Peter Minson is a third-generation glassblower based in Binalong, NSW. Studying as a scientific glassblower Minson’s practice has evolved to include artistic and functional work. Minson’s delicate teapots, cups, and glasses are a testament to his great skill as a glassblower. Minson’s work has been exhibited at Craft ACT, Kirra Galleries and Glass Artist’ Gallery. He has taught at the ANU School of Art and RMIT University.
Looking back over my working life with Glass, I could never have predicted this is where I have arrived at today. I have been very fortunate to be born into a family of glassblowers that has allowed me to have a wonderful varied life following my passion through working with glass. I never knew my Grandfather but when I look back on what he achieved in the early 1900 s making glass Radio Valves by hand at a time it was all new, learning basic electronics, circuit boards and other necessary parts, bringing to life the birth of Radio today. He moved on to Neon making shop signs, company logo’s etc when Neon had just been invented. Then to have all of those areas close with the start of the world depression in 1930, no job, no work. Early in the 1930 he reinvented himself again, starting a small family business, drumming up work by knocking on doors of Chemist Shops, Pharmaceutical Companies, Research Companies getting orders to make glass eye droppers, eye undines, pipettes, test tubes and more. All made by hand, using a small bench burner, glass tubing and solid rods. The method used is called Lampwork.
The business operated till 2004. It was here I started learning about glass and Lampwork accompanying my father into the Family Business in Paddington on school holidays when I was 13-14 years of age. Leaving school at 16 years old I worked full time in the factory making test tubes, many different sizes and more advanced glass apparatus like condensers, calibrated glass burettes, pipettes, volumetric and vacuum work. Eventually I managed the business, employing and training the staff. Feeling I needed to learn more about glass and myself, building and operating a glass furnace, sorting out glass formula, teaching myself how to make led me to leave the family business in 1976 and try my hand at other more artistic and functional areas of glasswork. This initial change in direction plus more changes has continued over the ensuring 45 years leading me to where I am today. Looking forward I hope I can continue in Lampwork and several other areas for at least 5 more years making my working life with glass span 7 decades.
Peter Minson, 2021
Peter Minson's solo exhibition, You get a Rhythm about it is on display at Craft ACT from 3 February - 19 March 2022. Find out more here.
Image: Peter Minson, champagne flutes, flameworked glass. Photo: Brenton McGeachie.