Saturday, 22 August 2015

More feast for the admirers of Peter Goss

The earlier article about Peter Goss on this blog has been, by a wide margin, the most popular post we have made. It seems there are many admirers of his work, both those of long standing and those who have discovered his work from our article. To reward those admirers and others, here are more examples from across the glass making career of Peter Goss.

The first is a trio of bottles from 12 to 18cm high, all basically trapezoidal in lower section, although some are more rounded than others. They are all inscribed JFW1 and signed with initials PG. These are Jam Factory output from 1975 or so, in the early days of the plan to use production items to support the workshop and training activities. The numeral 1 in the code JFW1 indicates the first item made of that design. The fact that they are all JFW1 – not JFW2 or 37 or whatever – is a testament to those heady days of experimentation and discovery.

Peter Goss 1975, Jam Factory production, tallest 18cm

For his first year in Queensland, Peter Goss blew glass in a small studio at a tourist attraction on the Sunshine Coast called the House of Bottles. The bowl in the next photo is dated 1979 and clearly carries a strong influence of Sam Herman in its flowing silver chloride trails.

Peter Goss 1979, 8.5cm

After setting up his Paraison Studio Glass facility at Tewantin in 1981, Goss was able to stretch himself more artistically. One feature of his work at this time was the use of hardwood formers inside an open mould to shape the lower part of the items with a rough and random texture. Typically, the textured sections were given a dark colouring to imitate closely the trunk of a tree. It is interesting to speculate on the influence of the designers at Iittala and Whitefriars who famously used bark-lined moulds, although in neither case did they seek a naturally coloured appearance as tree bark.

Peter Goss 1984, 12.5cm
Peter Goss 1982, 16cm

Peter Goss describes the tricky operation of blowing a bubble of molten glass into a mould in a one-person operation without assistance (a restriction not imposed on the industrial glassblowers):

The wooden former for this piece was hinged on one side, and the pre-burnt former was clipped into a mould boy. I then brought the second gather of hot glass on my blow pipe to the mould boy (you stand on the mould boy and operate the closing and opening of it with your right foot) and lowered glass in to the closed former, then blew down the blow pipe to take on the burnt out shape. Once formed the mould was opened and the piece was then transferred to a puntee.

We noted previously the influence of Sam Herman from the Jam Factory. In that earlier post we mentioned also the influence of Stan Melis, who had been co-opted to the Jam Factory to bring his Slovakian industrial glass-making skills to the production side of the hot glass studio. Melis's own series of sea creatures is likely an inspiration for the next item.

Peter Goss 1987, 18.5cm long

The bottle shown below is a departure from the usual decoration associated with Peter Goss of coloured spots and midriff trails. From a series entitles "Spectrum", it explores the effects of light transmission through vessels that are only gently coloured but where a varying thickness of clear glass casing acts a random lens.

Peter Goss 1987 "Spectrum No 175", 11cm

The next item is instantly recognisable as the work of Peter Goss, because it has all of the familiar characteristics: the lower form in a simple geometric shape, together with the coloured spots and extensive trails. It is also marked as the product of the new studio he operated from 1988 called Sunrise Studio Glass, after relocating to rural acreage on Sunrise Road, Timbeerwah. His old neighbours in the increasingly suburban Tewantin were surely pleased with the reduction in noise.

Peter Goss 1988, 13.5cm

It is impossible to live by the sea without feeling its influence. The next item bears the inscription "Shell form No 18", although we are not sure why. Perhaps it is the pearly lustre of the interior, more than the encircling golden trails?

Peter Goss 1989 "Shell form No 18", 13.5cm diameter (max)

As the final morsel in this extended tribute to the glass art of Peter Goss, we show one of the last items he made in glass. It is larger than most and still bears the price sticker for $108 from the original gallery sale in 1991.

Peter Goss 1991, 18.5cm diameter (max)


  1. Peter Goss himself has posted some photos and descriptions of his glass work 1975-1991 on Flickr and Pinterest. Well worth a look!

  2. Love Peter's glass work - have 18 pieces, spanning from 1976 working with Sam Herman, right through to 1990. He still has a good eye, judging from the photos.

  3. Would love to see them or perhaps display them here. Please email using the "brewster" button in the "About Me" section up the page or