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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: yunomi

2018 Yunomi at CLAYAKAR

Michael Kline

Here is a behind the scenes look at just a small fraction this year’s stellar collection of yunomi at CLAYAKAR.COM 👉@clayakar👈Do you recognize any of the potters? I made a pilgrimage to Iowa City, Iowa after the St. Croix Pottery Tour last weekend, to visit Sanjay and Jigna Jani, the folks who brought you the gold standard of online pottery exhibition, AKAR Design. Their annual Yunomi Invitational has been wildly successful and this year’s collection will be splendidly available at 10 a.m. CST. Some of the pieces can be seen in 360°! Because of several scheduling conflicts, this will be the first year i will be absent from the show. 😔 (but I guarantee i will be there clicking through hundreds of cups by 180 potters) 
A post shared by Michael Kline (@klineola) on

The Chosen Ones

Michael Kline

yunomi cups for AKAR Design annual yunomi show swirlware decorated pottery

Out of the 30 swirl cups that I fired last month in the wood kiln, these are the 5 i have chosen for the annual AKAR Design Yunomi Invitational [2014] [2013] [20??]. I wanted to choose a group that showed a variety of color, swirl, and brushwork.

The process is a curious one, that begins with an invitation to do a show along with some of the best potters in the country and challenges me to make cups that push my abilities and techniques into new areas. Curious because in the end you might say these cups look like the kind of cups that you might expect from me. And you would be partially right, I guess.

But, contrary to my last post, this palette and style is but a subtle variation and refinement, not the kind of obvious change I talked about the other day. Each firing there are a handful of pots that are unusual and maybe not what I expect. Then I try to reproduce their goodness, whatever it may be, often missing the mark or guessing wrong on the combination of variables that affect a pot in the wood kiln.

So, to get a group of pots for a show like the Yunomi show, I might need 30 to get 5 or 6 exceptional ones. It's a strategy or process of "make bunch and some might fly" that many a studio potter are grateful for and since it's fun to make a lot of pots, its a great way to work.

But the other thought I have, or the other question you might pose, is who am I to judge?

Everybody has different tastes, different needs. Some like their pasta soft and some like theirs al dente. But in the end, I guess someone has to throw it against the ceiling to see if it sticks. [ba dum tssshhh] and I guess that would be me. But in the end, or at the point of sale, you, O fair and trusted customer, are the final judge!

The AKAR Yunomi show opens on the morning of May 15th and a LOT of the pots sell in the first hour! My advice would be to be take the morning or the day off, bookmark the website and get a front row seat! You should also follow AKAR Design on the Facebook for some fun preview action!

Thanks so much for reading!!

MSM MS

Michael Kline

Michael Simon yunomi fluted stoneware salt glaze
michael Simon fluted yunomi
I took this picture of one of my current rotation pots for Scott Cooper, stalwart blog supporter! I thought I should also say a warm "Thank You" to Scott and reader Stephen Dean, who were kind enough to comment on Friday's post. Scott requested a detailed pic of this cup and Stephen asked for an expanded explanation of why those pots are in my current rotation shelf. So here is a #mugshotmonday post for you guys!

First, a prerequisite, please read this brief Coffee Break post.

The pots on the shelf are a mix of function/utility, inspiration, and conservation. Some of the pots are here in my studio because they are precious to me and I don't want them to be in our household, because they might get broken, yet I want to keeps these pots from drying out, so they are here where I can use them and protect them.

When I get a new cup, of course I like to try it out and hoard it from the family. Sometimes I am successful and wisk the pot away to the studio before it gets into my wife's car and lost to her office! It's all fair in love and pots, though, I guess. ;-)

This cup, made by M.Simon was a gift from Michael in 2005 when I was recovering from my hand accident and it was in one of Michael's last firings in Colbert, GA. It has quite a range of color from the tessha glaze over the white slip. The salt has flashed the side you can see in this picture, while the other side of the pot

Michael Simon yunomi fluted stoneware salt glaze
maroon iron red on Michael SImon yunomi
has a beautiful maroon iron red that wasn't fluxed in the same way as the saltier side. In lay-terms, the pots's hues vary depending on its exposure to the salt vapors in the kiln during the firing. The more salt the surface was exposed to/glazed with, the more yellow. 

The inside of the pot has a pale shino glaze with a teeny tiny crackle that has been stained by countless cups of tea and coffee.

interior Michael Simon yunomi


Another intriguing element of this pot is the size. It is smaller than I might make a yunomi. I like more "real estate" to carry a particular surface design so I make a slightly larger cup. But in reality this cup holds an ample amount of beverage, about 6 oz. I think the proportions are right on! It feels great in my hand and is very pleasant to drink from, most likely from its "English" drinking rim. 

I guess, mostly though, this pot represents the love I have for the man and his pots. Pottery has a way of connecting people, make to maker, maker to user.

Last Fall I spent a really special weekend with Michael at the Designed and Crafted Pottery Invitational that he curated. It was so great to reconnect and talk pots. Michael also told me of his desire to cast bronze vessels in the near future. I can't wait to see what he does. [Design and Crafted will return again this October in Atlanta. I'll announce the dates and location when it is announced.]

I'm sure there will be other posts about this pot in the future as it continues to reveal itself through time and use. 

This pot was shared on Instagram today. Please follow my photo "blogging" there.


Straight Outta the Camera

Michael Kline


black slip over white slip/wax resist,
salt glaze


combed kaolin slip
copper glaze/salted

amber glaze w/ black underglaze
wood ash/salt effect

Well sort of. I sharpened each by 5%. The light boxes were dropped down about 18".

Now I miss the shadow a little bit. Thoughts?

Random Giveaway

Michael Kline



Comment on your 5 favorites and qualify for a $20 Kline Pottery Gift Certificate that will be given away with random selector! After you leave your comment, you will be assigned a number for the drawing.

Where's That Confounding Horse?

Michael Kline

frumpy swirl yunomi
It's been a busy week and not much blogging has occurred here. I knew it was bad when Stacey pointed out that I hadn't posted in over a week! Yikes, crack that whip! So where is that horse I'm supposed to get back on, anyway? I guess, at the moment,  I'm staring into my headlights (read: computer monitor) and don't know quite which way to post. The stories seem too numerous, so this will be my kick in the pants post and hopefully I will gather thoughts to share my visit to the cousins in Seagrove this week and some of the fun stuff we did, (we shot lots of video with Evelyn's HD Flip video camera, which cost me 5 bucks to rent, btw), an uplifting quarterly board meeting at the NC Pottery Center, and of course there is the continuing and uplifting saga of my porcelain experiment to update you all on.

I have a lot of announcements to make, too [which I will dole out a little at a time so I don't come off sounding like one of those annoying arts calendar PSA's that start to sound like Charlie Brown's teacher after about 15 seconds].

In the meantime, while I dream of future-soon-to-be blog posts, can you guess which came first in the swirl cups above? In other words, are these red-dirt-clay with porcelain swirls? or, porcelain-clay with red dirt swirls?

The secret will be revealed to you on Saturday.

Yunomi

Michael Kline

for the 2011 Akar Yunomi Invitational

The upcoming firing is probably the last wood firing I'll do before the deadline for the spring show in Iowa City, so here are a few hopefuls.

This is from the AKAR web site:
3/25/2011 - 4/4/2011
2011 Yunomi Invitational
(ONLINE ONLY)
~200 potters,
5 Yunomis each

- Posted using BlogPress from my uNomi

Who's Counting?

Michael Kline

Rather than speculating on the success of yesterday's phenomenon that is the Akar Yunomi Show, I've decided to just give you a few numbers (provided by Akar via their Facebook page).

  • 240 cups sold in the first 14 minutes
  • 500 cups sold in the first hour
  • 686 cups sold in 12 hours
The Big Cojones prize goes to Elaine and Tom Coleman with the highest priced cups, $350. The Low Baller's prize goes to Victoria Christen, who edged out Kent McLaughlin for the cheapest cup, at $25. It seemed that all price points sold, not just the low end, although the most common price seemed to be around $30.

North Carolina had the most potters (of course) with 24 and here are the other tallies:

MT 12
MA 11
IL, NY, PA 10
GA 8
CO, MN, VA 7
TX, UT, WI 6
CA, IA, OH 5
MO, MI, Canada,AZ, IN 4
CT, OR, KY, NE, FL, WA 3
MD, SC, VT, MS 2
KS, LA, WV, NM, AK, NH, ID, DC 1

mia- HI, NJ, ND, SD, AL, TN, ME, RI, DE, OK

simple math:
194 potters x 5 cups
=970 cups

[i can't guarantee these numbers as
I was counting them by hand on my
screen, but you get the point.]


That means that there are still about 300 cups to get!

Many galleries have tried their hand at this type of show with marginal success. But Sanjay Jani and his Akar Design have put their time into this show. This is no overnight success. They have been doing this show for several years and have fined tuned the event with top notch presentation and most importantly a wide range of excellent potters. Additionally, it's no small feat to take the time and put in the resources to photograph and input the data for the web site and continue to present the work so well. Then there is the bandwidth for the server to handle the massive rush of traffic when the online show opens. Well, I could go on...

But in the end, who doesn't like a cup? It's really the love of the cup that drives the folks at Akar, and the many who sit down at their computers to buy them. The cups in this years show are as diverse as we are as a culture. Most of our cabinets are probably overflowing with cups, but that doesn't stop us from adding to our collections. Pots break, or they get tired, better one comes along, our habits change, or we seek a different texture or color. And as we evolve in either our taste or our depth as collectors, hopefully there will be a pot that fits our needs and a potter out there to make it.

This show will continue to grow and include future generations of potters. At least I hope it does. It's one of the few events each year that truly embody the excitement that I have for pottery. As Sue Weisenburger commented on Akar's FB page, "[It's] One of my favorite 5 minutes of the year!"



My fellow POTR Stan Andersen's beautiful cup!
7 out of 15 of our guild were in the show!

Did you buy a cup? Did you have a favorite cup in the show? Were there surprises? Let us know with a brief comment. Thanks!

Now back to pottery making!

One Rather Long Ramble: Or Am I Going To Ever Going To Get Back to the Wheel?

Michael Kline

Somehow it all makes sense I guess. There are things in your life that have their influence on you, people, pots, and finger paintings! I just saw this drawing as I was putting together this morning's post and thought, "oh, that's interesting." It could be that I'm drawing conclusions or implying that this drawing has influenced me in some subconscious way when really it just hangs on the door that we go in and out of all through the day. Now I'm confusing myself. Anyway you can draw your own conclusions or draw your own finger painting, or just draw!


When I was at Highwater Clays the other day I bought a bag of Grolleg kaolin for my #6 Tile kaolin slip. Go figure. I call it T6 slip, but it has a little bit of Grolleg in the recipe. It's a recipe I got from Linda Christianson somewhere down the road. It worked really well, so why change a good thing? Well that bag of Grolleg kaolin was $44! Yes, I know it is from England. Yes I know it probably one of the world's best clays. But come on!! I tell myself that it's just a small portion of the recipe and the bag will last a long time. But come on! I putting it on dirt! Oh well. If it works is there a reason to fix it?

[In researching this post, it turns out that all dry materials have gone ¡way! up. Did you notice this, or am I just a little slow to catch on? The Grolleg is actually ¡cheaper! than the #6Tile!! See for yourself...]

I digress.

Where were we?

Oh yes, I pour the slip on the slabs, spin the bat that the slab is on, and then comb away.


Here is the hump mold just after I have shaped a dish. You can still see the ghost image of the combed slip. Below are the molded dishes aprés Bandana. Stacey thought they looked too much like Michael and Naomi's pots. I said, "Oh good!!" I don't think she knew that it was covers week here at the pottery. And what would be so wrong about that, anyway? I guess this idea of originality is a problematic one for us potters.

I also saw some nice doodlings from Dylan Bowen. You can see for yourself. It's a doodle thing! (aka what goes around, comes around)

On to more formal thoughts, or more well formed thoughts, anyway. [damn, ever since Simon's post yesterday, I've been trying to be as clever, sorry, I'll leave the irony to Mr. Levin]

Here is a bottle/vase/call-it-what-you-will, on a specially made chuck for trimming. This series of pots started out as a cover of the Bruce Gohlson "big gulp" yunomi the other day and by the second board of 'em it had morphed into this shape. To see the bottle/vase just hold your monitor upside down, or stand on your head, or scroll down, whatever is more fun, or easier, your choice...
The cup shape grew into a vase shape quite naturally.

Here are a couple that asked for ears!

After that I was back at the treadle wheel for some more trimming. I took the still soft chuck I used for the bottle/vases and reshaped the top to accommodate the MSimon cup covers! The updated chuck's effectiveness was marginal but it worked and I got them done.



The feet were tricky. I soon found that I had looked closely at the finished fired cup when throwing these, but hadn't looked closely enough at the foot. For most of these I had left too much clay in bottoms which needed a lot careful tweaking to get the cups where they wanted to be. A process that made the feet look a little overwrought. Most of them were taller and narrower in proportion than the original.

This one had the nice profile, a decent weight, and the foot was close, but a far cry from Mr. Simon's. The scale is a little off.

;-)

The scale is one of the things I like about Michael's cup. It's volume is very specific to my coffee in the morning or a good gulp of water. My version will hopefully find a home where it is "just the thing".

For me, it's back to the drawing board, or rather, back to the wheel! It's getting on noon and here I am at a keyboard!


Don't forget to take this weeks poll! Just a few hours left! Scroll down and you'll find it on the right hand sidebar. Thanks.

You(nomi) Pick

Michael Kline












Here are the yunomi (cups) that are ready to be shipped to Iowa City for the big show opening on March 26th. Now it's your turn to choose. Let me know which 5 cups you would like to see in the show. Leave your vote as a comment. Thanks for helping me me choose!

Here's the link to last years show @AKARdesign.

Feet

Michael Kline


Just finished the yunomis. I'm not that excited by them. If I had more time I would go back to the wheel where I could take the info from the trimming session and work that into new forms. It's a chicken and egg situation. But here they are. What do you think? I know it's all about holding these cups, and without that info it's tough to assess. Then think about all the pots you've ever seen in books, even in museums, that you haven't touched or picked and think about how biased we are to surface because of that. It's crazy! To me this form is so much about holding.

These feel a little heavy in places and some feel too thin/light

Yunomi Show at AKAR

Michael Kline

'cousin' Bruce Gohlson
sold out at AKAR

I have just spent 45 minutes looking at the pots at AKAR. The show looks great and seems to be selling briskly. Shoko, Jenny, and Bruce, among others have already sold out. I hope you wil go see for yourself. If anything it is a visual feast! KIm Ellington has some beautiful cups, too!

Tasks

Michael Kline



Spent most of the day running errands. I managed to pack the pots I'm sending to the Mudfire Potters of The Roan Show opening in April. There will be a 2 gallon jar among some plates, platters, some big cups, and yunomis.

Speaking of yunomis, the AKAR yunomi show opens in the morning. I hope you will see the show and get to buy some of the great pots the show promises to have. Some of the cups profits will go to the Studio Potter magazine. They are recommending that you register so that your purchases can be expedited without delay. The show sold out pretty quickly last year as I remember, so log on early. I think the show goes live at about 10a.m. EST. I have a few more yunomi that I didn't ship that I hope to post on etsy very soon. I'll let you know when I do that.

My friend Buck was over this evening to wire up the pug mill, mixer, and kiln. Hopefully, soon we'll be hearing the roar of the Paoli mixing up some fresh red dirt. I've been limping along with reclaim and previously frozen clay that has taken a lot of time to reprocess. Maybe now I'll have no excuses to crank those pots out. Let's hope...

Monday Circles: Excuses, Excuses

Michael Kline

Kline, yunomi, 2009
from Terry Gess' kiln

[You'll just have to take my word for it.]

I've been kept busy pretty much all day. Either it was a phone call, visitors from the NC Welcome Center out on I-26, getting today's loaf of bread in the oven, sorting out old Ceramics Monthly's, raking dirt in the bright sunshine, or drinking several cups of coffee from this "YouKnowMe". Everything but turning turning the 300 lbs. of reclaim that I wedged last night into fresh pots...

[With "Peaches En Regalia" playing on the repeat mode .]

[back to youknowme]: Maybe to see a pot best in this blog format, you just have to have a bigger image! Just click on the image above for a closer look. I have to remember that most of the viewing audience probably have a high speed connection and that the fact that we still have dial-up here at the Sawdust and Dirt "office", doesn't mean I have to have little bitty pictures on the blog. Well, enjoy the day, enjoy the cup , and have "another cup of coffee, for the road".

;-)

Coffee Break vol. 18

Michael Kline


After a couple of "back and forth" phone tags, I thought that maybe I could summon Simon Levin by using one of his cups. Since I had just had lunch and really wanted to brew up a little cup of joe anyway, why not Simon?! I usually use this cup for tea, but today it was going under the coffee filter. And what do you know? My cell rings and it's Simon! Anyway, it's been a while since I did a coffee break post and here is the beautiful cup that my wife had obtained from Simon some years ago.




in the hand

I'll let you know more about the exciting project Simon is working on for the upcoming NCECA conference as soon as I have more details.

The Winners

Michael Kline

The process of choosing pots for shows, or merely looking at the pots you have just fired can be an extremely challenging task. As many have noted the expectations that a potter must put to good use in collaboration with the mind's eye as he/she decorates and glazes their work is a trickster. In the end the gut instinct, the pot that you reach for instinctively is sometimes the best in the eyes of the beholder. Although it may be difficult to assess just by looking at an image on a screen, certain key reactions are valid if not as complete an experience as holding a pot in one's hands.
The process of choosing pieces for an exhibition is usually a difficult one for me. I try to balance the group of pots against the individual favorites. I have all kinds of rationalizations that are put into play, just to make a few 'simple' decisions. This blog vote was a first for me, maybe in pottery bloggery history. I don't know. I wish there had been more votes and maybe I should have made it more anonymous, maybe next time. The candidates for the vote all made the cut, in my opinion. But to choose the five to sent, I thank you for helping me narrow the field. Here are the pots that I shipped this morning.

I'll keep you posted about the online Yunomi Show at AKAR. It opens Friday March 27th at 10 a.m.

Thanks for helping. I'll definitely do this again.

Last chance to vote

Michael Kline

Before I pack the winners of Saturday and Sunday's voting I wanted to give everyone another chance. I will be shipping them out tomorrow (Tuesday). According to Google Reader, I have 164 subscribers! And according to Blogger I have 57 "followers", so come out of the shadows and vote! So far there are 19 votes. Don't be shy.

Thank you.