Laurie Thal Lia Kass

Laurie Thal moved to Jackson, WY in 1975 after graduating from the Art Institute of Chicago. She packed her car and moved west, hoping for a lifestyle that would allow her to practice her craft and enjoy the outdoor western environment. She started her own studio that year, refining her skills over time, working to create timeless classic vessels of simple beauty.

“I never thought I’d be able to make a living blowing glass”, Thal said. She’s done more than that, however, being commissioned by Hillary Clinton, then first lady, to create a unique glass ornament for the White House Christmas tree in 1997.

In 2002, her work was featured at the Governor’s Capital Art Exhibition, and honor given to only 50 artists across the state of Wyoming each year. She also received the Wyoming Arts Council Fellowship Award for 2002. Her work is exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the country.

Lia Kass was born in 1964 in Chicago and raised mainly in Boston. After high school she was awarded an art scholarship to Washington University in St. Louis where she studied briefly before proceeding further wes. She is largely self-taught and has used extensive wanderings in the wilderness as her classroom. Her background is primarily in fine art painting and drawing, focusing on the figure, landscape, and portrait. Lia’s work is inspired by her love of nature, open spaces, and feel for the elements. It has been exhibited and sold primarily in the US west as well as published in environmental and eclectic publications.

In 2002 renowned hot glass artist Laurie Thal invited Lia to collaborate by creating unique surface designs to embellish Laurie’s blown glass pieces. Lia uses multi-level sand carving techniques to create softly shaded imagery and sometimes sculpt and reshape the lip of a piece.