Kathleen Mulcahy began to work with glass early in 1969. In 1974, she received her Master of Fine Arts in glass sculpture and three dimensional design from The New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. For the next 14 years, she directed glass studio programs at Bowling Green State University in Ohio and Carnegie Mellon University. During this time, her work - installation pieces, cast glass, blown glass objects - went through many stages of development. Her works have been shown worldwide. Since 1989, she has worked independently with Ron Desmett her husband and artistic partner in their studios in Oakdale, Pennsylvania. Kathleen and Ron Desmett, her husband and partner are cofounders and developers of the Pittsburgh Glass Center, opened in 2001 as Western Pennsylvania’s first public access school and artist incubator for the study and appreciation of contemporary glass and for the encouragement of art and ideas that incorporate glass. Kathleen was honored in 2003 by the PGC for her devotion to building better communities through the arts and artists in action with the title : Permanent Artist in Residence and Artistic Advisor to the Pittsburgh Glass Center. In 2013 Kathleen and Ron were selected as Artists of the Year for the State of Pennsylvania.

In December 2016 Ron passed away but his legacy lives on through the work they did together including public commissions, the creation of the Pittsburgh Glass Center and through the Ron Desmett Memorial Award for Imagination with Glass. Kathleen continues her work in the studios they shared in Oakdale, PA and at the Pittsburgh Glass Center.

Kathleen has received fellowship awards from the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, The Creative Glass Center of America, The Lusk Memorial Award through the Fulbright Foundation, The Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. In 1992, Kathleen was selected as Artist of the Year by the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. Her works are in many public and private collections including the American Craft Museum, The Corning Museum of Glass, The Carnegie Museum of Art, The Renwick Galleries of the Smithsonian Institution and The Westmoreland County Museum of Art and the Imagine Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida. In 1997, she was Artist in Residence at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, France.

photograph by mark perrott