Meet Meow Wolf Denver’s Friendly Neighborhood Monster Maker!

Meow Wolf’s Costume Designer Kate Major works with repurposed materials to create creatures and make art with our communities.

Kate Major is the brilliant mind behind the otherworldly characters that roam Convergence and bring a memorable layer to the world-building within Meow Wolf Denver’s walls. A traveler might get business advice from Sleevie Nicks, pay rent to Gil Umbo, have a dance-off with Fluffy, or ring in Acana with an Eemian. We’ve heard over and over again that these moments are treasured by our travelers, so we sat down with Kate to learn more about her creative process, sustainability practices, and why she feels so lucky to do what she does.


I just made it up,” Kate responded to being asked about a certain costuming technique. And that’s exactly in line with what we know about Kate. Though she certainly has the extensive resume and technical skills to accomplish any creative endeavor, where she really shines at Meow Wolf is her experimental approach that’s entwined with curiosity, out-of-the-box thinking, and a “roll up your sleeves and get dirty” attitude.

Kate is the ultimate collaborator, working with various teams like Narrative, Ops, Events, Marketing, Exhibits, and Retail. She has a unique sparkle that she brings to every conversation, lighting up when she speaks about what she’s working on or dreaming up next. Her enthusiasm is endearingly punctuated by the fiercest fingernails, gesturing with conversation-stopper fangs–we’ve seen actual mini bones on them! Any chance to work with Kate Major on a project is a chance to see a true maker at work, her human form bursting with wild ideas and creative energy.

A shimmering white creature made up of fluffy mesh materials holds up a microphone inside a room with colorful neon lights.
Fluffy by Kate Major inside Meow Wolf Denver. Photo by Glenn Ross

Because Kate is creating brand new creatures birthed from the lore of Convergence Station, her work goes far beyond their textile attire. She’s crafting Mollusko heads cradled by tentacles, rat kings made entirely out of tails, and bulbous-headed aliens with tactile-compelling bodies. These beings are sculpted and molded into life with techniques that rarely involve sewing. One of Kate’s favorite materials to work with is liquid latex:

“It's a really interesting material because it's like what rubber Halloween masks are made of, and once it dries, it's super durable. So I really like to sculpt things out of tinfoil or paper or whatever, and then cover them with latex to get weird shapes–which is very not a costuming thing to do.”

Several costume tentacles that are painted green, yellow and purple are propped up to dry on top of a table inside a home studio.
Tentacles created by Kate Major at her home studio. Photo provided by Kate Major

“I always have a plan but you really have to get your hands dirty, or at least I do, before I know how it’s going to play out. I’ve ruined so many clothes. Because liquid latex, once it dries and it gets on a fiber, it's in there. There's nothing that's going to get it out. No amount of soap and water, no amount of washing and drying. I've covered myself and some of my favorite pieces of clothing with liquid latex.”

She also shared about Fosshape, a material that looks like felt and can be sewed like felt, but then hardens up once heat is applied to it. You can see both Fosshape and liquid latex in use next time you have a close-up encounter with Gil Umbo outside of The Gyre.


In addition to Fosshape and liquid latex, Kate frequently incorporates more consumer-familiar materials into her work as part of her sustainability values. While this practice originally stemmed from being a “super broke artist,” it’s now central to her inspiration process and material sourcing. 

“I love our sustainability practices and I try really hard to be sustainable in everything I do. Not only when making creatures for our exhibit, for which I do try to reuse recycled materials. Not only because it's sustainable, but because there's so much inspiration in seeing a pile of sleeves and being like, ‘That could be something.’”

A creature made of layered dress shirt sleeves sits reading a newspaper on an old bus, with Kate Major in the driver’s seat.
Sleevie Nicks and Kate Major inside Meow Wolf Denver. Photo by Glenn Ross

And when that pile-of-sleeves-something turns into a walking, talking business creature by the name of “Sleevie Nicks,” you can tell that Kate Major was behind it. Every scrap of fabric or piece of packaging has a chance at a second life with her, a chance to bring a bit of magic into the world in a way that’s refreshing and delightful. She lovingly stores these snippets until they can make their debut, which these days, is often at a Meow Wolf Makers event.


This new workshop series was dreamt up in Denver as a way to connect people with their inner artist, giving them both guidance and free reign to create in an intimate, communal setting. Past workshops have crafted shoe charms, wings, masks, holiday garlands, foam wigs, and even an open craft evening where participants could create with whatever inspiration struck them. Kate shared that 90% of the materials provided at these workshops as supplies are trash or scrap materials from Meow Wolf exhibits, diverting hundreds of pounds of waste from landfills.

Two side-by-side photos show bright face masks made of pink, blue and purple felt. The one on the left is on a mannequin and the one on the right is on Kate Major’s head.
Headpieces created by Kate Major at her home studio. Photo provided by Kate Major

At these workshops, while participants are encouraged to go big and think outside of the box with their creations, Kate is never far away to offer positive feedback or troubleshoot something tricky with you. She’s attentive and encouraging, creating a safe space for artistic expression that transforms scraps into something truly special. 

Future Meow Wolf Makers include: plastic petals, mutant plushies, wearable fashion, slime, and sock puppets. Keep an eye on the Meow Wolf Denver events page or sign up for our events newsletter to get the latest Meow Wolf Makers updates.


In addition to launching a new makers series, Kate Major was the mastermind behind Meow Wolf’s inaugural onsite fashion show: Absolute Rubbish. She put out a call to local designers to submit their concepts for runway looks made from repurposed trash and recycled materials: the show was a dazzling success, with 20 pieces of sustainable couture (shown here and here) strutting down a runway that was more party than proper. The vibes were vivacious and the energy was sparkling; the audience adorned in their own vibrant fits.

Kate Major sits in the front row at a runway show, wearing an all white outfit that she created, and smiling at the model
Kate Major at Absolute Rubbish: A Trashion Show. Photo by Monica Lloyd

“I like to see it as a community event because you know that all the other people there are also interested in fashion and fashion sustainability. We start with a cocktail hour so people can mingle and get a drink and take pictures on our red ‘carpet’ (it's not really red). And then the show is a party. I don't want it to be stuffy, like a New York Fashion Week. Be raucous, have fun.”

A model walks at Absolute Rubbish: A Trashion Show. Photo by Monica Lloyd

Kate Major is bringing her runway vision back to life on Tuesday, April 30, for Absolute Rubbish: Bloom, a spring edition inspired by themes of rebirth and rejuvenation. The participating designers have already been announced and tickets are on sale to the public. 


Kate Major’s earliest creations also came out of “repurposed materials,” like her family’s bedding.

“To my mom's chagrin, I would cut up bed sheets and make outfits. I started sewing very early–my grandma and my mom taught me because I wanted to make my own clothes. I also really liked to make stuffed animals when I was little. When I figured out that you could do that, it was over.

We had this dresser in the kitchen that had all the craft supplies in it and that's where I hung out. I was crafting with pipe cleaners and popsicle sticks and glitter and paint and clay and Play-Doh and all that stuff. I started super young doing that kind of stuff.“

These days, Kate’s crafting zone has expanded from just a kitchen dresser, but still has cozy touches that feel homey to her. Citing her aforementioned clothes-ruining materials, she shared that she often works in pajamas, rather than wearing anything nicer in her home studio. Her creative practice also includes lighting a lavender candle, preparing some tea, and putting lo-fi tunes on her headphones.

It’s a dream to now have Kate Major creating for Meow Wolf and luckily for us, she feels the same way.

“Working for Meow Wolf has become so important to me and my art practice. I've always been doing art on some level, but I think since I started working here, I've really come into my own as to what my art is. I feel like there is a huge amount of freedom to express that, because Meow Wolf exists. I feel so supported and like all ideas are valid, and that's such an important thing.”

Stay connected with Kate’s work on her Instagram account or by keeping an eye on the Meow Wolf Denver social channels (Facebook and Instagram), and events page.