Keepers of Our Craft: Kate Mitchell, Glass Artist

Today we're introducing you to our sixth creator in our series, "Keepers of Our Craft". As part of our Mixed Six Cider and Mixed Six Seltzer launch celebration, we’ve teamed up with six creators across a range of industries who inspire us every day. We wanted to know more about each of them and their craft, what inspires them and how they make space in their busy lives to connect with the people who matter most in their lives. Meet Kate Mitchell, a glass artist based in Auckland.

We're huge fans of Kate's work and think her handmade glass tumblers make such a beautiful vessel for sipping our handcrafted cider or seltzer. The way the light shines through the glass and the liquid inside is a treat for the eyes and the tastebuds! We were incredibly excited to chat with Kate about how she got her start in glass art, how she's developed her style and how she makes time and space to reconnect with those who matter most to her. We were even lucky enough to have her create a few sets of custom tumblers inspired by our new Mixed Six Cider and Mixed Six Seltzer that we'll have to give away next week on our social channels! Scroll down to see the beautiful tumblers and stay tuned for your chance to win.

Read on below to learn more about Kate and her craft, and to learn which two are her favourite cider and seltzer! Also be sure to head over to her website and follow her on Instagram. We've got our eye on those stunning handcrafted apple earrings next!

We’re huge fans of your work! And can really see ourselves sipping cider from one of your beautiful handmade tumblers. Can you tell us a bit about how you got started in creating art with glass?

Thank you! My tumblers and your ciders really are a match made in heaven!

Growing up, my parents always had a lot of beautiful glass art pieces scattered around the house and I loved the array of colours, and the way they glowed when the sun hit. With a natural inclination to making things, I attended art school and found myself wanting to explore and experiment with the processes involved in glass and how I could use these to produce my own art. As part of my 'research', I reached out to a local glass studio called Lukeke Design, where I was able to learn the processes involved in glass casting and blowing. It was from then on that I began to experiment with the many different glass making processes, eventually narrowing in on Glass Blowing as my preferred form of glass making.

Do you have a signature style you prefer to work with, or are you always looking to develop something new?

My signature style is colourful and playful - I am obsessed with the colours and forms that can be created with glass blowing! I have a few favorite tumbler designs like the Confetti and Speckled, but I get energised by creating fresh designs and fresh colour combos. I also like to interchange with other glass mediums like flameworking and glass casting. Recently I have been flameworking glass into tiny fruit earrings!

When you’re not busy creating art, how do you like to spend time with those who matter most to you?

I find sharing a meal with the people who matter to me the most, is the best way to spend quality time. I love food and drink, and how it can bring people together in an environment where you can talk and laugh.

Any advice or other words of wisdom you’d share with someone who’s curious to learn more about cast and blown glass?

Glass blowing is the hardest thing I have had to learn. Someone early on told me that to train to be a glass blower is similar to becoming a Ninja. Not only do you have to physically and technically train but you need to train your mind. There are very limited places to learn in New Zealand as glass blowing is not that common. The best way to see glass blowing in action is to visit and support your local glass blowing studio.

Any Zeffer faves?

I am loving the Crisp Apple Cider and Orange & Grapefruit Seltzer. They are the perfect drinks after a hot day in the studio!