February 27, 2012

Mountain Monday

The painting of stacks of bisque ware awaits while I catch up with a whole lot of plastic. The firing date has been changed again and the maple is flowing with cold nights and warm days!

Life is good.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

February 26, 2012

A Motif-ated Dish Towel

The week ahead has a lot of painting in store, so I am thinking of motifs and pattern. I found these motifs on a dish towel that use everyday.

Also, Diana Fayt's online surface design workshop begins tomorrow and lasts for 6 weeks. Check out the Clayer web site. It's not to late to sign up!

Lot's to do and see this week, I hope you'll check in again. Thanks for reading.

February 22, 2012

Today, So Far

The shop this morning as I looked back on a walk with Jack.

The table at 3:30 p.m. EST.

Everything matters. All things take time.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

February 21, 2012


Just cut the foot-ring on this cup and was really pleased with everything about it. But this pot has a long way to go before it is raised with someone's beverage! So I'm not going to get my hopes up. But with a good start the pot has a good chance of being a nice one. I'll dote on it, for sure.

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(taken at Kline Pottery)

February 20, 2012

Instagram Today

Instagram is a cool picture taking, photo manipulation app. It's also a social network where you can follow folks you know or folks you don't know, but like the pictures they take. Like most social networks, you can like, comment, and share. Unfortunately it's only available on iOS (mainly because the iPhone/iPod/iPad camera is so amazing!) If you don't have the instagram app on your iPhone/iPod/iPad or if you're not on Facebook, or Twitter, more than likely you didn't see any of these pictures from today. If you *are* on instagram and want to follow me and my photographic adventures, my username is klineola. Just go to the app and search for me! Here is an interesting article about instagram and how it is enabling anyone to take interesting photos.
Anyway, I just thought I would share some of the scenes from today. I may do this regularly, if you like. Let me know. Operators are waiting. Thanks.


The time to honor this little white cup is long overdue. Wine drinkers tend to turn their thumbs down when considering the 'umble pot for their Zin, but not this potter! I got this cup from my good friend Rick Hensley years ago and it has been my go-to cup for my red wine. Like many of life's best experiences, it's only in reflection that one has the inclination to wonder of the mysteries that contribute to a memory that lasts. Puzzlement, a tugging at one's understanding is what a good pot prompts. The feel of the glaze. The fit in one's hand. The undrinkable pool at the very bottom of the cup that remains with gravity's insistence.

The 'why' and 'how' of a good pot is our life searching and the answer may never come from too direct a viewing, but maybe from countless glances, like stars in the sky or glare of the sun.

February 18, 2012

Honkin' Handles

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"Honking' handles"
(taken at Kline Pottery)

Maybe these handles are a bit large, but they're not coming off at this point. I'll try to get the next ones right. Seems to be any potters prayer. The rhythm of revision.

February 17, 2012

Slow Movin Evolution

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"A kind of short term evolution"
(taken at Kline Pottery)

Friday Already?

Hello friends near and far,
I find myself at the end of the week rushed, hurried, and harried to get you some kind of report from deep inside the studio. Video is out the question, although i did enjoy putting together the video the other day, it took much time and attention.

Pictures will have to do for now. In lieu of captions or explanations here, please leave your ??? In the comments box below, or email me. There will be more reportage this weekend as the pottery train is chugging right along!

i heart monkey dishes

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

February 15, 2012


It occurred to me as I was making pots tonight that I haven't been very good about simply documenting what has been happening in the shop. I guess spending all of that time producing and editing the video is fine, but what I mean is I haven't shown the table on a regular basis. The table is where all the current pots are put before they are dealt with in one way or another. They go there to await the drying flip, or the handle(s), or the trim. (I always thought I should have a barber's pole by my treadle wheel, where I do the trimmin'.)
Anyway, let me back track and explain these pictures before I go down some rabbit hole tangent. First there is the Ford, weighed down with wood. Then there is the table. As the picture illustrates the Ole Ford made a couple o' trips to Buladean to carry wood for the upcoming firing. It was a beautiful day, just right to take a rear wheel sled into the muddy yard at Street Lumber Mill. There were a couple of bundles of wood in the side yard, both unbanded and picked on already, no doubt by some other potter heathen looking for something to burn in their kiln. The sticks can be used in a wood stove, but they're really to much to handle for the heat they produce (for most people).
Buladean is about 20 minutes from here and it is a pleasant drive northward toward Tennessee. I can usually load up the truck in 15 minutes or so, depending how much culling is necessary. The first trip today was loaded into the rick and I headed back for the second. I will make another trip on he next sunny day to get the rest needed for the firing. That was my afternoon.
After supper, I laid around mostly, then heroically decided to get my ass up to the shop for my twelve. After all, I hadn't made my pots for the day! I had been wanting to make some monkey dishes. My neighbor, Courtney makes a really nice little dish, perfect for that little something, and I had been wanting to make some like hers. That's what's in the second picture. Along with a few 4 lb. bowls, I was done with my 12 in no time. I'm not exactly proud of this light effort, but I fulfilled my daily goal at least. I could have stayed on that couch and drifted off, but I managed to make a few. It may sound trivial to say, but it is the essence of this experiment to be somewhat consistent in the making of pots on a daily basis. Now they sit on the table waiting, drying for tomorrow's trim.
So this is today's disclosure. Just in time for my European readers, as I am writing this as they wake. For everybody else that may be reading this in the states Thursday morning (or later) the pots may be sitting in the "barber's chair getting a trim.
Have a great day, wherever you are.

A Video Afternoon

I've been inspired by my blogging buddy over the sea, Doug Fitch to give the ole video camera a whirl. Doug's charming movies reveal his beautiful countryside and what he is doing on any particular day. My life is not nearly as charming as Doug's, but hopefully my camera work and mise-en-scène will get better, thanks to his virtual tutelage. I'm also going to review some other British auteurs like Charlie Chaplin, Ken Russell or Nicolas Roeg for pointers!

Hopefully I'll learn something about good editing.


February 14, 2012

Kimchi And Chocolates

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!
I just had an unlikely breakfast of country sausage and home made kimchi and it was delicious! My friend James made some amazing kimchi and gave me a jar a couple weeks ago and I had been saving just a little bit of it for that one special moment that turned out to be today. But all the while I was eyeing the little box of chocolates that Evelyn gave me this morning. You can be assured that the box is still intact. (at least until I take a coffee break this afternoon) ;)

The kimchi was so good that I decided to make some myself. So I did what anybody would do when you want to learn how to do something, I went to YouTube! It's pretty straightforward and now I wait until the fermentation transforms this spicy mix of napa cabbage, green onions, ginger and red pepper.

As much as I'd like to report the successes in the studio with my new "program" of twelves, I regret to inform you all that I got a little behind on my quota-focused production. So over the weekend I tried to catch up and soon after my table was covered in plastic. With the woodstove keeping the cold temps at bay, pots were dryin' pretty fast.

The fact that a bunch of the pots were tiny didn't help!
So I have caught up to where I should be for today. That's good. The firing date is beginning to loom, that's bad. My wood pile is only half of what it should be. Wednesday is my day to travel to Buladean for a load of wood. The weather should be right, not too soggy. I will need two trips to get the wood I need and hopefully my man, Milan, will have a few bundles I can choose from.

But the one nagging thing that has plagued me this past week, and for the last few, actually, is this damn blog. I don't know how so many of you potter bloggers do it? Daily posts, wit, frequent insights, entertaining videos! I haven't been able to sit down to write but one post a week it seems. And then I don't have any notes to remind me of all the brilliant things I wanted to say! (maybe there aren't any?) Maybe I will try to return to my old ways of blogging whatever and whenever. Impulsive and all inclusive blogging.
One of the mountains I am currently climbing seems to be writing! Writing takes practice and I am out of shape. Not that I was ever a great writer, but at least I practiced more often and more frequently. Now I spend a lot of time following the cursor as it reverses over what I type. Second guesses and self doubt are my main outputs. As with making art, you have to make a lot of it and make it often to get anywhere with it. Otherwise you spend most of your time carefully looking at where you are about to step instead of running all out and feeling the wind in your face.
I'm finally "running" in the studio and will now try to get some momentum here at ye olde blogge.

Here's the table after yesterday's pots were made. I thought it would be fun to make some really tiny pots after finding that little jar(middle left) kicking around on a shelf in the studio. Then I amused myself with the irony of making some biggish pots, hardy har har. It wasn't so easy as I had one after another flop down on the wheel. Another was wedged back up after I decided that it was just plain awful! It's a very different movement, forming tiny pots with one's fingertips, and then shaping a large pot with a rib. I also wonder what the effect of the distortion my reading glasses give to the "line" of the pot. When throwing a larger pot my right ear points to the floor most of the time, while throwing the smaller jars was done while standing fairly upright.
OK, that should do it for now. The snow has stopped out there, and I guess school will not be cancelled. As I glance out the window up to the shop, I see that last night's fire in the wood stove is still alive and is producing just a wisp of bluish smoke. But that's all I need to get it roaring in no time! I hope you are out there loving the spin you're in.

February 10, 2012


Where did Monday go?

It's been a very busy week with pottery making and extracurricular activities, but a good week.

Ron and I talked a bunch last Saturday on our drive to Seagrove and the Pottery Center. Ron's a great listener and by letting me blather on about this way new way of approaching my studio practice, I have come to a better understanding of how it is working. It's working really well. The way it is working is very interesting to me. Since I am making much smaller batches of pots each day while trying to finish the previous day's work, I realize that I am returning to whatever form several times every few days. Instead of making 40 mugs in a day, I am making those 40 over several days. In the same way that one "sleeps on" an important decision to get perspective, I feel that making these small batches allow me to return to the form more frequently and the pot's reiterations happen several times during the week. Each time getting closer to the ideal I set out when making a form, whether it is a cup or a teapot. In my previous model, I would set out to make 40 mugs, and somehow get overwhelmed by the number and lose touch with the freshness that that first pot off the wheel sometimes have.

I guess I talked about this in a previous post.

The takeaway from this week is that engagement is altered and focused in a much different way with a good night's sleep and the subsequent "redo".

I am anxious to introduce some surface considerations and brushwork to the daily mix. I began yesterday by doing some slip combing on some tumblers. I feel like my thoughts are still clarifying and will write again when I have my little epiphanies. But the flip side of my current process is that I am not stopping as often to ponder (i.e. write blog posts or tweets.), but moving immediately into another little grouping of pots. It's exhilarating, really, like a nice through the field with Evelyn and Lillian!

February 6, 2012

Cutting Edge



towards the end of the auction with just a few more paintings left.
It's Monday and I should be "Twelving" but I just wanted to send out a ♥♥ post to everyone who painted a painting and all of those who came out in support and to bid on the paintings at the 1st Annual Potter's Palette fundraiser for the NC Pottery Center.

Fred Johnston walking a painting down the aisle.

Our auctioneers, Virgil Thomas and Mark Hewitt auctioning a beautiful painting by one of my clay cousins, Samantha Henneke.
It was truly a blast with a big crowd of enthusiastic bidders and many of the potter/painters. The paintings commanded $16,000 for the Pottery Center! Thanks to all who made it a success!

Here are Adam Landman and Ron Philbeck looking a little blurry. Could have been camera the poterazzi's camera. Maybe the beer? Maybe both? ;)
Ron and I had a great drive out to Seagrove and we talked about many things. Some of which I will share after I get some pots worked on. Until then ...
Thanks to all who made the event a resounding success.

February 2, 2012

XLI -- Not the Super Bowl

I don't date my pots (but we are going steady) but, instead, inscribe the firing number on most every pot. I have been using roman numerals from the beginning. Maybe to obscure the actual date, a code of sorts. Maybe to give the code a sense of importance. I have a pot ID page in the works over at KlinePottery.com as well as a news page. So for all of you who want to "date" your Kline pots you'll be able to see the actual "born on " date in the near future.
I noticed that there is a super bowl game this weekend. The producers of this event have used roman numerals for this event since Super Bowl V and because of their marketing efforts I now know that I can use XLI instead of the long handed XXXXI. Oh relief. I hope this time saving epiphany will allow me to catch up here in the studio!
I will heading to Seagrove again this weekend for the Potter's Palette! Ron is going with and maybe Kyle will join us. It's just $15 at the door. The food and drink alone are worth the trip. Not to mention hanging out with some of your favorite potter bloggers, right?
I will be tending the bar and look forward to seeing some of you there. Cheers!
-Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Snow Creek Rd, Bakersville, United States

February 1, 2012

More than Palatable: The Potter's Palette

I made a trip to Seagrove, NC this past weekend. I tooled around visiting folks, talking shop, visited the Cousins, and talked a lot about the NC Pottery Center upcoming party. Everybody is talking about the attention that the upcoming Potter's Palette auction is getting in various Piedmont newspapers and how amazed they are at the canvases that are on display. After seeing them in person I agree! They're spectacular!
Here's the idea the NC Pottery Center had. Like so many non-profit art centers, the Center is in desperate need for funds to continue to operate and carry out its mission. Asking potters for yet another pottery donation and patrons to bid on them has given both parties donor fatigue. So the folks at the Pottery Center have come up with some new and a very different "spin" on fund raising. Give our fine NC potters each a 12 in. by 12 in. primed canvas and ask them to paint whatever they like. What resulted was quite a variety of expression, as varied as the actual pots these potters make.
SO this Saturday in Seagrove, at the NC Pottery Center, 90 rare and unique paintings will be auctioned off! I hope I will see you there. I will be tending bar and would be delighted to pour a glass for you! I also have my eyes on a couple of those paintings! Many of the potters who painted a canvas will be at the event.
Come meet us!
Yesterday, the Pottery Center posted a hint on their Facebook page, of what goodies one might find at the partay!
...we'll have lots of shrimp, salmon pate, tapenades, fresh made caramelized onion tarts, veggie and meat lovers stuff, and some vegan things, lots more than that-we don't want to tell all, but come on and spend some time with us. $15 gets you the wonderful buffet, lots of beverage choices and the very best part....a chance to bid on and own one of the canvases, which are sure to become one-of-a-kind collector items.

Here is a link to buy tickets for the Potter's Palette.
Can't make the auction, but would like to bid? Absentee bidding form here.

Tom Starland, of Carolina Arts Unleashed, is a huge supporter and wrote recently about the NCPC,
The NC Potter Center is a great place to visit if only to learn about pottery, the history of pottery in North Carolina, what kind of pottery is being made in North Carolina today as well as the Seagrove area, but beyond that, it presents important and education exhibitions of pottery – historical and contemporary. It is also a great educational facility for the region’s school students. And because offering all that takes money – lots of money – they need the public’s help to supplement the funding they receive from local, regional, state and national sources. Whether you take part in one of the fundraisers offered, you can always make a donation – on a visit, by mail or on their website. Anything you can do will make a difference.

You can read the Carolina Arts blog here.
I painted three canvases. Here is one.

I hope to see you Saturday!