Spotlight: CK_TC Ceramics

CK_TC Ceramics is a Cincinnati-based design studio founded by Colin Klimesh (CK) and Taylor Carter (TC) that creates small-batch ceramics for the home. CK_TC started two years ago, aiming to harmonize form and function by using both traditional methods and digital means to fabricate objects with more efficient and sustainable methods.

@cktcceramics

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Colin Klimesh and Taylor Carter // Photo by  Josh Anderson

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do. TC: We first met in 2013 at the University of Cincinnati. Colin was a first year graduate student in the Fine Arts program and I was a sophomore in the Bachelors program taking my first ceramics class.

CK: I’ve been living in Cincinnati for about 3 years now, but I’m originally from Minnesota where I had been making and selling ceramics for about 6 years. When I moved here for grad school I was looking for an assistant to help with some things in my studio and I noticed that Taylor was always hanging out working late. For a sophomore to be spending so much time outside of class it really set her apart so I asked if she’d be interested, she agreed and spent the next semester helping me with some research.

TC: Colin pretty much crammed 3 classes worth of experience into one semester. It was sort of like a crash course in clay and glazes, molding making, and slip casting. Once the semester ended I was hooked so I asked Colin if I could keep working with him through the summer.

CK: At that point I started giving Taylor more responsibilities, we started working on some of her ideas and from there we grew into a partnership that plays off of each others strengths.

TC: Over the past 2 years we developed a pretty versatile studio practice. We mostly use molds for production but to create our prototypes we use whatever method makes the most sense whether it’s throwing, hand building, or 3D printing.

What is it like living and working in Cincinnati? TC: Cincinnati is full of really cool and creative people, which make it pretty inspiring to be here. There are so many opportunities for makers with spaces, along with organizations to help fund or grow your business. We were able to find a really large space, a little rough, but the price is great which allows us more creative freedom.

CK: Since the city is in the midst of a massive revitalization, it has a thriving community and a very large draw for commerce back to the city center. I always find myself telling people that Cincinnati is a city for dreamers, it’s small enough where you can really feel like a part of the community, but big enough to have something for everyone. Midwest rust belt cities are where it’s at!

What kinds of things are influencing your work right now? CK: As we start to move forward with new ideas, I find that I’m giving more consideration to spaces. Whether it is my current domestic living space, or the experience of going to the cabin, or even walking into my favorite retail spot. Primarily the arrangements of objects and how it creates a mood or experience in that space.

TC: Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of inspiration from Stuart Davis and some other modernist painters. He’s always been one of my favorites but I’ve never tried applying his style to our ceramics. The way he uses larger collage like shapes has me really inspired to experiment with layering different surface techniques.

Who would you ideally like to collaborate with? CK: I am pretty much itching to work on a project with a Scandinavian designer, or an architect. I’ve worked with architects in the past, it’s simultaneously the most exciting and frustrating thing, they were really great at dreaming and also didn’t take no for an answer.

TC: I’d love to collaborate with Ellen Van Dusen from Dusen Dusen. I see so many similarities in our work especially in her Spring ’17 line. I think we could collaborate on a really funky ceramic jewelry line.

What are you really excited about right now? CK: Totally not related to studio- I’m really excited about space and tech in general. Elon Musk is killing it and one of my favorite past times is watching space ex launches/landings. Space travel is getting real exciting again.

TC: I’m getting really excited about doing some one kind piece together. Most things we make are slip casted and relatively uniform, we’ve spent a lot of time dialing in our glazes and surface techniques for out current line. So Colin is going to be throwing some pots on the wheel and I’ll be experimenting with some new colors, patterns, and glazes. It’s just fun to switch things up when you’re in a groove and get weird.

If you were a drink what drink would you be? CK: Taylor is a Sangria Flora: She’s fresh, classy and refreshing, also very fruity.

TC: Colin would be a Bloody Mary. It’s a classic brunch drink, which is his favorite meal. It’s a drink with a purpose and problem to solve…Colin’s main joy in life is solving problems….oh and garnish with a dill pickle because he’s a little salty.