Kathleen Elliot Bio

What is real? How does one know? By pursuing studies of philosophy, linguistics and alternative spirituality, these two questions form the foundation of my work. I invite viewers to be surprised, to wonder, to question and reconsider, to embrace curiosity and uncertainty, for these are the moments in which we are most alive.

I work in series:

Natural Botanicals are three-dimensional trompe l’oeil, in which a brittle manufactured material takes on the appearance of something organic and pliant. They celebrate the beauty of nature and its ability to lift us out of the commotion of everyday life that seems so urgent and important, reminding us we belong to mysteries far greater.

Imaginary Botanicals entice us out of the confines of our ordinary realities, into alternate realities where the unexpected can appear.

Questionable Foods pokes at us to question what we are eating and what we call food, while challenging the food industry’s ethical obligations to consumers.

The Liberty series addresses moments in life when we find ourselves trapped, whether imposed upon us or of our own making, from the merely annoying to the painful and horrific. Some of us enjoy the good fortune of extricating ourselves to move into new realities.

Kathleen Elliot (Akron, Ohio in 1958), moved to California with her family at the age of two. She built her life in Northern California. During her first career, as a hairstylist and makeup artist, Ms. Elliot was introduced to studies in philosophy, linguistics, and biology. These studies led to work designing and managing educational programs in applied philosophy, before she moved on to work in the semi-conductor industry in organizational design and education.

In 1995, she began making glass beads as a hobby by studying images in glass bead books and through experimentation. After several years of this, Ms. Elliot began to pursue work as an artist in earnest, attending Pilchuck Glass School in 2001, 2002 and 2003, to study with Laura Donefer, Robert Mickelsen, and Shane Fero, where she developed the foundational skills that would lead to her botanical sculpture. She returned to Pilchuck in 2013 as an instructor.

Ms. Elliot gained international recognition within the glass art community, won numerous awards, and her work was featured widely in art publications. She has served as Board Member for the Glass Alliance of Northern California and the Bay Area Glass Institute. Her work has been shown in museums, art centers and galleries throughout the United States, and is in several prominent collections including the permanent collection of the Oakland Museum of California.

Kathleen Elliot resides in Cupertino, California.