Step into Kane Cali's world—a creative visionary born in Malta. With a master's from the Royal College of Art and a Bachelor's from the University for the Creative Arts, Kane is a master of ceramics and glass. His studio, nestled in the heart of Valletta, is a hotbed of innovation, blending high-tech skills with old-school craftsmanship to invoke interesting cast crystal masterpieces.

From global exhibitions to bespoke creations for private clients, Kane's studio is a magical fusion of art and science, where every piece tells a captivating story of beauty and wonder. We've asked him a little more about the person behind the creative inventions and the inspiration that allows for these works to come to life!

Il-lokal: Tell us about your creative background and how you started your creative journey!

Kane: I initially thought I was going to get into character design or visual effects for movies so I got into a BA in 3d Character Animation back in 2006. That curiosity soon exhausted itself and left me needing more than just keyboard inputs and software. So after around 2 years of that, I decided to reach out to other universities that offered degrees that were a little more hands-on.

This led me to enroll for a BA in Ceramics and Glass. It was here that I fell in love with both and all materials. It was also a time when I started to bring my gained knowledge of modeling software into the realm of craft; where the virtual met with materiality.

Il-lokal: What motivates you to be a maker/designer/artist?

Kane: I find keeping the momentum of making work and making mistakes helps in motivating ideas. Also, not necessarily waiting for inspiration to knock on your door, but rather, investing time in researching ideas and happenings. I can also say, a deadline can act as one of the best motivators too! Also, coffee :)

Il-lokal: How did you develop your making skills? What was your learning path to get to where you are presently?

Kane: I initially developed my skills through art school/s where many conversations and and experiments happened with the shared knowledge of not only tutors but other students as well. Now I tend to use the internet to figure things out, especially YouTube.

Il-lokal: What’s your best piece of advice for someone who is just starting on their creative journey?

Kane: Don’t wait for inspiration to come, sometimes the darkest, least inspiring days can be used to break through a creative block. Also, be consistent with making work, even if it's just an hour of the day, make something, draw something, write something. And finally, don’t look for too many opinions! Sometimes an idea only needs to be witnessed by your eyes, to be understood.

Il-lokal: What would you say to someone intimidated by trying a new craft/creative discipline?

Kane: Just give it a go, we all have to start from somewhere. As mentioned, every day can be a day for growth. Making art, in whatever form, like a language, takes time to master. Also, mistakes tend to open paths to new ways of doing something. Have fun with mistakes.

Il-lokal: Would you say you have a typical audience or customer for your work?

Kane: Primarily one would hope to have an audience with a sense of humour, and a deeply satirical heart, especially for the pastizzi works I make.

Il-lokal: How important is having an online presence (website, social media...) to showcase and promote your work? How does it work for you?

Kane: I tend to limit my use of social media, simply because I don’t believe it is conducive to a healthy mindset in the long run. I do however post from time to time, to help promote new works and let people know I still exist in my cave, aka studio.

Il-lokal: Where do you find inspiration? What are your go-to sources?

Kane: I generally look to science and all topics related to tech and its impact on the human condition. I feel my interests tend to orbit around notions of human physical and mental compatibility within a ‘techno accelerationist’ ideology.

Il-lokal: How would you describe your aesthetic?

Kane: Mostly sterile in its inability to convey emotion (as far as I’m aware). Tends to reflect on both fascist and brutalist architecture when dealing with sculpture.

Il-lokal: Do you practice any rituals that help you maintain your creativity?

Kane: As any self-tormenting artist will know, showing up every day is, in my experience, one of the only ways to truly get to know your language.

Il-lokal: Tell us about your workspace - where do you create and what tools do you use regularly?

Kane: I’ve recently moved to a new studio in Mriehel, it now allows me to work on multiple things simultaneously, which helps tremendously as some processes involve materials curing or drying before I can move forward with them. I tend to make use of a variety of tools, most are very common such as carving tools, wax, and plaster. For other materials such as glass, the tools become more specialist and include things such as diamond pads and refractory plaster.

 Il-lokal: When do you work? Is there a time of day that you prefer or something that helps you work?

Kane: I tend to start most creative processes such as designing and ‘playing’ with an idea in the morning and allow for more mechanical processes, such as mold-making, for later in the day.

Il-lokal: What is a typical day like for you?

Kane: I tend to hit the gym early most mornings, to get my body moving, and my mind alert. I then tend to either grab a coffee and get some ideas drawn or rendered on my laptop. Soon after that a quick snack and off to the studio for the day.

Il-lokal: What kind of music do you listen to while working?

Kane: I tend to put on a podcast - listening to people talk gets me in the flow of things. I try to listen to art-related podcasts, that somehow encourage a positive state of mind, keeping the inner voices at bay. I highly recommend the ‘Talk Art’ podcast. If it's music it’s usually a mix of Ariana Grande and Abel Korzeniowski.

Il-lokal: What does your support system look like?

Kane: It looks like a mural of faces; patient people who hang around even when I simply don’t make any sense.

Il-lokal: Who are some local artists or creative heroes whose work you admire? Why?

Kane: There is quite a selection of local artists and creatives I love and also collect or wish to collect, some of which are Stephan Spiteri, Mario Abela, Anna Calleja...absolutely adore, Aaron Bezzina, Pierre Portelli, and going to end with Charlie Cauchi. There are more but the list is long, so... end.

Il-lokal: What are you working on right now? Do you have any exciting things in progress that you’d like to share?

Kane: Right now I’m currently working around the clock to get some new works made for a show happening in September of this year. So more information will emerge closer to the time on that. There’s also a private commission in the works which involves two 4-metre-tall stainless steel pieces currently being produced in Chinese foundry and should be installed within the next couple of months.

Il-lokal: What’s next for you?

Kane: Always a tricky question, I mean who knows right?!... but definitely a solo show in September!

Il-lokal: What are some of your goals for the future?

Kane: I would love to eventually get taken on by a gallery that I feel gels with my practice and will look after me and help my work get further into people's lives and institutions. Always the dream.

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