The art of calligraphy is transformed into a dynamic abstract form when Peter Furlonger applies it to sculptural glass. His exceptional work involves engraving textured lettering onto three-dimensional glass using a sand-blasting technique.

Furlonger has developed his artistry since receiving a commission for a piece of glass to be exhibited as part of the Gateshead Garden Festival in 1990. Since then he has come to work in collaboration with virtuoso glassmakers to produce exquisite individual pieces, including cylinders, bowls and roundels. A glassblower such as the Isle of Wight’s Carl Nordbruch creates a piece to Peter’s specifications and it is onto this ‘canvas’ which calligraphy is engraved.

The lettering art of figures including Eric Gill (1882-1940), David Jones (1895-1974), calligrapher Werner Schneider (1935-) and the glass engraver David Peace (1915-2003) have been inspirational formative influences. The intricate illuminations of the Lindisfarne Gospels also have a deep resonance within Furlonger’s work. Text is often inspired by his love of poetry and text may be based on lines by William Wordsworth, W.B. Yeats or T.S. Eliot, but as the artist says: ‘You don’t read the text as much as feel it.’

Work by Furlonger is highly sought after by collectors and is held in the Victoria & Albert Museum, the National Museum of Scotland, Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens, and North Lands Creative Glass, Caithness and by the British Glass Foundation.

 

Footed bowl, 'Bavarian Giants', DH Lawrence (left)
Overlay bowl, 'The coming musk-rose', Keats (right)
Overlay dish, 'She walks in beauty like the night', Byron (centre)

Cased vase, 'Fire in Burning Snow'