Open Studios Planning Team
K. Allison Ceramics
K. Allison Ceramics are individually handcrafted in Salem, Massachusetts by Kimberly Allison. Kim is a ceramic artist whose functional and decorative wares are inspired by Nordic nature, design, and culture. “I’ve been obsessed with Sweden and Denmark for as long as I can remember,” Kim says, “and I draw inspiration from everything Scandinavian.” She credits her Swedish grandmother with instilling in her a love of minimalism and hygge, and a devotion to seeking out both in life and in clay.
Kim is fascinated by pottery’s unique ability to convey visual and tactile experiences simultaneously. She uses porcelain forms with mishima inlay, carving techniques, slipped surfaces, and minimalist glazes to create or obscure texture in an effort to explore the relationship between what we see and what we feel when we interact with ceramics. She is a strong believer that ceramics are an art that must be touched and handled to be appreciated.
“I love texture and form, and finding ways to combine intricacy with minimalism, nature with modern design,” she says. “I try to encourage people against the ‘Look but Don’t Touch’ mentality that is ingrained in so many of us from childhood. The best ceramics are those that make the user feel a connection when handling the work. I’ve found that when a person selects and holds a piece, the experience of touch triggers a stronger reaction than sight alone, and those reactions can actually cause you to feel a bond with the piece, much like you would with other art forms.”
Born in Southern Massachusetts, Kim studied film production and graphic design at Boston University, graduating in 2005. She spent more than a decade as a corporate graphic designer in Boston. In 2012, she took her first ceramics class as a date night with her husband and immediately became enamored with clay. In late 2016, after four years in classes and studio workshops, Kim decided to shift careers to pursue ceramics full time. Her backgrounds in film and in design contribute to her love of storytelling and her enthusiasm for the art of making by hand. Kim currently works out of her home studio with her graphic designer/ceramic artist husband, their three cats, and their brand new studio pup. Kim is also an instructor for both wheel-throwing and handbuilding at The Clay School in Lynn, Massachusetts.
This is Kim's sixth year participating in Open Studios, and her fifth as part of the planning team.