"I got a bachelor of fine arts (degree) and just happened to take glass-blowing. I did painting and all the different mediums, but when I took glass, I knew that was what I wanted to continue doing," says the Saline resident.
She's been living her dream ever since 1988 when she started her business, formerly known as Creative Glasswear, to represent the lampwork she did for her jewelry-making. Although she still makes glass beads, the name has recently been changed to Yerace Glass Studio.
How's business? Well, just four years ago, she had a two-story, 1,300-square-foot studio built in her backyard where she does hot glass and lampwork, in addition to offering private lessons. She also teaches both crafts at Ella Sharp Museum in Jackson and the Ann Arbor Art Center.
Inspired by wildlife, nature and color, Thomas-Yerace creates a variety of decorative and functional glass objects, including ornaments, tumblers, bowls, paperweights, rondelle plates and flowers shaped like morning glories, similar to the ones that caught her eye years ago while working at Greenfield Village.
When it comes to working with glass, the successful artist says, "I love it; I love teaching the craft, I love keeping the tradition of the craft going, and I love the chemistry that's involved with it."
Pieces of her unique work are sold at Biddle Gallery in Wyandotte, Dancing Eye in Northville, Ann Arbor Art Center, Kalamzaoo Institute of Arts, Side Door Gallery in Dexter and Water Street Gallery in Douglas, Mich. Prices range from $24-$1,000.