My OBT

My daily quest for One Beautiful Thing (OBT)

The Reluctant Artist

22 Comments

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Thomas Spake

Today, I bring you the inspired blown glass by Tennessee-based artist Thomas Spake. The way he tells it, his arrival at glass art was unexpected and maybe even a little reluctant.

“I began blowing glass back in 1994. 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.” -Thomas Spake

Spake takes his inspiration from the nature that surrounds him:

“Earth, air, and sea are the inspiration behind the Work, from the sandy ocean floor, to the arid deserts of the American southwest, from the peaks of the Rockies to the distant horizon.”

I am a big fan of the effect he achieves by carefully blowing layer after layer of glass, then strategically cutting away the layers to reveal the colors within. He also plays with texture, employing sand blasting and etching to expose the layers beneath, resulting in complex sculptures that feel unearthed rather than created.

Check out his website for more of his work.

All images property of Thomas Spake.

Author: Donna from MyOBT

I have committed to spending part of every day looking for at least one beautiful thing, and sharing what I find with you lovelies!

22 thoughts on “The Reluctant Artist

  1. Wow just unbelievable sculptures and a great post !

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve seen polymer and regular clay layered like this, but not glass. Didn’t even know you could layer and cut glass. Really like those pieces. Especially the green one that is cut away in roundish segments, showing the blue underneath. Beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Gorgeous pieces! Good thing he didn’t go pro or we might not be able to see his great work!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Just beautiful; glad he found his gift!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What an incredible talent. I am glad he decided to jack in basketball. I enjoyed watching the video of his process too.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. finding myself short of words to describe his wonderful talent

    Liked by 1 person

  7. stunning, I love glass art. the way the light hits it is beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I want one of each, thanks! 💖

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you for introducing me to Thomas Spake’s work.

    I find his use of sandblasting especially interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

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