Home to glassblower and designer Laurie Thal and her partner in art and life, glass fabricator Dan Altwies, Thal Glass Studio is a favorite off-the-beaten-track destination for Fall Arts visitors.
Located just off Teton Village Road, the studio is adjacent to the couple’s home, which doubles as the gallery where they show the renowned glass art they produce.
“People can take a tour of our home and see the amazing possibilities of glass,” Thal said.
The Fall Arts Festival has just begun, and it’s a time of year Thal and Altwies look forward to as a special opportunity to welcome guests to see their recent creations.
“One of the things people enjoy most is coming to the actual place where the glass is created, seeing our tools and the kiln,” Thal said. “We love to show people what we’ve been working on.”
To accomplish that they will host an open studio on Saturday, Sept. 11, and Saturday, Sept. 18, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Their home is filled with sculptures, vases, bowls and wall art, work that often glows with color and light. Using techniques such as fusing and sandblasting, the couple create intricate, layered designs in their work.
One sculpture to be featured during the Fall Arts Festival that came out of the COVID-19 pandemic is a 26-inch-diameter disc of fused glass, perfectly flat on each side and shot through horizontally with bars of yellow, orange and red. Miraculously, a ribbon of orange weaves vertically through the piece, an off-center yin and yang division line.
Thal said she lives her life with “passion and gusto,” something that is abundantly evident in her work. The studio website includes a video of Thal at work building, firing and blowing glass, a physical process that sometimes looks like a dance, requiring excellent timing and considerable dexterity.
If a piece is meant to be sandblasted, Altwies takes the helm, taking his technical skills in drawing to a different medium.
“I love working with the rich colors of glass, revealed as I blast through several layers,” he said. “Each piece is unique and presents a new challenge to combine my skills of drawing, now more demanding on a three-dimensional surface.”
To get to Thal Glass Studio, go exactly 1 mile north on Highway 390 and turn east to get to 3800 Linn Drive. The studio’s website is ThalGlass.net.