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.
All images property of Thomas Spake.