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Misti Leitz UK sculptor & designer - another face in the crowd

About Misti

Misti Leitz

Misti was born in the UK in 1968, with a pencil in one hand, a Lego brick in the other, and a silver spoon in her mouth, albeit a slightly tarnished one.

She grew up surrounded by artists and musicians and spent most of her childhood covered in glue and paint, which somewhat inevitably steered her towards following a creative muse.

Her career path led her to become a designer of bespoke interiors, furniture, gardens and architecture at the very highest level, specialising in the re-creation of period detailing and ornament. Misti has produced thousands of beautiful objects in her life, and her commissioned works can be seen in palaces, penthouses and private residences all over the world. In 2016, she began to teach herself to carve wood and stone, and has been working with her hands producing abstract sculptures ever since.

Misti is a perfectionist, which means she lives her life in pursuit of something she can never truly attain, but is nevertheless driven to keep trying anyway. She believes in striving for excellence in everything she does and spends a great deal of time masking her disappointment in the results she achieves. Despite this, the creative process is, for her, a constant source of delight.

She lives in secluded bliss with her partner and two unruly dogs in a ramshackle cottage in the woods just outside Ludlow, in Shropshire.

Misti Leitz visionary UK sculptor and designer
boulle table top by Misti Leitz

“What we think or what we know or what we believe is in the end of little consequence. The only thing of consequence is what we do”

John Ruskin

Misti Leitz working on a sculpture

Misti The Sculptor

In 2003, Misti made her first piece of abstract sculpture that encompassed and expressed all of her feelings about her son’s impending birth.

At the time, the significance of this small piece went un-noticed, as she was still working as a designer of Interiors and bespoke furniture, and in the following years she produced countless sculptural pieces for her clients as she continued to expand her portfolio of commissioned works. As a designer, she always felt it important to have practical experience in making, to better inform her designs, and so over the years she acquired some basic skills in the working of wood, metal, stone, glass, plastics, plaster and paint.

In 2016, feeling that she had taken her skills as a designer to their furthest extreme,  and yearning to work more with her hands, she set up a studio and workshop to concentrate on making contemporary sculpture and objets d’art.  

Working mainly in timber and stone, and often recycling found or discarded materials, Misti makes abstract works that comment on her own situation and environment, and express her thoughts and feelings about them. In direct contrast to her training as a designer, where every last detail of a commissioned piece needs to be rigorously planned from the outset, she will often start a sculpture with no drawing or particular direction, allowing the material itself to guide her until it reaches a point where she can start to consciously refine the form that has begun to appear, and to give it meaning.

Her primary focus is in imbuing her work with a sense of energy and character, further refining the visual language she unwittingly began to develop in 2003, and using flowing organic forms to give a sense of vitality to her work. The pieces she makes usually feature combinations of contrasting materials, and the amount of time she spends smoothing and finishing each one results in sculptures that are informed as much by touch as they are by design, giving them a sensual tactility.

Misti’s innate feeling for form and volume comes from working with period architectural masterpieces of figurative carving whose inspiration is largely the natural world, and yet much of her own inspiration comes from a more transient source. For her, it is the shapes seen in flames, in flowing water, and at the edges of our peripheral vision; shapes seen in clouds and wisps of smoke; shapes seen in dreams or on the insides of our eyelids when we’re tired. It is the capturing of these ephemeral forms that fascinates Misti – solidifying the ethereal, while at the same time attempting to convey the essence of their movement and fluidity.

See Misti's Sculpture

Bronze and resin table designed by Misti Leitz

“To create something exceptional, your mindset must be relentlessly focussed on the smallest detail”

Giorgio Armani

Misti The Designer

Misti has specialised in producing luxurious interiors, furniture, architectural features and gardens to the very highest possible standards of craftsmanship since 1988.

At school she excelled at art and design, and after gaining a degree in product design and engineering, began work as a draughtsman in a cabinet-maker's workshop, the day-to-day management of which she eventually took over. 

She then worked on the conservation, restoration and re-decoration of some of the UK’s grandest country houses for the National Trust, English Heritage and the Historic Royal Palaces Agency, which naturally led on to designing showcases, plinths and even exhibitions for museums and galleries, and which gave her a rare understanding of historically accurate period detail.

In 1994 she began collaborating with interior designers, architects and property developers on a huge variety of creative projects, gaining, along the way, an encyclopaedic knowledge of materials, construction methods and period styles, and developing a deep appreciation of quality and craftsmanship. In the mid 1990’s she worked on the designs for the interior of a Knightsbridge penthouse that broke the world record for domestic property prices at the time, and which set the tone for the type of work she produced thereafter.

In 2000, and in partnership with a master restorer of gilded furniture, she set up a highly successful design practice which supplied bespoke furniture and interior finishes to the world's leading decorators and private clients for the following nine years.

In late 2009 she was engaged to design and supply a nineteenth century lacquered library enriched with gilt chinoiserie and a room panelled in marquetry and shagreen for a well known Grade II* listed mansion in north London. These were just two of the eighty rooms in the property that were being redecorated at the time as part of a much grander scheme of refurbishment and development, and it quickly became apparent that Misti’s understanding of period detail and her practical approach to achieving the right result for her client could be of much greater use to the design team. As a result, she was taken on to complete the design and decoration of all the major period rooms in the house. Within a year she had assumed responsibility for all aspects of design throughout the property, including the architecture and landscaping, and, collaborating closely with the client for the next seven years, she managed the hundreds of craftsmen at work on the project to deliver a finished scheme of exceptional quality and attention to detail, at the end of which the client gratefully described her work and efforts as ‘World Class’.

The prolific and wide ranging nature of her commissioned works reflects her fascination with the entirety of the decorative arts as much as it does her clients’ varied tastes, and if there is any consistency to be found in her work, it is that of creating objects of supreme quality and lasting value, enabling exacting clients to realise their dreams, and delivering them the best possible service and the finest results.

See Misti's Design Work

Misti Leitz designer of interiors, exteriors, furniture and objets dart