In conversation

Kate Mitchell

In conversation

Meet Kate, a multi-disciplinary glass artist based in Auckland, New Zealand, and one of the latest women we’ve been inspired by and we’re thrilled to be stocking her one-of-a-kind work. A creative in the purest form, Kate’s work explores the beauty in colour and texture with each glass she makes having its own unique charm.

We recently had the privilege of visiting Kate to talk more about her background, inspiration and see first-hand the process of how each unique glass is made.

Glassblowing is such a technical art form, can you share a bit about your background and how you got into this?

Yes, glassblowing is very technical but also an art form that takes years of practice to get the techniques down. When I was studying fine arts at Elam, I was interested in working with glass and had to find a glassblower that could help me. That’s how I got to meet Luke Jacomb at Lukeke Glass studio who ended up offering me a job and I’ve been learning the techniques ever since.

Your work is so beautiful and full of colour, what made you decide to go down that route of incorporating colour and texture into your work?

Playing with colour combination and application is my favourite part of glass blowing! I have created a candy box of colours chips where I can pick and create different colour combinations for every piece. The possibilities of different colour palettes and textures are endless.

What’s one of the greatest lessons you’ve learnt in starting your business?

One of the greatest business lessons I have learnt is trusting my own aesthetic and remaining confident in a male dominated industry. I’ve also learnt to keep my production runs small so that I can enjoy the process of creating each piece. It also allows me time to experiment, learn new techniques and play with colour.

Like any business, there are ebbs and flows of good days to bad, how do you find motivation during those times to continue pushing your craft?

Ah yes, I have had my fair share in both good and bad days! In my hours of despair, I find motivation knowing that I’m in a lucky position where I have a job that enables me to learn, create, and challenge myself whilst having fun. Glass blowing is an ancient, highly skilled craft and I felt privileged to be a part of a wider guild of craftsman.

What’s one of your proudest business moments to date?

My proudest moment was the process of creating and selling my first piece at Masterworks Gallery. I created a cast pink Bra, which taught me a lot about the limitations and process of glass casting. It was a proud moment to have this piece acknowledged and sold by one of New Zealand’s leading contemporary art galleries.

Kate Mitchell Handblown Tumbler

We’re finally heading into warmer weather, what are your wardrobe go-to’s when it comes to summer outfitting?

The studio is HOT in summer, and I have learnt the hard way that you need to wear protective clothing... loose fitting jeans and a light T-shirt is my usual go to. Outside of the studio, I am drawn to colour and comfort! Colourful linen is my favourite.

Lastly, this is something we ask all out artisans, what inspires you each day?

Colour!! I am naturally drawn to bright, fun colours. I am constantly inspired by colours that naturally occur in day to day life and are found within nature. I find simple things such as the vegetable aisle of the supermarket so inspiring, seeing all the different colours of the produce and how the palettes change with the seasons.

Photography by

Brijana Cato

Words by

Courtenay Lewis

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