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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: scratch

Weekend Wrap

Michael Kline

Here are a few things that I have been working on over the weekend. The firing is coming up next weekend and I'd better get to painting the accumulated bisque ware really soon, like Pronto! That's an Americanism from the mid 19th century for "stop throwing those pots and get to painting!"

Anyway I took advantage of the dry breezy weather to continue to get stuff dried out for bisqing and did some drawing, aka scratchin', on some jars. I usually do this on the pots that I'm planning to coat with the crackle slip. It "pushes back" the drawings so that they're subtle amongst the graphic vine pattern. It's a somewhat fun activity, the scratchin', but I'm still a little timid and not as confident as I am with the brush.

Also I made a few wall pockets, some with swirl. I just sent my last out the door and on the way up to Madison, WI. I have never seen these made by anyone, but I have a nice one by Alex Matisse that hangs by our front door. It is one of those shapes I don't make often, but should since they always are the first to sell. Go figure...

I returned to a form I haven't made in a few years. Probably since my first show at AKAR about 7 years ago, the bottle. (I guess the handles make these flasks, or flagons. I wasn't so happy about the handles, and with each pot tried something a little different, and left one without handles which I liked. It's a hard call, with just a few to work with. I lost a few in the process of making. One of the redeeming benefits from making a series is that they reflect a process of seeing and updating with each try. A natural rhythm can be established and the pots go beyond the initial idea/sketch stage and become one's own, hopefully. But one must have faith in the process and stick to it.

Tomorrow I hope to wrap up the throwing and set up the deco stage. I have a few bisque firings to do still and hopefully will have time for everything I've made in the last few days.

Jug, Handle, Again?

Michael Kline

I'm fairly happy with the handle, it's strong and one finger and a bent elbow will easily be able to lift this pot. The tool I use to scratch birds and other designs into the dry leatherhard clay is one I used in printmaking back in college. It's modified with lots of duct tape. I can't remember what the tool is called, but it has three faces that come together into a sharp point that can be easily sharpened as needed.

The Fox and the Bird

Michael Kline

Shane Mickey stopped by with a 50 pound box of cream cheese, I didn't have any bagels so we put some on the wheel and made a few pots out of it. It is the polar opposite in many ways, I'm sure, to my local dirt. But I thought it would be worth a spin.

Here is a small board of test pots. It is actually called B-mix-wood and it is called a "white stoneware". Sorry you can't really tell how WHITE this clay is in this photo, but trust me, snow isn't this white.

On the other fronts this week, my 4 year old, Lillian, brought home a little coloring book with various animals she had colored. I immediately saw an opportunity to lift some of the imagery. So here is a fox that I 'traced' onto the pot, then 'engraved'.

It sort of looks like I traced it, doesn't it? It lacks a certain life, but it's a baby step in the direction to incorporating fauna with the flora.

On the same pot, this fox's prey looks over its shoulder, shrugs, and realizes that the fox can't move and poses no threat.