Katrien Mestdagh (°1980)

Manager and restorer/curator in glass art

A shot of modernity and love for her craft

The love for glass art is in her blood. Even as a child, Katrien was constantly in her parents’ studio, where she picked up the craft. It soon became clear: this was where her future lay. After her Art/Musicology studies, in 2004 Katrien decided to join her parents in the studio.

In 2012, she spent two years at the University of York. Here, she obtained a Master in Stained Glass Conservation and Heritage Management, thanks to support from the Sofina-Boël Foundation, the King Boudewijn Foundation (Young talent in heritage professions), and the European Union (Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs). As part of her studies, she did an internship at the York Glaziers Trust (York), Monument Watch and the heritage department of the Province of East Flanders.

A professional studio with a vision

After her studies, Katrien definitively took over the management of the studio. She transformed the traditional restoration studio into a professional, contemporary conservation studio. Under her leadership, Atelier Mestdagh won some important awards, including Ambacht in de kijker (2011), the Gentse Torenwachterprijs (2012) and the Handmade in Belgium label (2013). She also tries to highlight glass art by participating in art projects. She personally supervises all the restoration work carried out by the studio.

Meanwhile, she is also learning the tricks of the glass art trade from her father. Katrien is inspired and passionate about the craft and does everything she can to promote every aspect of glass art. She will always respect the tradition, but she also keeps an eye on the latest innovations and contemporary art streams, to keep the art relevant.