Known as the ‘Grand Old Man of Glass’, Peter Layton has been at the forefront of the Studio Glass movement from its inception in the 1960s. Both as an artist himself and as a teacher and mentor to others, Layton has defined the use of glass as a contemporary artistic medium.
Originally a ceramicist, Layton discovered hot-glass blowing whilst teaching at the University of Iowa. He was drawn to the spontaneity of glasswork in comparison to clay, and has never looked back. For Layton, glass is a hugely seductive medium, laced with uncertainty, excitement and even danger – the working furnaces can be upwards of 1200 degrees! His pieces, whilst working to an established plan or theme, also record incident and accident along the way. The art-making process is partly controlled, partly natural, with the endeavour to create objects that express more than purely functional or decorative qualities.
Upon returning to the UK, Layton set up the Glass Department at Middlesex University, before establishing the now renowned London Glassblowing Studio and Gallery in 1976. The Studio is now located in Bermondsey and acts as a working and exhibition space for a new generation of artistic glassmakers. These artists are further pushing the boundaries of glass, both in terms of artistic expression and technical craftsmanship. The team are currently exhibiting as part of ‘Collect – The International Art Fair for Contemporary Objects’ at the prestigious Saatchi Gallery in London.
The Sayle Gallery is privileged to host ‘Peter Layton and Team – Contemporary Glass 2015’ an exhibition of London Glassblowing’s recent work, including new works by Peter Layton himself. The exhibition will run from June 20th until July 19th 2015. Peter Layton will also be giving a talk, ‘The Extraordinary Seduction of Glass’, this will be held in the Sayle Gallery, 6pm June 20th. Please contact the gallery for further details.