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Use the form on the right to contact Michael Kline!

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.

Thanks for visiting.

The Best of Sawdust and Dirt

A record of the goings on around Michael Kline Pottery!

Filtering by Tag: video

Plate Trimming

Michael Kline

More Hyper-lapse Than You Can (quickly) Shake A Stick At

Michael Kline

Sometimes I lapse. Do you? Do lapse? Laps? Lately I've really been loving the time-lapse feature of ye olde iPhone.

Part 1 of plate trimming #wnc #ncpottery #video #hyperlapsevideo #potteryvideo

A video posted by Michael Kline (@klineola) on

There's more at my Instagram.

Ayumi's White Pots

Michael Kline


White Pots

Studio Assistant: Molly Spadone

Michael Wilson: Director and Filming

Chloe Beaven: Video and Sound Editing

Miles Beaven: Music


Here's is Ayumi's video transcription.

Best artist statement I've seen, heard, AND read, lately!




Like a lot of people, I split my time now between the digital world and the physical one. My head’s filled with amazing stuff I see online, and yet I also need the messiness of the clay and the materiality of it to feed me on some fundamental level. I remember going outside on a freezing cold winter night when I was at the Archie Bray almost twenty years ago. I looked up at the stars and remember thinking that it was the cold that made me feel alive and part of this world, it wasn’t just seeing the vastness of the sky. It was the sensation of touch, the cold air on my skin. And I think the importance of touch gets lost sometimes in the digital world, because it’s all about the visuals now. Being cold or being uncomfortable makes you aware of your physical self. I don’t think we necessarily need to be uncomfortable to be aware. Awareness can come in different ways and clay is one shortcut to this kind of awareness. It makes you remember being human and being vulnerable. And that’s a lot of what my work is about.




There’s a meditative quality to all this repetition we do as potters. It requires being completely present in order to make work. You’d think that this kind of repeat would make you spacey and not pay attention, but it’s the opposite, where things become focused and you notice all the tiny details like a scrap of clay hanging on, or crack starting to develop. This is the kind of work that hones my ability to see each pot as an individual and it’s a different level of quality control than what happens on an assembly line, because certain pots take on a personality. It’s like oh- “that’s the one with the snaggletooth or oh that’s the one with the pimple on it’s handle”.




Play is a huge part of my work. In making pots, in drawing, in taking pictures and in thinking about how I get work out into the world.




There’s this incredible sensuality to soft clay that I hope lives on it the finished piece, so that other people can enjoy it and be aware in their own way of play and being present. Soft clay is so much like holding someone’s hand or giving someone a squeeze to say hello.




The thing that photography and ceramics have in common is their ability to preserve the ephemeral. Clay can record a spontaneous moment, just like a picture can. I love the cycle of ceramics. Clay is basically decomposed rock, so in the studio, we record this spontaneous gesture into it, into clay, we fire it and then this piece comes out hard as a rock again and lasts forever. That lovely moment of play is frozen in time.




Most of my work is fairly graphic, so it reads well online. But my white decal pots are different, actually they’re pretty much the opposite. They’re invisible unless you’re up close. And then even when you’re up close, they’re still impossible to read unless you handle the pot. Turning the pot lets the light catch the opalescent drawing. Potters can’t exactly compete with our culture’s addiction now to cell phones these days. And I don’t think we should, but I think it’s part of the dialogue when we’re talking about making hand-held objects. So what makes these pots unusual is that touch and holding them is integral to understanding what they are. There aren’t any shortcuts to that. And this brings us back to this notion of being present. I think of them as slow pots, because slowing down allows us to notice things. When I take pictures, I say, here, look at these beautiful things in life. And when I make pots, I pay attention to all the tiny beautiful details that make a pot what it is. The way my tool furrows through the clay or mashes an edge or how a handle can be crooked to hold a finger. All these things matter because then when I also put a white drawing on a white surface that’s very subtle, I’m asking the user to work harder, to meet me half way, and to be present in that moment.

Thanks Ayumi!

Tom Sachs

Michael Kline

One of the most interesting artists that I follow is Tom Sachs. I enjoyed this conversation and how these guys geek out on making art and objects,  so, naturally, i thought i would share it with you.

Tom Sachs is a New York-based sculptor, artist, and maker of wonderful things. His works include meticulously detailed foam core architecture and Space Program: 1:1 scale recreations NASA vehicles and equipment. Join Adam Savage for a conversation with Tom Sachs on the culture of making, contemporary art, Tom's studio environment, and many other shared obsessions.

Korean Masters

Michael Kline

Here is a video I have watched many times and thought if you hadn't seen it yourself, here is the place and time! Or maybe watch it again. It has superb production and the artists are simply amazing. It is the video that I mentioned to my Union University students at the workshop I taught recently.  I hope you enjoy it!

Mark Making:Painting: José Parlá video

Michael Kline

Sometimes, here on the internet, someone [thanks David Ernster] will share content with you with a kind of perfect timing. A timing that parallels something you might be thinking about and validates. As I sit here painting pots I was thrilled to hear what José Parlá says about mark making and language. I thought I would share this video with you so when you find it it might speak to you as well.


In Praise of Liking Mistakes

Michael Kline

Chris Staley and Cody Goddard have made some incredibly compelling videos.  This is one of my favorites. Thanks to Laura and  Lori for posting this video in the last couple of days on their blogs.

I am posting it here today in hopes that tomorrow another potter blogger will post it on their blog. Keep it going!

Today

Michael Kline

Dear {recipient},
It's a snow day here.

No snow here, but ice earlier this morning in the higher elevations of our county.

That means that nobody goes to school, even if us low lying valley folks have no winter hazards. Snow days wreak havoc on this potter. So Stacey and I have split the kids up and Evelyn will join me in the shop with a stack of books to read while I get to work this afternoon. I was hoping to get on with my 12 x 12, but instead have done chores, including the hunting down of Evelyn's flip video camera. I will be "shooting video" of some of the P's of the R tomorrow. The complete set of videos will be rolled out on the POTR Facebook page this Spring in advance of our exhibit at the Toe River Arts Council Gallery this August.

Today? Well I'll try make my plates before taking Lillian to guitar and hoops practice. (25 x 5?)

Thanks for the surge in readership this past week. I guess it helps to post regularly. I have all but vanished from Instagram, and am limiting my time at FB as well. There's only so much time for social networking.

Here is today's video from Chris Staley. I'm not sure if this video explicitly defined  "beauty" but I did like some of the suggestions (1:40) made by Chris's students.



My apologies for not having the time this morning to consider such meta-physics, but here is a post that isn't afraid to go closer to the metal.

I hope everyone is able to leave comments without any trouble. If you need help just drop me an email.


A Very Short Video About a Very Little Dish

Michael Kline


Catherine White Demo @Penland from Michael KLine on Vimeo.

Here's the exciting conclusion to the little molded dish Catherine White demo'd for me the other day. I shot this with an iPad in portrait mode, so apologies for the funny view. All praises to Vimeo for handling the formatting issue without a hiccup. Enjoy.

Hopefully more Catherine to come next week!

NOTE: Catherine writes so beautifully and thoughtfully on her Penland Experience, here.

postscript: for everyone who like numbers, this happens to be the 1450th post here at Sawdust and Dirt! Thanks for reading!