Designer Ornament ‘Small Canyon Wide Stoneform’ by Peter Layton
Peter Layton transforms one of his inspirational experience, a visit to Antelope Canyon in Arizona, to create this designer ornament.
The canyon is a natural wonder that is difficult to reach because of the soft sands. Peter combines wonderful swathes of rich caramel and honey-like brown colours that swirl and “move” around the piece. Essentially, instilling the essence of that special place into this designer ornament.
It is hard to know where to start when you are beginning the biography of an internationally-renowned, living legend.
When Boha Glass set up virtual shop in 2010, Peter Layton was one of those names that rang in your ear with an almost hallowed tone.
Since first seeing his undulating, reef-coloured glass artistry we have been smitten, like love-struck teenagers.
Peter was born in Prague in 1937, but his family settled in Bradford after fleeing the Nazis when Peter was just two years old.
He grew up in West Yorkshire and discovered his love of the Arts, in part, thanks to his Pathologist grandfather who took him to art exhibitions and concerts.
At school in Bradford, his talent for art was encouraged and he became good friends with David Hockney. Peter went on to Bradford Technical College to study textiles and made a living in between classes working in the rag trade. He then did his stint of National Service, followed by a year on a kibbutz, before linking back up with Hockney at Bradford College of Art.
Here he abandoned textiles and painting in favour of ceramics and continued his ceramic studies at the Central School of Art in London.
While subsequently teaching ceramics at the University of Iowa in America for three years, Peter fell in love with the medium of glass. While teaching there he met an acquaintance of the pioneering Studio Glass artist Harvey Littleton. Peter tried to improve his skills of glass artistry, but glass has always had a touch of secretive alchemy about it, ever since the Venetians kept glass artists captive on the Island of Murano.
After an initial explosion and a badly burnt hand, Peter nearly gave up glass blowing for good. Thankfully, he persevered and set up the London Glassblowing Studio and Gallery in 1976, which is now one of the world’s foremost glassmaking centres; bang in the middle of London town. Where this miniature glass bowl first cooled from the furnace.