'Lagoon' Small Dropper
Exquisite hand-blown glass form by Peter Layton.
The piece measures approx 12m width, 20cm height, 5cm depth.
About Peter Layton
Peter Layton is one of the world’s most widely respected glassblowers and he has done more to promote glassmaking as an art form than anyone else in Europe. He has influenced, encouraged and nurtured several of this country’s leading glassmakers and has inspired many more internationally. At the age of 75, Peter remains extremely active and is regarded as the ‘grand old man of glass’.
His richly coloured glass art can be found in museums, galleries and exhibitions across the UK, Europe and America. Peter initially trained at London’s Central School of Art and Design to specialise in ceramics and where he was taught by several of the most respected ceramicists of the day. Peter was then offered a temporary teaching job in Iowa University’s ceramics department. By chance, Harvey Littleton and a few colleagues were pioneering a revolutionary hot glass technique at the same time. In 1962 Peter attended one of their first experimental workshops and became bewitched by the medium’s immediacy and spontaneity.
‘Glass is extraordinarily seductive,’ explains Peter. ‘Every piece is an adventure and you never know exactly what you have created until you open the kiln and see how a piece has turned out. I love that moment of surprise.’ Ever since Peter returned to Britain, he has been continuously at the forefront of promoting glassblowing as an art. In 1969 he helped Sam Herman build the first furnace at the Glasshouse in Covent Garden and he subsequently established his own small glass studio in the Highlands of Scotland, a Glass Department at Middlesex University and, in 1976, the London Glassblowing Workshop. Along the way, Peter has written several books, received an honorary Doctorate of Letters from the University of Bradford, become an Honorary Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Glass Sellers and also been given the Freedom of the City of London. Some glassmakers create technically brilliant pieces and follow a precise pattern, others prefer to create more abstract works of art that are looser and evolve during the creative process. Layton’s work falls firmly into the latter category and he is known for his strong use of colour, the use of organic forms and the sculptural quality of his larger pieces. Peter is inspired by whatever is around him. For example, the heavy snow of last winter turned his long commute by train into an intriguing black and white world in which texture was particularly important – all factors that shaped a new Glacier range. He regularly creates conceptual pieces which reflect his specific concerns over issues such as ecology and religion.
‘My pieces appeal to a wide audience and everyone from Elton John to the Duchess of Kent have bought my work. It is designed to be lived with and enjoyed as the light changes, not just viewed in a museum.’ At the age of 75, Layton says, ‘I have so much that I still want to do. You can never create the perfect piece of glass and there are always new ideas, techniques and other challenges to master. Glass is such an underrated medium – there is a fluidity and uncertainty which I choose to embrace rather than overcome.’