Thomas Spake Studios creates unique glass art, incorporating age old glassblowing techniques with good 'ole American ingenuity to create functional, decorative, and sculptural glass art with a style all its own.
I began blowing glass back in 1994. As it happened, I went to college to pursue a basketball scholarship, but as fate would have it, a work study in the art department introduced me to glassblowing. I remember that jaw dropping moment, seeing the molten material rotating on the blow pipe, the creative energy, the improvisation, the dance, the sweat, the teamwork. All these things at once. This was something I had to do. After 2 years, I walked off the court, and into the hotshop to take my first class. The rest, well is art history.
The college glass experience was one of exploration, trial and error, and a "see what happens" approach. This is how art is created, through a willingness to explore the material and make mistakes.
When I graduated, I received a fellowship at a renowned Craft School. This experience focused my attention into the fine details of glass blowing, crafting the perfect object, great technique, and the understanding of the process.
As my tenure ran out, I was approached by a gallery that wanted to open a glass blowing studio. This entire process, from building the equipment, laying out the space, designing the glassware, teaching workshops, demonstrating to the public, proved to be a invaluable experience, and led me to my current adventure.
In 2002, I began my own business, Thomas Spake Studios. While glass is my primary material of choice, I also create large site specific sculpture, fabricate custom gates, railings and fences, design jewelry, teach glassblowing workshops, and make awards and gifts for various businesses and organizations.
My current work is a collaboration of sorts. I am an explorer, searching for new textures, colors and forms that exist in nature. I then photograph these various places, objects, and moments and try and capture the sensibilities from these photographs in my glasswork. Some finished works are glimpses while others are entire landscapes, while abstract or literal, I find the process to be very rewarding and fulfilling.
- - - Thomas Spake