PETER Layton, London Glassblowing workshop founder and British studio glass movement grandee, will make an appearance at Pyramid Gallery on Thursday from 4.30pm to 6.15pm to herald the York art emporium’s 40th anniversary celebrations.
Gallery owner Terry Brett says: “In that period, Peter has taken part in many exhibitions of glass here and for at least 30 years he has been represented by the gallery, as have many associates of his workshop in Bermondsey Street, London.
“To mark 40 years of promoting British studio glass, we’re displaying 40 pieces of art glass that have a connection to London Glassblowing, which is itself celebrating an important anniversary: 45 years. Please join Peter for a glass of wine or a soft drink and a chat.”
Peter is presenting 18 glass works from various ranges in the 40 Pieces Of Glass anniversary show, exhibiting alongside Bruce Marks, Layne Rowe, Anthony Scala, Sila Yucel, Cathryn Shilling and Sarah Wiberley, complemented by William Watson West’s exhibition of abstract acrylic paintings, A New Normal.
Peter trained in the 1960s as a ceramicist, but while teaching at Iowa University he experimented with glass and soon adopted it as his preferred medium. On returning to Britain, he became one of the pioneers of the British studio glass movement in London, establishing the London Glassblowing workshop in Rotherhithe in 1976.
When Terry took over Pyramid Gallery in 1994, Peter was already well established with the gallery, having supplied founder Robert Feather with glass in the early 1980s.
“I recall selling a piece of Peter’s glass on my first day of opening on May 31 1994,” says Terry. “A German glass collector came into the shop and immediately went to a tall white glass bottle that was in a cabinet.
“It took no longer than five minutes for him to make a decision and purchase the object, that I now know was a Peter Layton ‘Floral’ flacon. It seemed a lot of money to me, who knew nothing about studio glass.
“I was shaking inside as I took the payment and wrapped the object in a box, but I knew it was a watershed moment for me and I have adored glass ever since.”
Since that day, at least 30 more glass artists from London Glassblowing have exhibited at Pyramid, along with 270 other glassmakers whose work has sold through the gallery in Stonegate.
40 Pieces Of Glass will run until September 24; after July, it will become part of a mixed show with other artists. Exhibition pieces can be viewed at both the gallery and online at pyramidgallery.com.