“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 a 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 to 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 materiel 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 work can be found in museum shops and galleries or find me on the road traveling to a fine art festival near you.”