Thomas grew up in Newnan, Georgia, a small town southwest of Atlanta. The son of a golden gloves boxer and a distance runner, Thomas was involved in athletics and especially basketball. When he left for Centre College to pursue a basketball career, he had no idea that glassblowing would be the next step in his life.
The art of glassblowing is a very physical and intense process so the transition from athlete to glassblower was relatively seamless, and soon he was working closely with his professor, internationally acclaimed artist Stephen Rolfe Powell. After graduation Thomas was awarded the position of Artist in Residence in glass at the Appalachian Center for Crafts. The opportunity to work with Curtiss Brock and learn from his established glass program opened Thomas’ eyes to more possibilities of using glass as a sculptural material.
After two years at the Craft Center, Thomas was offered the chance to open a hot shop, the River Gallery Glass Studio, in the Bluff View Art District in Chattanooga, Tennessee. This opportunity allowed him to design and create a product line for the River Gallery, as well as teach and educate the public about glass through workshops and demonstrations. After three years, Thomas left to establish Thomas Spake Studios, which focuses on glass art and sculpture.
Currently, Thomas focuses his energies on works that infuse the earth, air and sea. These works range in scale from small ornaments and paperweights to large outdoor sculpture. Thomas work can be seen at high end art festivals across the country as well as established galleries and museums. Thomas lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee with his beautiful wife Kimerlen Moore, their daughter, Lyrah, dog, Uppi and kitty, Luta.
I strive to create blown glass that is unique and contemporary. Texture, color, pattern, light, and motion are all key design elements that run freely through all of the Work produced; these ideas are at the core of creative process. The earth, air, and sea are the inspiration behind my 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 curious observer, a witness to what takes place around me, so explore through my eyes.