Burlington Free Press: Kat Clear’s Vision: An Artist and a ‘Maker of Things’, October 2012
Vermont Women: Making Trash Into Treasure, September/ October 2012
WCAX News: Meet VT Metal Sculptor Kat Clear, August 2012
Meet VT Metal Sculptor Kat Clear Video
Burlington Free Press: Think Quick: ‘I’ve been going 100 miles per hour sense mid-April”, welder Kat Clear says, July 2012
“Clear: I feel lucky. We’ve all lived through this thing, but my business always continued to grow with commissions, commercial and festival work. I have four revenue streams in case one falls through, but my business is really seasonal. It follows construction trajectory. I’ve been going 100 miles per hour since mid-April.”
Thread Magazine: Pizza Verita, July 2012
“One of the first things you will see upon entering the restaurant is a supply of firewood stacked neatly and held together by a rack created by Kat Clear, whose handiwork you may recognize as the city’s most crowded bike rack located outside of a local Bean slinger.”
Seven Days: Meet Your Makers, July 2012
“…some in the Vermont maker community feel strongly about building a centralized hub. Matt Penney, who runs the artisan collective Pine Street Studios, is one of them. He’s on the steering committee, with Rob Rock, steel artist Kat Clear and several other area makers, of a proposed community workshop in the Queen City’s South End. They’re calling it Fab Lab Burlington.”
Seven Days: Side Dishes: Taking a ‘Cue, July 2012
“Barbecue buffs need wait only a few days longer. The sign made by artist Kat Clear is ready, as are new Conant Metal & Light fixtures.”
WCAX.com: Elephants Parade to the Shelburne Museum, May 2012
“Recycled wheelbarrows make up their faces and ears, and this crew has giant pipes for legs. The sculptures are a first for the 65-year-old museum.”
Seven Days: Art Comes to “Occupy” Burlington’s City Hall Park, December 2011
“Clear will be setting up a veritable living room, complete with couch — she’s calling her installation “Vermont Winter Pastoral” — and Liggett will be lighting the scene……Clear will be setting up a veritable living room, complete with couch — she’s calling her installation “Vermont Winter Pastoral” — and Liggett will be lighting the scene.”
The Boston Globe: The Charger in the Tree, October 2011
“Green Mountain Power and Eli Lesser-Goldsmith of Healthy Living Natural Foods Market unveiled a free solar-powered public electric vehicle charging station outside the South Burlington food store on Wednesday. Sculptor Kat Clear added a metal tree to the exterior of the charging station.” (photo by Glenn Russell, Free Press)
The New York Times: Time Out to Enjoy All Things Phish, July 2011
“When your friend volunteers to work at a music festival in exchange for a ticket and ends up with the title of ‘Good Vibe Regulator’ at a custom-built-all-night disco bar modeled after a giant pinball machine, you know you’ve ended up someplace pretty cool. Last weekend that meant Superball IX, the ninth festival by Phish, the eclectically funky rock quartet.”
Seven Days: A New Collective of Artists Brings Another Circus to Town, June 2011
“This summer a gang of artist in Burlington has figured out hot to ‘join’ the circus without the running away part: form a collective and name it Church of Circus. Then find a public sight in downtown Burlington and plan a monthlong show of visual and performing art. ’Art for all’ is its motto, and ‘increased visibility for Vermont-based artists’ is its mission.”
ArtScope Magazine: March/April 2011
The Vermont Cynic: Burlington Arts Council Recognizes sculptor and UVM Graduate Kat Clear, Februrary 2011
“From the bike rack, whose giant metal lock — hopefully — deters bicycle thieves on Pearl Street to the Davis Center’s sign of ‘welcome’ in 20 languages, her work has become a part of the Burlington community — a relationship the Barbara Smail Award recognizes and admires.”
Burlington Free Press: Sculptor Kat Clear Wins BCA Award, January 2011
“Sally Linder of the BCA gallery committee says: ‘Kat works out of the comfort zone of many women artist, and yet stays consistent in her mission to present the feminine in a male oriented medium.’”
Seven Days: Metal Sculptor Kat Clear Granted Barbara Smail Award, January 2011
“The Barbara Smail Award, established by family and friends of a beloved Vermont painter who died in 2001, is granted each year to a ‘mid-career Vermont-based artist who has a desire to expand his or her creative experience and has displayed an enthusiastic support of his or her peers,’ explains a BCA release. It grants a $1000 stipend and use of all BCA facilities for a year. The term ‘mid-career’ has been broadly interpreted; Clear is only 31, while some previous winners have been in their sixties.”
Burlington Free Press: She Carries a (welding) Torch for Art, November 2010
WCAX: Where do you hang a 40-foot sculpture?, July 2009
“Vermont’s largest hospital is now home to one of its largest pieces of art: a 40-foot tall sewing machine and quilt called “The Fabric of Life,” made from copper and steel….Clear spent three months shaping, welding and adjusting the metal. Her original design is in ten panels and is so big, she had to work outdoors and climb on the roof to get a good look at it in its entirety. ‘My hope is that it provides some comfort for people while they’re here; something to think about,’ says Kat Clear.”
Burlington Free Press: Clear Signs, January 2008
“Burlington blacksmith puts her stamp on the city
Published: Monday, January 21, 2008
By Myra Mathis-Flynn
Free Press Staff Writer
Ever seen the giant bike rack shaped like a Kryptonite lock on the northeast corner of South Winooski Avenue and Pearl Street in Burlington? How about the information sign at the University of Vermont’s new Davis Center that displays the word ‘welcome’ in 20 languages?
If so, you have been looking at the artistic works of Burlington metalsmith Kat Clear.
Clear had been messing with metal for more than four years before she decided to take herself seriously as a sculptor, blacksmith and designer. In three of those four years, Clear struggled with the details of turning her craft into a business. All it needed was a sign.
Figuratively and literally, signs were the very things that launched her career. Clear is now a proud proprietor of Kat Clear Works and Metal, specializing in custom metal signs and sculpture.
‘I chose metal because I felt it would outlast me,’ Clear said. ‘I think it is a sturdy and quality material.’
After graduating from UVM, Clear made a commitment to renting studio space from Bill Heise, a local studio owner in downtown Burlington. Heise owned the studio for 30 years, and Clear said he was happy to have her there when he decided to go on vacation.
When he returned, Clear had created her first full body of metal sculptures and had set up her first show at what once was the Phoenix Gallery. Much to her surprise, a sculpture sold for $800.
‘I just thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread that someone would want to buy my work. I could have fallen off my chair!’ Clear said.
Connecting with community
Soon after, Clear was approached by the owner of Aftermidnight Jewelers in South Burlington, asking her to create a sign for the store. Clear said it was then that a light bulb went off: ‘There is a life in this world for metal and I can connect it to a community.’
Clear made her first sign for owner Scott Richardson at Aftermidnight four years ago. It is still in use.
Clear decided it was not enough to simply make individual sales, she wanted to turn the work into a business. While staying afloat by waitressinging tables part time, she began to speak with other artists, participate in the South End Art Hop and meet weekly with a local group of blacksmiths. With the help of a VSAC nondegree grant, Clear enrolled in a course at the Women’s Small Business Program.
Clear said the course was informative, inspiring and responsible for giving her the push she needed to go forward with a proper business plan. Clear quit waitressing to work full time only a year ago, and as a result her sales have doubled.
In 2007, Clear crafted signs for more than 13 local businesses. ‘What I love best about making signs is meeting and brainstorming with the client,’ Clear said. ‘I love to get their ideas and the feeling they want to portray, then translate that to metal.’
The Burlington Electric Department approached Clear right before its celebration of 100 years in business. The solar-powered sign is made of stainless steel and uses LEDs. The low-watt bulbs draw about one-tenth the energy of a normal bulb. Solar panels are mounted on top of the post where the sign hangs and a battery is charged so the sign can continuously shine from 6 p.m. until about midnight.
Hip local eatery The Green Room was next with a sign request. ‘They wanted something cutting-edge for their sign,’ Clear said. ‘That was fine but we also needed to work with the old architecture and still manage to incorporate these great historic buildings in Burlington.’ Clear said she drew her inspiration for the green and black sign from the First Baptist Church across the street from the restaurant, which is topped with a copper dome.
Clear’s latest project is the 17-by-14-foot Queen City Crown located in the Burlington Town Center. It is the largest project she has done and was finished in the shortest amount of time. ‘I did the whole thing by hand in five weeks’ Clear said. ‘I worked 12 hour days and had no weekends. Ah … no weekends. The plight of the small-business owner.’
Looking forward, Clear will be building build a sign for Dealer.com, the South End automotive Web site company. ‘I’m very excited to work with such a cool company,” Clear said. “They have purple tennis courts. I’ve seen them!’”
Stuck in Vermont 65: Kat Clear, February 2008
Seven Days Staff Blog: Kat Clear and her WHOOPSIE! Grrls, May 2008
Seven Days: Testing Her Metal, July 2008
“girly girl or woman of steel? A recent visit to the artist and signmaker’s Williston workshop finds her combining those two personae in one spirited self.”
Stuck in Vermont 36: Rosie’s Girls, July 2007
WCAX: Public Art Pops Up in Burlington, August 2007
“A few miles up the road to Burlington Telecom, and more to see. Metal sculptor Kat Clear made a bike rack that looks like it could keep Godzilla’s gym locker safe. It looks like a massive MasterLock.
The dial spins, and bicyclists just hitch their ride to the lock’s arm. It’s sculpture that puts the fun in functional. But, will anyone hesitate to USE art like this? We’re so often taught to look with our eyes, not with our hands.”