About – Thomas Petit

Thomas Petit in the studio

Like many glass artists I started my craft experience in the world of clay while at school, and despite my determination to be the next Bernard Leach I was encouraged to try other artistic mediums to broaden my mind and experience.

Remembering a childhood visit to the Dartington Crystal Factory to watch glassblowing, I set about searching for small courses and found one with Norman Stuart-Clarke in Cornwall. I was mesmerised with this new and exciting material, and clay was almost completely forgotten about.

An apprenticeship was not going to be financially viable, but I was determined to be a glassmaker, so took up a voluntary position at The Glasshouse in Covent Garden.

Higher Education followed, and various jobs here and in New Zealand. I now live and work on the edge of the Peak District, in Derbyshire.

In 2016 I decided I was often missing opportunities due to the limitations of availability, so jettisoned the full-time job to concentrate wholly on my glass business, and expand the number of galleries and shows.

Inspirations

I draw upon many influences in the creation of my glassware, from the broad spectrum of the Arts and my own photography, to everyday objects and experiences.

When I set out to design a new range I usually have a set of colour combinations in mind. I often try to visualise what they will look like in my head and jot down notes about possible colours and techniques. Unfortunately, ideas that worked in the mind or on paper often look considerably different in the glass medium, so I will keep experimenting with them until I get the desired effect. Sometimes it is the happy accidents that spark off the best idea.

My Shore ranges were influenced by my childhood outings in East Sussex, where we used to walk for hours over the South Downs and coastal valleys to the sea, with Cuckmere being a firm favourite. I wanted to try to capture the flint and cobbled beaches of this area in an abstract beachside landscape. Since the original Sea Shore ranges, ‘Flint’ & ‘Waves’, there have been hybrids and different coloured backgrounds, and the range continues to evolve

All pieces are ground by hand, and each stopper is made for an individual bottle. If the sandblasted pieces should lose their sheen, I suggest buffing them with a cotton cloth (not a duster) and a very little WD40 (use sparingly).

I hope the piece of my glassware you bought brings you lots of enjoyment.

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