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Personal Style: Laurie Thal

Laurie Thal

Glowing, liquid glass at 2000 F … I was immediately drawn to the spontaneity, the heat, the passion, the quickness and the fluidity of the material. Everything has to be focused. You have to work quickly, and that suits my temperament. After my initiation to glass blowing at Alfred University, I switched from ceramics and never looked back.

Laurie Thal

You need a strong foundation of skills and a plan when creating a piece of glass. Like having a blueprint; it’s important to have a direction when you first gather molten glass. There are moments when the material takes you in a new direction that can be fortuitous or can ruin the piece.

I love creating both functional and sculptural glass pieces. Lately I have worked on exciting architectural fused glass, custom hanging lights, sconces and room dividers.

Living in Jackson, I am surrounded by beauty, so my work is inherently beautiful. I love it when people say that owning my work, having it in their homes, passing it every day in different light, gives them joy. If I can add to the beauty of their life, that’s all I can ask.

www.thalglass.com

 

Tools of My Trade

Tools
My workbench is ringed with water buckets soaking many sizes of the cherry wood blocks I use to center the glass. I have shears, jacks, a graphite rod, and the black graphite pad is fitted with cotton backing and used to shape the glass.

Glory Hole

blowing
Once the vase has a flat base, it’s attached to a solid rod known as a punty rod and cracked off from the blowpipe. Now it can be extended toward the heat source to finalize the shape of the rim.

Tempo and Heat

glass
In the picture at the top of this page, I’m flattening the bottom of what will be a vase. Above, I’m pulling the lip of a candleholder to lengthen it while the glass is still pliable. With glass blowing, you have to heat and reheat and shape the glass, as it cools quickly.

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