Some experiences cross the boundaries of the senses. People talk about sounds you can see and colors you can smell. Glass is like that for Kyle Kraiter. Long before he started working with hand blown glass, he could see a piece and sense the feel and taste of it in his mouth. This early attraction to the material led Kyle on a journey he could not have predicted.
After receiving his psychology degree in May of 2000, Kyle decided to spend one year in New Zealand traveling and studying glass at Wanganui Polytechnic, and then return to the US to get his masters in social work. After two years he was still in New Zealand. Five years later he had blown glass in seven different countries and traveled all over the world. He is presently in Japan studying Japanese glass blowing techniques.
It turned out that Kyle wasn’t ready to leave behind glass after a year. He stayed for another year of glass school and earned his certificate in glass design and production. By this point, he had fallen in love with the material, and there was no turning back.
Kyle’s attraction to glass work was tied to an underlying passion for adventure and beauty, a passion fueled by both his exploration of glass and by the experiences with the people and places he encountered during his travels. He decided to continue traveling to countries that would educate him in various designs and approaches to glass.
Sweden was Kyle’s next stop. He was accepted into the Glass Design program at Kalmar University, where he was privileged to work with some of the best designers in Scandinavia. This led to travel throughout Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. He then returned to the United States and began working as a gaffer, assistant, and designer at the Bandon Glass Art Studio on the southern coast of Oregon.
After a year, Kyle left the Pacific Northwest for the warm bustling shores of Singapore, where he worked for Synagraphic, an architectural glass company, making installations for homes, hotels, restaurants, and palaces throughout Southeast Asia. Next, Kyle traveled to Australia for more surfing adventures and a new perspective on glass. After several months traveling and working in various studios, he settled in Sydney to work as the head gaffer at Diffuse Glassworks, an architectural glass lighting company.
Finally, it was time to return to his home town of Portland, Oregon, where he is currently working. “The true artist to which no one can compare is mother nature,” says Kyle. “No one can compete with the pattern in a leaf or the colors of the sea.” Kyle comes close. Smooth, simple line and form, true to the nature of the material, are what one will find expressed in both the shapes and colors of Kyle’s work. Kyle makes glass you want to reach out and touch. You may even want to taste it.