Layne Rowe is a glassmaker at Peter Layton’s London Glassblowing in Bermondsey. Rowe joined the studio after obtaining his degree in 3D Design from the University of Central Lancashire, and worked there for seven years. After setting up his own studios in Brazil and Hertfordshire, he rejoined London Glassblowing in 2006. The studio itself was established in 1976 and was one of the first hot-glass studios in Europe. It played a major role in the development of studio glass in the UK, and leads the change from factory dominated production to individually created glass by artists and craftsmen. The studio and gallery are located on Bermondsey Street, where it has made significant contributions to the ever-growing creative community.
“Bermondsey has a real artisan feel to it. It’s like a small village, quite tight-knit, a close community.”
Bermondsey is situated in south London, and is part of the London Borough of Southwark. From the mid-19th century large parts of Bermondsey, especially along the riverside had become a notorious slum due to the arrival of industrial plants, docks and immigrant housing. It wasn’t until the 1980s that Bermondsey’s wharves were redeveloped significantly, sparking a renewed flow of creatives and craftsmen to settle in the developing neighbourhood. While the neighbourhood’s riverside houses some of London’s better known attractions (Tower of London, The Shard, Butler’s Wharf), the area surrounding Bermondsey Street and the arches running underneath the railway now contain some of the neighbourhood’s most interesting and influential new spaces. With a rich community of young creative people dedicating exceptional attention to true craftsmanship, artisanship, and the neighbourhood’s heritage, Bermondsey has become a place that continues to inspire the contemporary London lifestyle.