Started working in glass in 1996 in San Jose, CA.
Kathleen Elliot was born in Akron, OH in 1958. Prior to being an artist, she had a career as a hairstylist; then built a career in organizational development.
In 1996, an invitation from a friend to try glasswork in his garage became a life-changing epiphany. Elliot took to working with glass immediately, and began teaching herself the art of making glass beads. This introduction to flamework, working glass directly in the flame of a torch, was to serve as the basis for her future sculptural projects. Elliot took her first glassblowing workshop in 1996, and attended Pilchuck Glass School, founded by artist Dale Chihuly, for three summers. There she studied with leading glass artists Laura Donefer, Robert Mickelsen and Shane Fero.
In 2003, Eliot began making botanical sculptures, drawing upon plant forms she observed in nature. Four years later, she began an on-going series of imaginary botanicals, inventing new species, including human/plant hybrids. In a painstaking process she creates individual forms, colors them with glass powders, and combines them into complex compositions.
Elliot’s work is informed by her more than twenty years of study of applied philosophy and linguistics, considering the fundamental questions of “what is real?” and “what is a good life?” Elliot’s study of alternative spiritual disciplines forms another strong thread in her development. She studied with spiritual leaders including Carlos Castaneda. This experience, and the possibility of other dimensions of reality, led her to create works that reflect a wide range of new expressive possibilities, often with themes of personal growth.
Elliot’s sculptures are exhibited in museums and galleries across the U.S. She taught at Pilchuck Glass School, served on the Glass Alliance of Northern California, and is a current board member of the Bay Area Glass Institute while operating a studio in Cupertino, CA.