Artist Spotlight: Katie Cowden

Artist Spotlight: Katie Cowden


How did you start doing art? 

“I come from a creative family. My mom is a freelance calligrapher and became an art teacher when I was in kindergarten. She was also my art teacher briefly in high school, so there was a lot of art at home.  As for my own art, I was also a craft-oriented preschool teacher for 10 years, and then I took a laser-cutting class and quit my job to do start a jewelry line as my full time job.”
What is your medium?

“Everything! Embroidery and applique. My grandmother embroidered and smocked and handmade clothes. My scissors tattoo is to honor her. I am self-taught in photography. And of course, laser cutting–  I started my business Killer Queen Designs five years ago.”

How does reuse play a part in your art?
“How does it not? I’m always at ACR finding storage and jewelry findings (specifically pinbacks.) My favorite thing about going to ACR is finding things there to guide me. The Center is my material inspiration behind my subcription-based Experimental Earring Club. I am able to challenge myself try a new technique every time I visit ACR based on what I find there.”
What excites you about shopping at ACR?
“Potential! There’s always something new that I would not have expected that inspires me to work in a different way, 
like the metal tin lids from the bucket section I use to transport magnets from my studio to my wholesale clients. I can always find supplies for new methods and techniques so that I can inexpensively try new things without investing in brand new supplies and tools.
“From an eco standpoint, I always try to keep my business carbon footprint low. I use post-consumer recycled chip board for packaging. I laser cut as efficiently as possible to conserve material. Buying equipment and supplies at ACR and shopping local helps me avoid big-box stores or having to go the Amazon route.
“I have also found a lot of great gifts for other artists I know, such as supplies and how-to books and kits. I am always running into other artists from the community at the Center.”
Where can we find out more about your art?
“I am curating an art show opening in October. It’s all women or non-binary artists, the theme is Witches. For that, I’m making these shadowboxes shaped like houses, filled with lots of found objects. I mostly found the bits inside, like little bottles, miniature shingles, and doll parts at ACR. I’ve been collecting items for four years for this show.”
Joining Katie are Leslie Karin, Roshi K, Emily Ding, Lys Santamaria (another ACR artist!) and more at Recspec Gallery. Opening is October 13th, running through November 3rd.
Follow Katie Cowden on instagram @katiecowden, or visit

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