Thursday, 3 January 2013

Peter Goss - glass art in the Sunshine State

Peter Goss is celebrated as the first studio glass artist to set up in Queensland. He established a studio at Tewantin (just up the river from the beach resort of Noosa Heads) in 1981 and has been the 'grandfather' of the extensive glass artist community in the Sunshine Coast region. His influences include helping set up Chris Pantano outside Nambour as the second glass artist in Queensland in 1986 and performing the opening ceremony for the Sunshine Coast Hot Glass Studio in Yandina for Jonathon Westacott and Greg Royer in 2004 (both operations since closed).

Peter Goss served in the Royal Marines 1964-1973, including active service in Borneo. He trained at the Jam Factory glass workshop in Adelaide 1975-1977 with Sam Herman and later Stan Melis as workshop leaders and with other trainees who were to become household names in Australian art glass.

From left, Rob Knottenbelt, Peter Goss, Stan Melis, John Walsh and Tom Persson

After completing his traineeship, he worked both as an independent artist at the Jam Factory and in Sam Herman's studio there. An example of his work from that time, inscribed "Peter Goss 77, SA2, SJ Herman Glass Studio" is shown below.

Peter Goss 1977 15cm

Peter Goss moved to Queensland in 1979 and set up his Paraison Glass Studio at Tewantin two years later. To quote Glenn R. Cooke writing in Craft Arts magazine in 1989, 

His early works ... reflect the influence of Sam Herman but his more recent concentration on forms inspired by sea life has parallels with that of his other teacher, Stan Melis.

Here is a glorious example of the latter kind, inscribed "Peter Goss, Shell Form, PSG 1223/86":

Peter Goss 1986 15cm

He became ill and closed the business in 1991 and worked in the food industry in the region, variously as human resources manager, safety officer and product quality manager. First he was at the famous Buderim Ginger Factory, which by then was located not in Buderim but 23km away in Yandina, coincidentally in the same street that the Sunshine Coast hot glass studio later operated (although in Yandina, pop. 4000, there are not too many other streets to choose from!). In a further coincidence, the old ginger factory building in Buderim was later converted by the state government into a craft centre, opening in 1991 and featuring a hot glass studio which housed Chuck and Lesley Simpson, Lucas Salton, Martini Glass (Mark Galton and Tina Cooper) and others. A business directory shows Peter Goss working for a subsidiary company of Buderim Ginger as late as September 2009. 

Several themes developed in the work of Peter Goss. One characteristic is the overall shape, wider at the shoulder than at the base, with the lower body geometric (often square or hexagonal) and the upper body rounded. The colourful spots, where the bubble is rolled onto chips of glass, is a frequent decoration, as are the dribbled on trails that are only partly marvered into the parent material. An example below of his later work from 1991 shows many of these characteristics.

Peter Goss 1991 16.5cm

Just for fun, here are a few more examples:

Peter Goss 1982 12cm
Peter Goss 1984 29cm
Peter Goss 1985 17.5cm
Peter Goss 1987 17cm


  1. What a great looking blog, Trevor, well done. And I was really interested in this post since I have a few Peter Goss pieces in my otherwise mostly NZ collection ( - a few of his pieces did cross the Tasman

  2. A friend gave me a crystal carving by Ladislav Dostal. It is numbered 554/75, is approximately 22cm X 22 cm in a sort of triangular shape. It is of a swan flying up out of bullrushes. Do you know anything about it? It is difficult to find information about it. The carving came with an undated photocopy of a newspaper article.

  3. An interesting blog, Brewster, so good to find something on Peter Goss, and well researched and illustrated too! but I'm wondering whether you are still active as a blogger? Also a rather more serious question: do you know whether Peter is still with us?