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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: wedging


Michael Kline

Here's how I cut and slam the clay before I wedge it. My good friend Martina Thies first showed me this technique where she learned it in Germany during her apprenticeship. I later saw Vernon Owens mix his clay this way. Up until about 5 years ago, I never used a wire to wedge, but now I can't live without it! It's very helpful to mix a harder or softer clay together quickly and evenly. This way you can get just the right consistency you need. I had set the clay out to dry a little because it was too soft for throwing bigger pots. The clay dries in humps on my table. But the problem is that the clay dries on the outer surface and the inside of each hump is soft, still. Also where the clay youches the table it is drier. The cut and slam technique quickly blends the soft and the hard!

Stick To The Program

Michael Kline

early stage of work table

I've been slogging along this week, knocking out 'little' details here and there. I built a newish work table and revamped my wedging table. The work table is a little narrower and longer than my previous table to accommodate the space and is scabbed from a table I got from my project buddy, John Snyder. I surrounded the base with a beefy 2X8 skirt and reinforced top for a slamming good time. I will spend a lot of time at this table and I want a table that I can really hammer on as well as sit comfortably to paint pots . I still have to put drawers in the table to hold "stuff".

new old wedging table and
yet to be used bag of Tom Turner
porcelain waiting
in B/W

The wedging table isn't what I had planned to build, but I needed something fast and I'll reschedule my dream table for after the next firing. This is the table I originally built at Penland in 1998 and then moved to the Micaville studio. It originally had a concrete top but had been removed to make it a little lighter to move. But last summer I 'temporarily' installed the table outside and screwed 3/4 inch plywood to the top. It worked fine! I cut some 30 degree angles in the rails that hold the bats below for a slight improvement. I still need to install my wire clay cutter and get rid of that tacky early 21st century injected molded plastic drawer organizational system.

Since I'm still waiting for the power company to come (Wednesday!!!) to pull the main wire and hence have power for my pug mill, I went ahead and installed the old wedging table so I could slam mix/wedge my reclaim.
Just more exciting news from the shop that I wanted to let you all in on!