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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: rain


Michael Kline

I do live in the mountains at an elevation of about 2600 ft. (792.48 m). And tomorrow is the first day of Fall. But the real reason fot the wood stove burning on this last day of summer is the relentless wetness and sogginess that is my pottery studio.

So I've got a lil' fire burning to dry out some pots so that I can start to bisque fire.

Knowing that the sun shines somewhere is my one comforting thought. But that ain't gonna dry all these pots out here, today.

I hope the sun is shining for you today!


Session 32 Begins!

Michael Kline

It's been a very rainy summer here in the mountains, and at the end of August there is a slight mildew-y odor in the morning air. A lush carpet of grass in my yard has been impossible to keep up with but the rain has made for a beautiful bouquet on the hydrangea my mother gave us about three years ago. This bush was literally a foot long stick when it was planted. I think it likes this spot because it gets a lot of sun and the drain field of our septic system feeds it daily!

My lumber mill connection, Milan Street has been by three times now, and I've got my work cut out for a while. In this photo you are looking at 2/3rd's of the total amount needed to be cut. This is enough wood to fuel my kiln for the next year and probably enough cut off's that I can heat the shop. The key for me is to get it cut and stacked so that I can use it as soon as next month. I cut a pickup truck load of wood this evening and will try to cut every day.

This afternoon I pugged about 600 lbs of reclaim from the last session in the shop. I managed to throw a few plates after supper tonight. Most sessions begin with a whisper, with a few pots here and there, a loosening up of a distant memory I have of the wet process of throwing pots. Towards the end of a session, it's a juggling act of throwing painting, glazing, and firing the kiln. After the firing, there is a period of commerce, a distribution of the results.

With the Etsy online sale a success, and the pots shipped out, I re-focus on the excitement of wet clay. It's good to feel that the wheel is turning, and I'm excited about this 32nd firing. What will emerge from the intensity of focus in the coming weeks? Seems like I've done this a few times before but the results can't be predicted.

Tomorrow I head over the mountain to my home state of Tennessee to get my wisdom teeth pulled out. Fun! I'm not sure what kind of shape I'll be in to throw pots or cut wood, but this is a start and that's a lot for now.

I hope that I can recapture some momentum here at the blog after an eventful summer of regular visits to Penland, crazy weekly schedules, vacation, etc. Hope you'll be along and I hope you'll join in with a comment from time to time. It's always nice to hear from you!

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.

The Decorator's Report

Michael Kline

my axes
chop, chop

My wonderful Stacey bought some new batteries for the camera and I had promised some pictures, so here we go!

my "blunge anywhere" setup

The 1/2 inch drill is clamped to anything stable, in this case my treadle wheel seat and powered on. The switch has a lock and I can walk away while it mixes away.

wading bird and 4 handle jar, about 7" tall each

In my continuing homage to the Kyle Carpenter cup that I have drinking from all week, here is a jar with the grasses motif with bird. [I used to do a grass motif a long time ago and am hunting for an image to show you. But haven't found it yet.] Both of these jars will get amber glaze, and maybe some glass runs. I also like the way Kyle scratches through the slip in that cup and tried some on the bird for detail. I'm not sure how it will look in the end. But worth a try.

a pile of pasta bowls

more wading birds

a couple of breakfast cups

The path up to the shop is getting pretty muddy, more rain in the forecast although the sky is a brilliant blue. Maybe the rain has finally moved on. The past few days have been constant rain with occasional breaks. But the breaks didn't last long and before you knew it the rain began again. Consequently the ground is a soggy mush. It's great for our drought ridden state of the last few years, but makes a potter worry when they look at their stack of dry wood through the sheets of rain and realize that they should have put a cover over the chimney.
Maybe more pictures at lunch time. Have a good morning.

Under Over The Boardwalk

Michael Kline

It was a drippy, rainy evening up at the boardwalk. I have a drainage issue at the back of the new shop, where I am currently set up. The rain off the roof is finding its way down to where I work, making a muddy mess, ironic isn't it? I will have to address at some point but not now. The ware boards came in handy.
I stacked some damp wood in the shed with a big box fan to help dry out before Monday. This should be fine. Still have a few more sticks to stack tomorrow. Paid a visit to my two kilns and their attendant computers, all seemed fine. Threw a few bowls and what I call "mini's" tonight. The hello kitty container is thrown in for scale.
Tomorrow I will set up my painting station and get to work with some brushes. Yaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwnnnnnnnnnnn.
Good night!