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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: wall pockets

Big Rain and the Hatch

Michael Kline


Had a nice conversation with Alex tonight about those wall pockets. It was good to hear he was tying flies in hopes for some fishing here in the hills sometime soon. Meanwhile outside there was a lot of rain as I hustled jars that had been sitting outside under the roof to catch a breeze and be dry for the big kiln loading. With the rain came some big hatch of teeny little flies that were sneaking in through the open door and hovering near the lights! I'll save a few for Alex.

I didn't follow my boss's advice to start painting today, and instead, continued to throw a few more large platters. I lost a couple in the bisque kiln and thought it would be worth squeezing in. The cracked platters had been stacked with sand in between and had little hairline cracks. Damn!

I worked on cleaning up the wall pockets and cutting holes in the backs. I first took a fettlin' knife to the edges and them smoothed them with a chamois. When I came in this morning several had cracked from being too wet from the throwing and then being closed in the throwing. Alex says that he thoroughly dries the interior before he closes the forms. That should do it for me. My red dirt is really prone to cracking in its wet state. So I spent some time repairing the cracked ones and had an idea to try to "dart" some in the future. One of the intriguing changes that happen when one flattens a thrown form is how that form changes. Exciting, huh? Welcome to my world of pottery intrigue!


Anyway, I shuffled and organized the bisque ware and pots still needing to be. It's becoming clear that there won't be time or room in my electric kiln to bisque everything, so the last few pots will be raw glazed, bone dry glazed.

The punch list is bigger than I thought and I'll start hitting it in the a.m.

So long for now.

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.