Photo: Rachel Konsella Photography
I am Kate Kowalski, the artist and the founder behind Kiss Kate's Glass. My stained glass journey began one sunny afternoon in May 2002 in Fountain City, Wisconsin. A few friends and I drove past a stained glass shop in this town and I had a strong desire to stop. Immediately upon entering, I asked the woman running the shop if she taught stained glass classes. She said that she did and told me the cost. I immediately registered for the three 3 hours sessions of stained glass classes and within a few weeks, I was creating stained glass.
While in the process of creating my first stained glass piece, I recall the shop owner/instructor asking me "Have you ever made stained glass before?" I timidly replied "no." She then said "You're a natural!" That compliment was far more powerful than I ever would have imagined. Those three words have given me the courage and the confidence to create stained glass art for almost 20 years now. I am forever grateful for her kind words and patience with teaching me how create stained glass art.
My very first stained glass piece that I created in Fountain City, Wisconsin in 2002.
In 2011, my dear friend Jake came up with the name Kiss Kate's Glass on a whim. Being a huge fan of Jake's witty humor and puns, I thought it was the most perfect name for my future stained glass business. In 2012, I moved to Portland, Oregon and Kiss Kate's Glass was officially established about a year later. Kiss Kate's Glass then jumped the Columbia River to Vancouver, Washington in 2016. Since moving to Vancouver, I have been able to grow my business and to produce more glass pieces than ever before. I also have had the opportunity to be a vendor at several makers markets, hang my glasswork at a few local businesses, and the chance to meet so many talented artists and supportive patrons.
Looking back on my stained glass endeavors throughout the years, I have to say that I am quite proud of younger Kate. She was brave enough to sign up for that class so she could learn a new skill and to find a unique way to expand her creativity. I am forever grateful to my younger self for investing so much time and energy into the person I have now become. I feel that being an artist a huge part if my identify and stained glass is the reason why. I honestly do not know who I would have become if I did not walk into that stained glass shop back in 2002. I do like to imagine though that glass would have made its way into my life one way or another.
If you have read this far, I just want to say thanks for taking the time to learn a little more about Kiss Kate's Glass and the artist behind the glasswork. I also want to express my gratitude to all of those who have shown your love and support to Kiss Kate's Glass throughout the years. Your encouragement has brought me to places I never could have imagined on this creative path that I have been on.
Cheers to all of you!