Friday, May 15, 2015

What's Next?

Making is done, on to the deco and glazing and firing #52. 

korean pottery influence stamping kline North carolina

korean pottery influence stamping kline North carolina


Friday, May 8, 2015

Focus


12 by 12 (not including the little gem in the left foreground) 
This week has been a confluence of so many deadlines and I have made the mistake of "whack-a-moling" these projects and getting consumed in the process. 

Meanwhile, the BIG deadline is my upcoming firing. So this morning I committed myself to a simple 12 x12. I've been meaning to throw some salsa bowls and finally got to that place on my making list. 

It seems like such a simple task to make twelve pots by 12 noon, but life is full of hurdles between my morning coffee and the making of pots. 

In the beginning, innovators invent out of some kind of personal need. I developed the idea of 12x12 based on methods that two of my pottery heroes employed. Michael Simon limits the the number of pots he makes each day and varies the forms, so that  the focus and variety produces the results/pots he wants. Linda Christianson starts her day by making a half dozen smallish pots before anything else gets in the way. 

My desire and need to get  simple focus led me to combine Simon's and Christianson's methods and come up with 12x12. 

After a scattered week of making I sought to push everything out of my mind and clear the path to my wheel to make just these pots quiet the noise of my deadlines. A construct like 12x12 is just the answer for a Friday morning! 


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Just Pictures

here for a few choice words?? see the post above. thanks ! sorry for the redundancy. or maybe you like seeing these pots again?! 

Thanks for reading the blog. pottery, nc, wip, stamping, inlay, sanggam, mishima
pottery, nc, wip, stamping, inlay, sanggam, mishima
pottery, nc, wip, stamping, inlay, sanggam, mishima
pottery, nc, wip, stamping, inlay, sanggam, mishima
pottery, nc, wip, stamping, inlay, sanggam, mishima

Pots on Scholarship

stamp inlay, pottery, north carolina, wip
my favorite and most challenging part was
that little place just below the rim
Last night I “finished” these jars and wondered where the time had gone. In this kind of zone I get lost in the learning of a new technique and the observation of something new and exciting emerging, but also heard the caution from the rational side of my wood kiln.
pottery, nc, wip, stamping, inlay, sanggam, mishima


pottery, nc, wip, stamping, inlay, sanggam, mishima


pottery, nc, wip, stamping, inlay, sanggam, mishima

pottery, nc, wip, stamping, inlay, sanggam, mishima
committed to the 52nd firing!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Video: Slip Inlay Process



What's more fun than scraping slip off of a pot?

(don't say winning the lotto)

Watching a hyper-lapse video of someone scraping slip off of a pot! (of course)

Monday, April 20, 2015

420


Rainy morning skies turned bright clear blue and my spirits lifted as I was just a little bit soggy from a lot of weekend rain and ever growing and deeper grass. Maybe my shoes need some more mink oil or something.

Just wanted to throw a couple of things your way and keep you up to date.


I continue to get a kick out of my inlay stamping carving and scraping. I slathered several coats of slip on the stampings and carvings of these plates Then I started scraping like a scratch ticket lotto freak looking for the payoff. I played around with layering black and white slip and the payoff, for the prefired time being, is really pleasing. Contrasts in the raw state don’t necessarily mean the same in the fired and glazed state. So I reserve my giddiness until I get more glaze and slip tests worked out.


But for the time being I am really enjoying the process despite the enormous time it takes. I feel several deadlines bearing down on my calendar and need to pull myself away from these pieces to produce some of my bread and butter pots, but it isn’t easy.

Before I go a couple pieces from this afternoon’s #pottersofmeerkat session. I threw several jars and the latter two I picture here. They were both stamped wet on the wheel and are a little lumpy. But I like how they are coming out. I’ll do some carving on them tomorrow.

Thanks for reading and as always, I hope you are lovin' the spin YOU’RE in!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Show-Room



It’s spring in the mountains. Grass is growing, flowers blooming, and customers are finally streaming into the showroom here at the pottery.

This week I’ve been slogging through piles of stuff that has accumulated in my showroom in its winter dormancy. And just in the nick of time it was ready for yesterday’s visits! I have another group tour this Tuesday so I’ll focus on the grounds now that the showroom and studio are once again presentable.

What does a Kline pottery tour include, you ask? Well depending on the group, be they potters or not, I usually walk them through the kiln area, the studio and then, of course conclude with the finished pots in the showroom…aka “exiting through the gift shop.”

If the group is a class from the nearby Penland School, I sometimes arrange to do some kind of demonstration. The demo is usually brushwork, but occasionally I do a throwing demo.

So, if you want to take a tour of the pottery just drop me an (email)[mail to:michaeljkline@gmail.com] and I’d be happy to show you around. If you can’t come here in person maybe you can see what’s happening by tuning into one of my live streams and I’ll show you around with my phone! Here’s a recent stream.

There’s much pottery to make this week as I’ve just pugged about 600 lbs of reclaim and I don’t like to let that sit around too long. So my Shimpo will be spinning a lot of clay this week.

Stay tuned for the relaunch of my podcast that has been long overdue. I needed to revamp the format and release episodes more regularly. Currently I have 5 episodes in the wings and counting. Should be some good stuff for you there and j send my apologies to all the faithful for your support.

I would love your support for the podcast with a donation of ANY amount. Please see the “tip jar” at the top of the right sidebar.

Ok! If you’ve read this far I truly appreciate your readership and look forward to sharing more of my potter’ life in the coming weeks!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Glazes Workshop in SC

John Britt workshop in SC glaze testing education

Clay Club: Glazes Workshop in South Carolina June 5-7, 2015:

John Britt workshop! This will be a great opportunity for students to fine tune and explore glazes.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

FB Ceramic Index Update

It has been a while since I have updated the Facebook Index of Ceramic Artists. Ten months to be exact!

A little background:
It was my interest in statistics that prompted me to set up a short list of my peers a couple of years ago that I recorded dutifully every week or so in my little tattered Field Notes pamphlet. This analog list in pencil was then transferred to a spreadsheet, and eventually became this list.

Why track this kind of stuff?

Aside from your personal preferences  concerning Facebook, Google, and "big data" the Facebook Page is a pretty awesome marketing tool for your business. Through posts on my FB Page, I get feedback from fellow potters and get an idea what my pottery customers "like" and respond to. Comments and likes are akin to compliments and smiles from folks who visit my studio or at events where I  meet folks in person. The stats from my Page help me to decide what is working or not, what content people are interested in.

In addition to looking at my own marketing practice, it's insightful to look at what others in our field are doing to market their work. It's helpful for me to see how others are growing their following on Facebook and to try to figure by what means.  FB introduced their "Pages to Watch" feature, which (looks suspiciously like my FB Ceramic Index ;-)  to help "compare the performance of your Page and [your] posts with similar Pages on Facebook."

Check out this awesome article written by Justin Rothshank about his use of social media to market his pottery.

So, I highly recommend that you set up a facebook page now if you haven't already. Building a strong social media following takes years to develop and the sooner you start the better off you will be. Consider your facebook business page an outlet for telling your story as an artist, a place to share your thoughts, your pictures, your milestones with others. At the least the process will provide an additional perspective on the work that you do, even if, at first, just your friends and family follow you.

An explanation:

Since data is only as good as you can accurately interpret, I sort the Pages according to the biggest change in followers during any specific time period. My reasoning for this is based on the assumption that changes in follow-ship are usually the result of diligent activity on the part of the artist managing the page. The more postings, events, etc usually result in increases of likes.  (although this article claims that changes in likes may be because of a variety of page activity, not just posts to the page)

So here are the top Pages from the Sawdust & Dirt Facebook Ceramic Index that had the biggest change of followers since June 2014.

How these boxes work:

Each Page Box is scrollable and if you click on posts within these boxes you will be transported to the FB Page. You don't have to be logged onto FB unless you want to comment or like pages. If you are logged into FB as your Page admin, you might have to switch to your personal identity. sorry.
If you want me to list you on the Index, leave your Facebook Page URL in a comment or email it to me

Monday, April 13, 2015

Dish Soap and Reclaim Nation

I spent most of the day uncovering and sorting through things in my studio. There was some fun prepping some  red dirt for a new batch of dark clay, some reclaiming slipped into plaster bats. (See illustration) 

clay kline slop NC Carolina
the only thing more inefficient than reclaiming your clay
is making a drawing of it as you wait for it to be ready. ;-)


But the only dishes I got my hands on we're the dirty ones in the sink. But that's ALWAYS good practice running your hands all over a dirty dish can sometimes be very illuminating! 

I thought the soap pattern on this metal bowl took on a pattern a lot like soda glaze. 




I did manage to clear my work table and I plan on filling it with fresh clay tomorrow! 

Until then, chiao
Michael