Claudia Ka Cartee was born in Orange County, California. Her father made molds for pottery while her mother painted pieces. The family moved to Seminary, Mississippi, when Claudia was nine years old.
She earned a BFA in ceramics from California State University. She met her husband in California. She set up a studio, but in 1974, returned to Seminary.
In 1978, Claudia joined the Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi. She has served on the Board of Directors and as president of the Guild over the years.
In 1988 she was awarded a scholarship to work at the Penland School of Crafts. In 1989 she received an Artist Fellowship Grant from the Mississippi Arts Commission.