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: travel

Here Now

Michael Kline


Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road, Healthy, free, the world before me, The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose. -- Walt Whitman

...the road goes on forever and the party never ends -- Robert Earl Keen

There’s nothing like travel to open my eyes to what is possible and there’s nothing quite like 10 days in California to present an alternative to home. I just returned from a workshop tour in the Bay area and have so much goodness to rememeber and reflect on.

Traveling gives me a particular point of view that I think is essential to understanding the world “out there” and as well as understanding what I call home. It is a contrast and a comparison of what is familiar with what is new. In a parallel way, teaching gives me perspective. Sharing what I know and do with my workshop students, challenges and reaffirms what I believe. Teaching expands my understanding and often I find myself the student in a funny twist. Maybe you would agree?

For now I will write in a general way because my goal, today, was to send my gratitude out to all of the folks that I met along the way. Gratitude to all the folks who took care of me, and supported me. To all the folks that laughed with me.

Although for most of the time it rained, there were many rainbows.


Michael Kline

It’s spring in the mountains. Grass is growing, flowers blooming, and customers are finally streaming into the showroom here at the pottery.

This week I’ve been slogging through piles of stuff that has accumulated in my showroom in its winter dormancy. And just in the nick of time it was ready for yesterday’s visits! I have another group tour this Tuesday so I’ll focus on the grounds now that the showroom and studio are once again presentable.

What does a Kline pottery tour include, you ask? Well depending on the group, be they potters or not, I usually walk them through the kiln area, the studio and then, of course conclude with the finished pots in the showroom…aka “exiting through the gift shop.”

If the group is a class from the nearby Penland School, I sometimes arrange to do some kind of demonstration. The demo is usually brushwork, but occasionally I do a throwing demo.

So, if you want to take a tour of the pottery just drop me an (email)[mail] and I’d be happy to show you around. If you can’t come here in person maybe you can see what’s happening by tuning into one of my live streams and I’ll show you around with my phone! Here’s a recent stream.

There’s much pottery to make this week as I’ve just pugged about 600 lbs of reclaim and I don’t like to let that sit around too long. So my Shimpo will be spinning a lot of clay this week.

Stay tuned for the relaunch of my podcast that has been long overdue. I needed to revamp the format and release episodes more regularly. Currently I have 5 episodes in the wings and counting. Should be some good stuff for you there and j send my apologies to all the faithful for your support.

I would love your support for the podcast with a donation of ANY amount. Please see the “tip jar” at the top of the right sidebar.

Ok! If you’ve read this far I truly appreciate your readership and look forward to sharing more of my potter’ life in the coming weeks!

March 2012 in Old San Juan

Michael Kline

There is no better time to see than when you are traveling. Not only are your eyes wide open but all of your senses are fully present and alive. You are sprung out of your routine and charmed by all that you experience. There's not a better time to be inspired.

That's what make Travel-Arte's workshops seem so intriguing to me. Travel to Old Juan in Puerto Rico and learn and create with some of today's premier ceramic sculptors. What could be better?

Here's what a workshop participant said about their Travel-Arte experience,
"Everything was carefully considered from the resource materials, the organization of the work stations, studio visits, lunches, slide presentations and one on one time (with) each participant. I would recommend this to anyone who is interested in Clay figuration. A tremendous amount of technical information was covered, supported with hands on guidance.

…I also think the idea of learning a skill coupled with a new travel experience was fulfilled. It is always inspiring to see how other Artists work and even more so in a culturally vibrant country like PR…it was a successful and enjoyable experience …I am looking forward to the workshops March 2012."

Jasmine Thomas-Girvan, Trinidad and Tobago,

Check out the artist's web sites below and Go to Travel-Art's website for more details.

LISA CLAGUE: Beyond Tradition March 8, 9, 10

CRISTINA CÓRDOVA : In Depth Portfolio Review March 11

JERYLIN VIRDEN : Lowfire Glazes March 12, 13, 14

SERGEI ISUPOV: Image and Form March 16, 17 18

Tampa Bound!

Michael Kline

Hopefully these shoes were made for walking, because I'm going to be doing a lot of it in Tampa this week at the annual NCECA conference! I'm heading down there tomorrow and in planning for the work, realized I needed something to carry around all of my gear so that i could do the mobile blogging thing. Wooo Hoo!

Sawdust & Dirt will be the premier pottery blog covering the event with official press credentials. I'll be joined by Simon Levin and Mark Shapiro to cover the conference and hopefully we can get words and pictures up to the web for those of you who can't be there. I'm not sure if I'll look like a typical media guy with this backpack, but I figured the red color would be easy to locate if I wander away from it. I may be a little hampered by not having a laptop, or a smartphone, and I'm sure I'll be scoffed at by ceramics students with all of their up to date gadgetry. But I have my ways of using the tools at hand.

So I'll be tweeting from @klineola and Mark, Simon, and myself will be sending up blog posts here in the coming days, so I hope that you will be able to come along.

If you know of any online NCECA stuff you would like me to post please send those to me. As I find out about content that you can access from your device I will post that also.

OK, now to fill up that backpack with batteries, chargers, camera.....Am I forgetting something?

Trip to Seagrove

Michael Kline

brad lail (l) and ron philbeck (r) at ron's place on wednesday

It's late and I just want to post this before I go to dreamland. But I will fill in the blanks about my trip to Seagrove, NC and answer any questions that these pictures might raise. Just leave a comment. I look forward to the exchange. Don't be shy.

lead glazed fremington pitcher at ron's

a visit to whynot pottery:
meredith heywood's custom mudbox

mark heywood's
wheel and mudbox

mark hewitt throwing pitchers

removing a very stubborn 40 year old wheel head
with heat, lubricant, and 2 x 4's

the rusty truth

the reason I wanted to remove my Shimpo wheel head.
it's been a long road for this splash pan
and it's time for my own mud box! (and ball opener!)

Night, night!

Pottery Bloggery Foggery

Michael Kline

A quiet gray day here at the pottery. Jack is snoozing in his box as I write this. Thank goodness he doesn't snore! (yet) Clay is thawed, mixed, and pugged. But first there were taxes to finish and still a layer of fine sawdust on everything in the shop to rid before I start to spin. Aaaaaa, what's a little fine sawdust wedged into my clay!

This morning, before I head up the hill, I'm planning a trip to Seagrove. Next week I'm meeting with my "cousins" to plan our show (June 5, 6th!!!) and was also checking out the NC Pottery Center to make sure they would be open so I could see the current show (Fire in the Valley: Catawba Valley Pottery Then and Now). I'll take my tripod and take some pictures for you when I visit.

I'm also hoping to see cousin Ron over Shelby on the way!

I also checked into Mark Hewitt's web page to see if there was anything going on over on Johnny Burke Rd. and found this.

Related to yesterday's post, Mark puts it in simple concise language, as only Mark can, "...take what you've learned and add to it."

[Want to learn how drive a truck? Well, I found this just for you.]

Let's make some pottery!

Film at 11.

More From the Trip

Michael Kline

the entrance to the National
Museum of the American Indian
in Washington, DC

So, today wasn't as productive as I would have hoped. Is it ever? I did take a big bite out of the showroom clutter. I made a trip to the dump and stored some non-essential crap things into the deep storage unit of my shop attic. I pugged all of the clay (about 300#) that had frozen over the winter and needed some regrouping. Yay.

Here are a few more pictures of pots I encountered on the trip over the weekend.

the original "port-a-potty"

an interesting bowl from Julia Child's kitchen,
now located in the
National Museum of American History

one of the Museum of the
American Indian corners(?)

I took hundreds of pictures on the trip, mostly of the family. I averaged about 200/day! I'm still editing. More tomorrow.

Getting Pumped Up

Michael Kline

I finally caught up on all of the blogs that I fell behind on over the weekend. I've been also catching up on all the sleep I've passed up on in the last three weeks. At my age, I am realizing that I can't work all the time. Nor do I want to. It's all work no play, and I am becoming very dull.

So before I go to Arrowmont for the fifth Utilitarian Clay: Celebrate The Object on Wednesday, I'm getting all the sleep I possibly can. After all, it's "show time" and who wants to see me fumble my demos, etc?? So, just briefly I wanted to go through my list with you all to make sure I'm not forgetting anything.

***broken camera
***armpit pads
***knee brace
***set lists
***a couple of tasteful jokes
***the usual self deprecating jokes
***sponsor banners to put behind my wheel to fulfill endorsement contracts
***sunglasses for flash photographers and bright stage lights
***Grecian Formula (for all of those folks who haven't seen me in a while)
***a couple of sharpies for autographs
***back stage passes for entourage
***stop by Nick J's for some Red Bull
***membership card to Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum
So much for traveling light! I guess we are going to have to take the tour bus(again) ! Phew, the gas is going to kill the budget.