Casper is home to a handful of creative spaces where different art mediums are taught, including pottery, acrylic, watercolor, oil, and, very soon, glassblowing. Casper’s first glassblowing studio, PH Glass Studios, is a new business opening Nov. 1 with the goal of teaching and providing space for creators to practice this beautiful medium.
“It’s something that I think people need. Just like pottery, stained glass, drawing, or painting,” co-owner Alicia Watt shared. “I think this is a really awesome medium that people could really utilize.”
Sam and Alicia Watt, also owners of the Platte Hemp Company, have partnered with glassblowing expert Roger Severn, who goes by RTV Glass (Reg The Veg), to bring this unique media to central Wyoming. Severn grew up in Casper, and after discovering his passion for glassblowing, he ventured to Colorado to learn more about it.
“You can almost walk down the street anywhere and just start picking out glassblowers,” Severn said. “There’s so many down there! After a good 10 years of just seeing how it’s done, I realized I could go anywhere now. So, I came back home to Wyoming.”
Sam and Alicia are no strangers to the business world. When they opened up the Platte Hemp Company on Midwest Avenue, they began selling glass on the other side. This sparked a curiosity for glassblowing, and soon Sam and Alicia started attending nationwide shows and meeting glass artists.
“We started seeing the actual art in it. It’s not just a spoon or a water piece. It’s a piece of art,” Alicia enthused.
Glassblowing may sound overwhelming, but the team at PH Glass Studios offers a wide variety of classes, starting from beginner and going up to intermediate. Severn, who has over 10 years of experience in this field, is excited to teach mostly one-on-one glassblowing. This way, he’s hopeful aspiring glassblowers can spend more time working on the torch and get a better grasp on the medium.
“It’s a different medium that isn’t like anything else, but with enough practice and guidance, I think anybody can be a glassblower,” Severn said.
They are also offering studio space for traveling artists or experienced glassblowers. Having a studio space for glassblowing is important, for one thing, because most people can’t afford or have the space for this large financial investment.
“Glassblowing can be really expensive because you have to have ventilation torches and big and heavy equipment,” Alicia said.
The team at PH Glass Studios is hoping to ignite an interest in glassblowing in people of all ages and coming from all sorts of different backgrounds. This art can be very therapeutic for those focusing on mental health and also beneficial for veterans dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Speaking as a veteran himself, Sam said, “We stick together like brothers and sisters. We want to offer that to veterans as something to do because we’re so mixed up in the head from everything we’ve seen in the past. If we can explore that side, it’ll help us maintain our goals in life and keep us as normal as possible.”
PH Glass Studios would not exist without the passionate team members who have helped get it off the ground. Sam and Alicia expressed their gratitude for their staff that helped make their vision a reality.
“Our managers, our staff, all the way down to our part-timer,” Sam shared, “they’re invested. They see our vision. We are very thankful for those people because without them, we wouldn’t have anything.”
PH Glass Studios will be at the Booze and Bacon Fest on Nov. 12 at the Ford Wyoming Center doing live glassblowing demonstrations. Sam and Alicia’s other business, Platte Hemp Company, will also be set up and petitioning for signatures for the legalization of medical marijuana and decriminalization of marijuana.
|PAID FOR BY PLATTE HEMP COMPANY
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