Some things cross the boundaries of the senses. People talk about sounds you can see and colors you can smell. That is what glass is like for Kyle Kraiter. Long before he started working with had blown glass, he could see a piece and almost feel it and taste it in his mouth. This early attraction to the material led Kyle on a journey he could have never predicted.
In May of 2000, Kyle received his psychology degree, but before Kyle went to get his masters of social work, he thought he would take a year off from school to travel and try glass blowing. Little did he know how this would affect his psychology career.
People didn't believe it when he said he was going to go to New Zealand to surf and blow glass for a year, but that is what he did-almost. It turned out that Kyle wasn't ready to leave behind glass after a year had passed. He decided to stay for another year of glass school at Wanganui Polytechnic, where he 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; this passion was fueled by both his exploration of glass and by other irreplaceable experiences with the people and places he encountered during his travels. The decision was made 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. Having already visited and worked in more studios than most glass blowers do in a lifetime, Kyle then returned to his home country and began working as a gaffer, assistant, and designer at the Bandon Glass Art Studio on the beautiful south coast of Oregon. Kyle couldn't be kept in one place for long, and after a year, he went from the scenic cool waters of the North Pacific to the warm bustling shores of Singapore. In Singapore, he worked for the architectural glass company Synagraphic as a gaffer, assistant, and designer, making installations for homes, hotels, restaurants, and palaces throughout Southeast Asia. After his visa ran out, Kyle was off to the sunny beaches of Australia for more adventures and a new perspective on glass. Kyle spent several months traveling and working in various studios throughout Australia, but eventually settled in Sydney to work as the head gaffer at Diffuse Glassworks, an architectural glass lighting company. Mornings were spent surfing while afternoons and evenings were spent sweating with his mistress: the glass furnace. Eventually Kyle returned to Portland, but for just a few years before he left for a place whose glass he had dreamed about for many years, Japan. Kyle spent several months sampling the craft, culture, and glass of Japan. This experience was highlighted by having the opportunity to work with Japanese glass artist Hiroshi Yamano. Finally, he made his way back to his hometown of Portland, Oregon, where he is currently designing and making functional, decorative, and sculptural glass art.