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192 Jim Boone Rd
Bakersville, NC, 28705
United States

828-675-4097

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: tz'u chou ware

Waxing Moon, Waxing Pots

Michael Kline


My late night java connection yielded some pretty good results. A lot of what I painted was white slip-wax resist-white slip, otherwise known around here as "white on white" (as in the cylinder on the left). The cylinder on the right utilizes regular wax in addition to my special black wax.


Fired bisque number 5 with some big bowls. To save space I stacked the bowls with ceramic fiber as a cushion. Years ago, Mark Shapiro and I had heard of someone using this technique in bisque firing and stacking bowls. I tend to get weird cracks if I stack big bowls without the wool. I'm not sure of the original source of this technique, but thank you, whoever you are!

Here are some other top secret techniques used today. When I cut the rims of these small plates, it leaves a burr along the edge of the cut. Just before bisquing, I "scrub" the burr down with a green pot scrubber. The green scrubbie is just rough enough to take the burr down without changing the edge too much. It doesn't lift out sand or coarse particles like sand paper might. Well, this process leaves the pot dusty. After the bisque firing. I rinse the plates off in a bucket of clean water. Here is a solution to soaking wet pots preparing them for some slip dipping. The wood stove was warm so I set the plates on the rack to dry.

No secret associated with the two little hollow rim bowls below. Just liked them.

Wednesday will be a big painting day now that I'm warmed up. I'll do some Chin Dynasty
Tz'u Chou peonies and even some birds! I want to do a video of my brushwork technique, so maybe check back for that, too.

Getting Ready To Paint

Michael Kline

As I sort out the bisque ware and set up slips, wax resist, brushes, I'm getting my mind switched over from potting to painting! Speaking for myself and my methods they both require momentum and repetition but at he same time seem so different.

As I browse some of my favorite pottery monographs, I always visit this pot, bookmarked with a worn out and faded yellow post-it note. It is Chin dynasty Tz'u-chou wine jar (1115-1234)
height 16.75" (or 42.5 cm.)

I'm always blown away by the vigorous brushwork and realism in it's silhouetted peonies and leaves. To borrow Steven Colby's riff, I wish I had made it! Or rather I wish I had painted it!

Maybe it's time I gave it the old school effort and try a version on my crockery.