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The craft&design Selected Awards 2011 - Specialist Judges

craft&design Selected Awards

Peter Layton
Peter Layton
Glass Category

Peter Layton

I have been actively involved in the studio glass movement since its inception in this country, having been captivated by the seductive medium while teaching ceramics in the USA during the ‘60’s. I was a founding member of B.A.G (British Artist’s in Glass) and later, on its demise, initiated and chaired the Contemporary Glass Society (C.G.S), during its early years. My studio, the London Glassblowing Workshop, was established in 1976 in Rotherhithe and is now located at London Bridge, in vibrant Bermondsey Street. I work with a team of about 10 people, producing individually free blown pieces, architectural work and glass sculptures. In judging this competition, I will be looking for evidence of:
1. Imaginative and innovative thinking and process.
2. Visual exploration and transformation of ideas and potential for development.
3. Expression of content and context.
4. Quality of production and realisation of the objects.

Judge’s Statement

Lamp working is the biggest area of growth in the glass world, particularly in the USA where the modern studio glass movement began, and is most developed. It was interesting therefore, that the majority of the finalists for this award were working in this technique, which might indicate that its popularity is being replicated here.  From a logistical and economic point of view, this makes good sense, in so far as it is manageable within a domestic framework, and as satisfyingly immediate as glassblowing at the furnace.
Having said that, Jessamy Kelly's cast work stood out, head and shoulders above any other submission, a tour de force aesthetically and technically.
She combines glass and ceramics - obviously not impossible, but extremely difficult by any standard, and she achieves this complex task with great confidence in simple and satisfying monolithic forms juxtaposed in sculptural groupings.
I was also impressed by Zoe Garner's range of expression, from small mixed media wearable art to large installations. She has also made a huge contribution to the development of the British glass scene by virtue of her commitment to the Cohesion Glass Network.
Similarly, Sabine Little's ingenious designs express thoughtful and delightful qualities.
I would like to commend all the shortlist for their commitment and perseverance in these difficult times.

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