Get in touch!

Use the form on the right to contact Michael Kline!

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: round


Michael Kline

Ha, I'm still here, still hungry after two tomato sammies! I've moved on to another favorite, crackers, cheese, and pickles. Anyhow, I forgot to post a picture of the chuck I used to cut the feet on the spheres. The little recess in the bottom allowed me to cut the ones with the necks.

Round Revisited

Michael Kline

As I eat my tomato sandwich (and write this) I am scratching my head about this investigation of "round" As a potter I am partial to the bottom set, but as someone who wants to follow through with an idea, I favor the top two. So I am at odds with this project. I don't know why I was surprised at one point to realize that to make these as perfect spheres, a lathe may have been a better tool, or for that matter, why not make a mold of a ball? But I guess that since I am a potter using wheels, this is how I approach the making. And it's the pottery-ness in these that I find most interesting, the reference to sphere, the neck/foot relationships, etc. To make a perfect sphere, it would be a lot easier to get a bowling ball and paint it, wouldn't it? So I will keep going with more.

I really appreciate you all stepping up to give me your impressions and even your own experience with similar projects. Don't be shy.


[Sandwich done, blog post done, back to work.]


Michael Kline

If I used one, I'd say it was back to the drawing board! But in my case it's back to the wheel. Actually I've already updated my excursion into the world of the really round. If you missed it during my barrage of blogging yesterday, click here to review.

What I take away from this exercise in round is something that comes up again and again, for me. The potter's game of shape is infinitely subtle. Well, maybe not infinitely, but it's pretty darn subtle. Am I really seeing the pot as it spins on the wheel, in all of its dimensions, or am I fantasizing it's shape? With such a familiar shape as the sphere there's no fooling. How can it be that as I initially was turning these pots, that I saw them as round? Maybe the little necks "threw" me off? Maybe I should have stepped back and taken a longer look at them?

I think it's just a matter of calibration. Calibrating the eyes. Last year (or maybe two) when I first donned my new progressive lenses (read: trifocals) for reading, my world really moved around as I looked at it. If you're not familiar, these lenses correct not only my nearsightedness, but also correct vision for the close and the very close. Supposedly your brain sorts things out as your eyes move through these zones in the glasses. [See the image below, "borrowed" from this website, where there is a better description of progressive lenses.]

Anyway, the profiles of the pots I was making would shift as I turned my head. This made it difficult to calibrate. I would switch back to my regular glasses, but that was tricky as well. My eyes would have to readjust each time I switched. So I ended up getting used to the "progressive" lenses and after a while my feeble brain made the necessary adjustments.

Well, this is a lot more than I planned on saying about vision. It may sound like I'm making for excuses for not being able to make round shapes. But these are just some thoughts that came to mind when I began talking about looking/seeing. I could go on about seeing, really seeing, but that might have to be another post. Somebody has to check the pots (and the sculpture! ;-))

Until then...