile back at the pot shop...I thought the slip poured on this pot left a nice negative space! So, what does a potter blogger feel compelled to do? Snap a dozen pictures just to capture the mood and sensation of the moment!
Here are a few more moments, captured and condensed into two pictures showing a process of pouring slip onto these vases. It was fun.

I really like these vases/bottles. You can't tell from the pictures, but they're kinda clunky [read:heavy] and the variety and evolution of the forms as I made them was a little bitty thrill for me. Some of them got the Hack-at-me treatment with a big honkin' wisk broom through the Tile 6 slip.
And last but not least, I needed a jar to put money in for the self service showroom and found this derelict jar that had a big crack in it's bottom and side from a freeze this past winter. Just before I taped a note to it I thought it might be nicer just to paint these nice icons of denomination on the jar with my sumi-e ink!

[Look out for some of these motifs ($ and ¢, perhaps others) to show up on some pots in the next firing...]

Well, like I said, many more thoughts went through my mind this past week but very few can I remember at this moment. You'll just have to take my word for it. I've got to get back to a regular schedule of blogging, while those salient thoughts are fresh in my head.

Coming up:
  • a new blog post by Don Pilcher!
  • a post about the sinks
  • 300th follower! Will it be you?
  • more pots in action, of course!
  • salty thoughts
Thanks for reading.

Veggies From Grandaddy Lane

Michael Kline

I'm not talking about a street, but rather my father-in-law who grew these beautiful vegetables. Our garden here in the mountains is just starting to "take off" but in east Tennessee, George's was in full swing.

Pots always look better when they are in service. It's important as a maker to remember that. Off I go to make some pots. Have a wonderful Monday!

Truth Out

Michael Kline

Monday! And if I recall, last time I checked I was having a BIG week! Producing lots of pots, et cetera...
Well, so far it has been a day of errands and repairs and now blogging, but no pots, yet...

Recap of the a.m.

8:05 take girls to school

8:30 to the grocery store to buy snack and get cash back.

8:40 drive across very bumpy, icy, un-plowed parking lot of the parts store to get battery terminal cable replacement and spent cash from grocery store.

9:00 return computer part to Barking Spider Pottery and chat for a good long while about pottery, Mac's, and my Chinese trimming tool. Becky brandishes her brand new copy of Studio Potter and I am immediately envious.

10:00 Go to Marvin Jenson's to talk about Chinese trimming tool and discuss how it can be made. look at all of the Ducatti's in his shop in varying states of customization and repair.

10:40 arrive back home and work on truck. fix battery cable and start truck. it works! Great.

11:00 transfer rummage sale stuff from truck to sube.

plate by moi, cup by ?
venture a guess?

11:30 decide to make lunch a little early. Menu: Thomas brand "pseudo" bagel with Snow Creek sausage and cheese and cup of milk.

12 noon: Check emails blogs etc. during lunch.

12:30 check mail box and find my copy of Studio Pottery in it! Big woop woop!

Well there goes the afternoon.


What ever happened to 12 before Noon?

Chicken Soup For the Potter

Michael Kline

soup by Stacey. mug by Sam

Another day in the sick bed. I'm feeling a little better than yesterday. Stacey made this delicious chicken soup, and paired with my rye bread and tea, they're making me bounce back from this cold.

Maybe I should go check my chicken pots before they burst? Since they are closed forms, when they dry they shrink and the air inside of them gets compressed. But they tend to dry slower than the average pot since they are closed. I'll let you know how things go.

Pots in Action (On The Road)

Michael Kline

Lillian in Knoxville with vintage klineware in action!

As 2009 nears it's end, we rest between celebrations and I found time for a quick little post! We've had a wonderful stay in Knoxville with family for Christmas! We usually stay with Stacey's mother Jackie. My very supporting and loving mother-in-law Jackie has probably the second largest collection of klineware east of Great Falls, MT!

(That's where my Mom lives.)

Always on the prowl with the camera, wherever we go, I snapped a few corners in Jackie's house where my pots preside. I'm especially proud of this corner of the kitchen that has a few rare pots, the "ashes" and "knees" pots of some unknown craftsman, and a few of my oddities . The flat dish leaning against the wall is a molded dish that was supposed to be a square bowl, but when I flipped the drape mold over the clay slowly sat down flat. But it is a very popular dish at Jackie's. The jar in the corner was from an early firing of the wood kiln and is a little under fired, but not without its charms.

These two jars are from the first Etsy kiln opening. (see what I mean about Jackie's continued support!?) This is first time I saw these guys in action but I didn't have anything to do with the broken spoon. (disclaimer: as far as I know, the jars had nothing to do with the spoon's demise)

You can't tell it from this photo, but the platter in the foreground has been lovingly glued together. It's from my Penland residency days and is an early example of the cut rim edge I have been doing since then. The edges of this platter/bowl have some pretty bad cracks that Jackie has filled with some sort of wood filler or epoxy. It has some really nice painting of underglaze with an amber glaze on a light clay body.

We had a great time celebrating Jackie's 70th birthday the other night and there were even more Kline pots at my in law's home holding some really delicious "snacks"! Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures of the Colocotronis Collection of klineware. But it's in every corner. What great family support! In the beginning of most fledgling potters careers, the "friends and family" plan is what gives us the encouragement to keep going. After 22 some years I continue to be blessed with encouragement from my family and I'm most grateful.
Lastly, here's the dish rack at our house tonight as we take a break from the holiday party's and festivities and enjoyed some of Stacey's cauliflower soup on this cold winter's night. How many potters can you spot? (aside from the obvious klineware)

Well, we're off to our "New Year's Club" annual meeting tomorrow, so this could possibly be last post of 2009. It's been a unbelievable year. But I hope to do a wrap-up post before it's all over.

If I can't get to it before we leave,

Thank you for your support this year and thank you for making it a fantastic year here at ye olde blogge!!