Kate Missett was born in 1951 in New York. Her family moved to South Florida when she was a year old, where she grew up surrounded by the wonderful lushness of the tropics. Mangrove forests, the Atlantic ocean, tropical birds and all sorts of sea life, as well as her grandmother’s collections of bone china and ceramic figurines, have all found their way into her work.
Kate majored in Journalism at Loyola in New Orleans, but it was a ceramic’s class in her senior year that completely transformed her life. So inspired, she immediately bought a wheel and kiln, then set about trying to learn everything on her own while living on a commune in Washington state.
After apprenticing at a ceramics studio in the Florida Keys and selling her work at many craft fairs, Kate eventually went back to school for a BFA and then to graduate school at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. Pursuing an interest in figurative work, as well as minoring in both ceramic history and photo processes, were formative in creating new directions in her work that she continues to pursue.
While working at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Kate developed scholarly knowledge of and fascination with ceramic cultures of the past. This interest, as well as travels in Europe, India and the Caribbean, led to the development of her large canopic jars, made with a variety of clays and firing techniques. Combining sculptural lids in the form of humans or animals with complex two dimensional painted and transferred imagery on the base, these vessels explore contemporary aspects of the interaction between human life and the environment.
Kate is currently an Adjunct Professor at the City University of New York, as well as a faculty member of Greenwich House Pottery and the Art Program director for the West Side YMCA.
The opportunity to share the creative process and help others to find their own way of expression brings Kate immeasurable joy. The continuing attempt to translate her own vision and experience of life into clay is a great privilege.