Whether coral reef teeming with vividly colored sea life or honeycomb dripping with golden ambrosia, Joe Peters’ flameworked glass is highly recognizable. Yet the artist has somehow avoided predictability by pushing boundaries and welcoming subjects as diverse as dragons, robots, and honeybees. Collectors delight at the release of new work, never knowing what subjects will be brought to life in Peters’ torch.
In 2012, encouraged by growing international demand from private collectors and galleries, Peters began transitioning from purely sculptural art to functional glass. To be closer to his pipe making community and to produce more collaborative projects, the artist relocated to Evergreen, Colorado, where he joined N8, Adam G, WJC, Elbo, and Eusheen at the Everdream Studio. This stable of world premier pipe makers share this state-of-the-art studio.
Influenced by glass artists Robert Mickelsen and Vittorio Costantini, Peters also found inspiration in the work of his functional glass heroes Banjo and Buck. He has studied with many flameworking masters including Lucio Bubacco, Loren Stump, Robert Burch, Sally Prasch, Milon Townsend, Mickelsen, and Emilio Santini.
On his own and through collaborations, Peters creates pieces for glass enthusiasts worldwide. In 2013, his functional glass works were featured in a well-attended and successful solo exhibition titled Side Show at GooseFire Gallery in Los Angeles, California. Public commissions include his 2012 aquarium on display at Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, and public art for Chicago Children’s Hospital, Chicago, Illinois.
As cannabis continues to permeate American culture, Peters engages the functional glass community, in part, by getting his work into the hands of influential musicians. In 2015, the artist created and hand delivered a pipe to country music and cannabis legend Willie Nelson. In early 2016, rapper Action Bronson purchased a Peters’ collaboration, solidifying the value of high-end functional glass artwork within the music world.