Profile picture of Kathleen Dustin

The job of an artist in my mind is to pay attention and so for lots of years I have been paying attention to the stages in my life and those of women around me, to the material culture of women in the exotic places where I’ve lived, and now to my quiet life and the natural world around me. The imagery of my work comes form taking a deep look at my life, responding to it, and reinterpreting it within jewelry and handbags. I use alternative materials, but polymer clay remains my primary medium.

Most recently, I have embarked on a collaboration with my young grandchildren. They draw and I execute their drawings.

Born 1951 in Evergreen Park, Illinois

BA Mathematics, 1973, Hope College, Holland, Michigan

MFA Ceramics, 1979, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona

Studio Artrist 1979 to present

Museum Collections:
Tassenmuseum (Museum of Purses and Handbags), Amsterdam
Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Boston, Mass.
Philadelphia Museum of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Penn.
Racine Art Museum, Racine, Wis.

Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, NH.
Wenham Art Museum, Wenham, Mass.
Newark Museum, Newark, N.J.


“Best of Show” Smithsonian Craft Show, National Building Museum, Washington, DC

“Best in Design Innovation”,  CraftWear, 81st League of New Hampshire Annual Show, New Hampshire


“Gold Award,” Smithsonian Craft Show, Washington, DC
“Best Of Show,” CraftWear, League of New Hampshire Craftsmen Annual Show, Mt. Sunapee, N.H.
“Remarkable Women of 2012,” one of seven women profiled in New Hampshire Magazine, May 2012.
“Extraordinary Exhibition Of Uniquely Shaped Handbags,” Tassenmuseum, Amsterdam


“Best Of Show,” CraftBoston Spring Show, Boston, Mass.
“Terra Nova: Polymer Art At the Crossroads,” Racine Art Museum, Racine, Wisconsin


“Their World: Kathleen Dustin and Cynthia Tollefsrud,” River Gallery, Chattanooga, Tennessee
“Off the Wall: The Art Of Adornment,” Prescott College Art Gallery, Prescott, Arizona
“Past Forward: Kathleen Dustin, Barbara Rachko, Anne Laddon, Joyce Zipperer,” Target Gallery, Torpedo Factory Art Center, Alexandria, Virginia


“Kathleen Dustin: Sculptural Evening Bags From the Plant World,” Snyderman-Works Gallery, Philadelphia, Penn.


“Best Of Show,” Living with Craft, League of New Hampshire Craftsmen Annual Show, Mt. Sunapee, N.H.
“Excellence In Design Of the Future Award,” Smithsonian Craft Show, Washington, D.C.


“Purses By Artists,” Kathleen Dustin and Michelle Lalonde, Racine Art Museum, Racine, Wisconsin


Where to Buy

Work is not available for sale through the SNAG website. Please contact the artist directly to inquire about making a purchase.