Kathleen Elliot creates sculptures out of flameworked glass, using a vocabulary of botanical forms, including leaves, flowers, fruits and vines.
Elliot was born in Akron, Ohio in 1958. Her family moved to California in 1960 and she grew up in Silicon Valley. As a girl, she was engrossed in all manner of crafts, often teaching herself with instructions from books.
Elliot has engaged in an array of life experiences that shape her art. She lived in a hippy commune, had a seven-year career as a hairstylist and make-up artist, a second twelve-year career as an administrator, corporate manager, educator, and writer. She is a thirty-year student of philosophy, linguistics and business strategy. For ten years she participated in shamanic ceremonies and practices, while studying A Course in Miracles, and received instruction from Carlos Castaneda and other spiritual leaders. Elliot has raised five children.
In 1991, an invitation from a friend to try glass work in his garage paved the way to a new life. Elliot took to working with glass immediately and began teaching herself the art of making glass beads. This introduction to flameworking, working with a torch directly on glass, was to serve as the basis for her future sculptural projects. Elliot took her first glassblowing workshop in 1996.
In 2001 Elliot left her business career to pursue being an artist. She attended Pilchuck Glass School in 2001, 2002 and 2003, studying with leading glass artists Laura Donefer, Robert Mickelsen, and Shane Fero, and returned in 2013 as an instructor. She takes art courses at De Anza College. Elliot’s work is shown in museums, art centers and galleries throughout the U.S. She has won numerous awards, been written about in a variety of art publications, and her work is in several prominent collections, most notably the permanent collection of the Oakland Museum of California. She served on the boards of the Glass Alliance of Northern California and the Bay Area Glass Institute. Elliot resides and operates her studio in Cupertino, California.