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 74, Peter remains extremely active and is regarded as the ‘grand old man of glass’.

As a child, Peter went to school in Bradford, where his aptitude as an artist was first recognised and which led to him becoming friends with David Hockney. Peter studied at Bradford Art College and then 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.

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 at Morar in the Highlands of Scotland, a Glass Department at Hornsey College of Art (Middlesex University) and, in 1976, the London Glassblowing Workshop in an old towage works on the Thames at Rotherhithe. In 2009 Peter’s London Glassblowing Studio and Gallery moved to much larger premises in Bermondsey.

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.