Michael Kline creates wood-fired stoneware vessels that feature botanical themes as well as traditional glass runs and alkaline ash glaze. His pots are distinctive with black floral and organic illustrations on a thick white slip surface. His kiln is designed to fire exclusively with remainder/ waste wood from local lumber mills. Fired only six times per year, the kiln is large enough to fire his large-scale pottery as well his tableware.
Michael Kline at MudFire
Workshop host Working Fluidly, October 2013
Gallery group show Mug*Shots, August 2009
Gallery group show Potters of the Roan, April 2009
Gallery group show American Masters, May 2008
Gallery group show Asheville in Atlanta, September 2005
Michael Kline Artist Bio
Michael has been a studio potter since 1993. He studied pottery, painting, and printmaking at the University of Tennessee from 1983-1986 and holds a BFA. He also studied under Michael Simon at the Penland School of Crafts in 1989. After teaching pottery at the Westside YMCA in New York City from 1986-1989 he joined Mark Shapiro in Worthington, MA and built a studio and kiln at Stonepool Pottery. In 1993 Michael began his Okra Pottery Studio. He designed and created wood fired-salt glazed tableware with a botanical theme in Massachusetts until 1998 when he was awarded a Resident Artist position at the Penland School of Crafts.
At Penland Michael developed a body of work in translucent porcelain. In addition to the porcelain work Michael developed a body of larger scale stoneware pottery inspired by the traditional stoneware of the Catawba Valley and Seagrove areas of North Carolina. At the end of his tenure as Resident Artist Michael designed a kiln to fire his new body of stoneware. The new kiln is designed to fire exclusively with edgings and remainder wood from local sawmills. The kiln also is large enough to fire his large-scale pottery as well his tableware. The kiln is fired six times a year. The new stoneware features Michael's botanical themes as well as traditional glass "runs".
Michael lives in Bakersville, North Carolina with his wife/goldsmith Stacey Lane. They have a daughter named Evelyn and a beagle named Ruby.
Michael Kline Artist Statement
"Despite the many tangents that lead me this way and that in the course of making pottery, the ideas, desires and excitement of clay remain very close to those at the very beginning of my career. To be sure, the outcome of experience and effort, trial and error has evolved through the years. But the process still begins with the simple, ecstatic response to a ball of soft clay. The successful pot elicits a similar response in the context of the home.
The mountains of North Carolina provide plenty of inspiration with their wildly exuberant flora, geological variety and the pottery history that sprang from these geological circumstances. Strong pottery form and patterns that evoke the complexity of this natural environment continue to guide my interests in this current body of work. By some combination of optimism and risk, my collaboration with the natural properties of clay and wood fire continues to lead me through this potter's life, at times exasperating and at others, exhilarating."