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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: working

12 X 12 Revisited/Revised

Michael Kline

Monday offers such promise, while Thursday reminds me of my shortcomings with Fridays verdict right around the corner. Not that I have ever operated on a regular 9-5 M-F schedule, but the mainstream routine sits on one of my shoulders, reminding.

Yesterday, as I was working on various projects in the bright sunshine, (read: not pottery), I had a yearning for some kind of routine, a daily goal. I remembered my 12x12. A concept that seems to have been forgotten like a dream. But it's not that hard to imagine that I could get back to a regular studio practice like that soon. It's almost February, after all! So while I was outside doing some long over fall maintenance on my mower, I had the thought that I would set my goals lower. Haha. Yes, a little lower, to avoid the self loathing that a Thursday might bring. So I decided since I had missed my 12x12 deadline(again) that I would try to just make a dozen, (ok, I made 16) and try to finish them today (Thurs).

I thought I would make a short run of cups, a few serving dishes, and some pitchers. It was a very different experience contrasted to making boards and boards of pots that would then take me a day or two to finish.

When making a dozen or more of one shape, each pot gets closer to the ideal and hopefully with the last ball of clay I make the best of the lot. That happens sometime. Sometimes, when revisiting a shape, the first one off the wheel is fresh and has a naïveté that seems more natural, with subsequent forms trying a bit too hard to be perfect. It's hard to explain. That first pot is imperfect by the mind's eye and I try harder with each redo. In the process, with each subsequent pot I become more self-conscious and sometimes squeeze the life out of them.

With these short runs of pots, I didn't get into that self conscious mode (as much). I wasn't thinking that I had 20 more to make and wasn't hoping that I would get a few really good ones. I was there with each one and then they were made. The cycle was shorter.

This is very difficult to explain, but my goal is to try to make 12-16 pots each morning and finish the pots from the day before after lunch. It's a slightly different model and will hopefully be steady and more manageable than table full of plastic.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Getting Into It

Michael Kline

I guess the least I can do before I head up the hill on this Sunday morning is to show what go made yesterday between visits from friends passing by, a giant downpour of water from the sky, a great pottery art opening at the CLG, and bedtime.

Late last night, as I made a few more pots I listened to PJ Harvey's Let England Shake, over and over. It's a fascinating mix of sounds and stories. I guess that's an endorsement. Sometimes listening to an "album" over and over puts me in just the right "trance" to get into the work later at night. Tom Spleth once told me that he rarely listened to music while he worked. But occasionally listened to a few songs in repeat mode. Amy Tavern calls this kind of listening a "monster". One of Tom's monsters was Superman's Song, by the Crash Test Dummies, and The Wallflower's One Headlight? (I think) I guess we all have our ways of getting into it.

Human Sandblaster

Michael Kline

John has taken on my derelict kiln shelves and his mission is to make them like-new or least "newish". After 36 firing in my kiln and who knows how many firings in the train kiln down in GA (where I picked them up second hand), the layer of kiln wash and wood ash, kiln wash and wood ash, had built up quite a bit. After a ridiculously absurd kiln shelf demo by moi, John went to work on them. About a half hour and a couple of shelves later, John came in to report that we should scrape those suckers completely and start over with the kiln wash! And he was absolutely right. I realized that I was blind to my own kiln shelf status quo (that's Latin for status quo)!!

John pointed out that not only did the layer add weight to the already heavy silicon carbide shelves, but it was also pretty brittle and would come off without too much effort. Well, it's a lot of work, but in the end, the shelves will be a bit lighter and we will gain a little real estate!

Some math: With the current layer of wash on the shelves at about 1/8th of an inch, maybe more on some, I figure with 24 shelves, that's about 3 inches in height! As you can see from the picture on the left there will be a whole lot of kiln wash crispies. I've started a bucket to save them. When John's done we'll weigh the bucket to see how much weight we'll not be lifting every time we load and unload the kiln!

Now it's time for some bisque ware rustling and hustling, some wax resisting and some crockery slipping.


12 X Noon

Michael Kline

So sorry it's taken me so long to edit all these entries in the 12 by 12 noon challenge. Of course we'll have to take everybody at their word and that these pots were made before noon!
It's gotta be noon somewhere in the world right(?) From what people were telling me in their emails, I gather that they had fun and it was a bit of a challenge! If anything, I have realized all of the things that get in our way that prevents us from making stuff in the mornings. I promised to get these pictures up yesterday and here I am scrambling to get them all organized and uploaded before the East Coast of the USA gets their 3 feet of snow and we lose electricity! So far here in the mountains, just rain.

The images are in reverse alphabetical order by first name. (no wonder I am cross eyed!)

Here we go!
a serene winter window
into will baker's shop
bakersville, nc

widge thorpe getting a jump on
this years holiday season

ron philbeck's dinner plates
waiting for goats, birds, and clothes lines

rebecca brandow's cups
with slip trailed(?)

keith phillips, who, btw, was
the first responder to the challenge
check out keith's great web site

was athens ga potter juana gnecco
looking at will baker's bowls?
great minds throw alike!
more of juana's work here

joy tanner spinning some bowls
up on bad creek.

john dorsey bottle collection.
see detailed shots here

joann axford's flock of 12!

12 glaze tests by blogger Jeanette Zeiss!

gang of 12
rah rah rah
by Scotland potter
Hannah McAndrew!

pods by 49th united state sculptor Cindy Shake

Abilene's finest, Brandon Phillips

Thanks everyone for the fun! I hope these pots are getting finished by this late hour and I look forward to seeing more of your work.

As for all you slackers out there, you had better send me your doctor's excuses soon or I'll have to dock your pay!
Have a great safe weekend.