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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: surface treatment

Big Week?

Michael Kline

Not exactly.

My week was good, but I didn't exactly kick the kind of pottery ass that I had hoped I would. Nonetheless, I managed to get at least 12 pots made and finished each day. Most of them were yunomis, plates, and small jars. Thank goodness for quotas.

Here are a few plates that show my current interest in various textures I can get from braided rope.

In the top image I used a pretty standard braided rope, not pictured. I like the way the overall pattern is created from the overlapping. The rope is rolled immediately after throwing, the clay is very soft and care is taken to roll with even pressure. I like the way the plate is ever so slightly deformed from the rolling.

With the middle plate I used a short section of cotton clothes line rope(shown). Curiously the overlapping pattern was concentric, more or less. The resulting pattern is a composite of many side-by-side rollings. If you look closely you can see each individual rolled "path".

In the bottom plate I used a small nylon rope (shown) that I saved from my push mower when I replace that starting rope late last summer. It's smallness resulted in a slow and tedious impression, which was not so easy to roll and I didn't enjoy, but in the end I liked the subtle pattern that resulted. This may be the best pattern for over-decoration as the impressions aren't very deep and won't interfere with the painting of floral motifs.

Every day I get more and more excited about the upcoming trip to Austin Texas and the Art of the Pot show there. I just found out that I will be showing with my buddy Peter Karner, as well as my Penland neighbor, Gwendolyn Yoppolo, and Deborah Scwartzkopf! Keith Kreeger will be our illustrious host at his studio in early May. Here's a link to the Art of the Pot web site.

Well that is a little of what I am working on these days. The coming week will be mostly free of packing and shipping, appointments, and other distractions, so I hope to really get a lot made. I hope to be able to share what happens here on the blog.

Here's to the coming BIG week! I hope you all have a great one.

35 Unloaded

Michael Kline

Here are the pots unloaded from the kiln. I'm still busy getting the site set for the sale and haven't got to look over the pots carefully. But my impression of the kiln is good. No kiln blues this time! I'll be shooting preview pictures to put on Facebook and Sawdust & Dirt, as well as a brief e-newletter special edition! Let me know what you think!

Getting A Handle On It

Michael Kline

bucket on rolling cart with Mud Tools rib

A board of little mugs that I had made the other day, Saturday(?), awaited me this morning. After circling around and looking for the right arrangement I ended up with this setup to add and pull handles on them. I score the pots with a big serrated rib that Michael Sherrill gave me last Fall. I like using it because it's stiffish (is that a word?), it fits nicely in my grasp, and makes quick work of scoring. It simply feels better than the small serrated rib I had used for years.

scritch, scratch, poke, poke

Speaking of "feel" my daughters were hanging out the other day when I was throwing these mugs. Lillian decided she would help me, so after a short training session, she controlled the speed of the wheel, as I said faster, slower, etc. It felt like a team of glassblower's working in tandem on a piece. The crank on the old Shimpo is pretty stiff, but I must say the little gal got pretty good it. While she sat on the stool crankin', she also poked at a couple of the mugs. After a few of those, Evelyn wanted to get in on the fun. The mug at the right is poked by Lillian, the one on the left is Evelyn's design. I found it interesting that Evelyn decided to make a different mark than Lillian. After E made her marks, L gave it a scratchy try on the next one (always copying her older sister).

But all of this has me thinking how much these and other small pots are all about the finger tips. Maybe it's the relative scale of our hands/fingertips and the pots they encounter. Maybe this is a little bit vague. hmmm. One of the things that resulted from my accident a few years ago, was the difficulty of throwing tableware. (cups, bowls, production work) My fingers got sore from the repeated finger work required from throwing these smallish pots. My reaction was to make bigger pots that I could turn with ribs or a curled hand holding a sponge, hence a transition into larger pots that continues to this day. Now, though my fingers are stronger and smaller repeat ware isn't a problem.

Just a few thoughts on throwing, which I will now do since my lunch and this post are done!

where's that lotion??!!

On To The Kiln!

Michael Kline

As with most every day of this cycle of work, half of what is planned actually gets done, (maybe I should fire my planner?) But I painted and slipped the last pots and will start loading in the a.m. Here are some of the last pots that I decorated, and as usual, they were my faves. The brush was really going. I had a thought tonight that maybe I should just paint, and have someone else make the pots??? Naaaaa... making the pots is just too much fun. But it took all of these pots and several days, just to get warmed up with the brush.

Before I dipped these jugs, I put in a clay stopper, because a couple of these I dipped right side up.

Tiles for a show at the Clay Art Center, in Port Chester, NY. The show is called 6 x 6. It's all tile from different artist, it should be a nice exhibition. I made these to be a little over 7 inches, so that they would shrink to 6 in. I'm just guessing, because I haven't tested this batch of clay. Hopefully they won't be that strict for the show.
All in all it's been an interesting cycle of work. My helper, Mica and I really enjoyed dipping and glazing the pots in the bright sunshine. But for me the highlight of the day was walking the freshly glazed pots just the short distance from the new shop to the kiln, without having to drive them in the truck.


On E Bay

Michael Kline

Tom Turner alerted me to this piece on eBay. Here's the link. It was at $0.99 last time I checked. Not bad for Song Dynasty, No? Could this be what they're saying it is? See for yourself. There are several other views on the auction page. That brushwork looks pretty nice. I'm heading out to load some bicuits. Have a good Saturday.

Dinner Time

Michael Kline

Just a quick post before I head back up the hill for my after dinner pottery. I wanted to send these pictures of some of the carving i have been doing on the platters. I also liked the edges of these platters, slightly different than previous. Can you see the difference in the rims? It's subtle. I particularly like the state of dryness they were in although it may not be apparent in these pictures.

***Also, thanks for everyone who signed up to comment with Disqus! So far there are 36 people signed up! You may still comment on this blog without signing up, but you'd be missing out on the 'discussion' and missing your chance to win a piece of my pottery from the next kiln load of pots. [See sidebar on top right] It's easy to use and I think it's been an interesting addition to the blog. Let me know what you all think.