top of page


John Layton


He came to earth in a suburb of Sydney Australia not  far from  the  great Harbour Bridge and so they named him John. The  father was a strong man in a carnival, a warrior who took  on all  comers  and  never  lost.  The  mother worked  in  the postal service all night and looked after the boy during the day.  They  seldom saw the father.

One day the strong man was  discovered by  a  promoter  who  suggested he join a much bigger carnival called  "professional  wrestling." He  did so and proceeded to travel the world changing his stage name to  suit wherever he landed.   He pleaded with  his wife  to  join  him in his gipsy  life and eventually  she did.  And so began John's juvenility.

One would  think that two souls,  one  who embraces mortal combat  and the other aesthetics  would  not get  along,  and  they didn't, but did come to the conclusion that  the  theatre  of "good verses evil", that  is  professional   wrestling,  is  in  its  own right  an  art  form.  So John was left  to  pursue with wild abandon  his  art  career.

It is said  by  deep thinkers that schooling being a  microcosm  of society prepares the  individual  to  function out in the world. Psychobabble! By that token high school would  be  a  training  ground  for  jealousy,  deceit, cliques, conformity,  and Art College the microcosm of a looney bin. Sarcastically on second thought, they might be right. Never the less John's mother grinned like a Cheshire Cat to see her son on the stage graduating from Art College; he had refused to go to his  high  school grad. The father always the opportunist, during  the ceremony, was looking around for a potential photo op. 

But now the art student is hit with the lead brick of reality, how  to  make  a living "out in the real world" ? One finds odd jobs driving, delivering beer, receiving in  a toy warehouse, tending bar, and then for a few years mixing clay bodies for potters and making the odd pot. All the time though painting: portraits of dogs,  cityscapes of community shops,  paper mache animals, abstract sculptures.  He  exhibited in small galleries and the cityscapes adorned  the  walls  of  many  restaurants,  and sold very well..

Concurrent  to  the  above,  an  old  buddy  from  Art  College,  Jaan Joot, who was heavily involved  in  making  glass  animals  said  he  needed help keeping up with orders. He taught John the rudiments, then John bought a bunch of equipment and hasn't looked back since.  Over  40  years  he has made  and sold several hundred thousand miniature glass animals.  They have sold  in gift stores from the Florida keys to Caribou Crossing in the Yukon.  He has sold  them himself on the street, at fairs and festivals, often you'll find him making pieces on the spot at these venues. In that regard he has hired out to do his magic at upwards of 200 parties, delighting the guests with his miniature creations.

Painted wood construction sculptures,- the pandemic  has  afforded me more time to create in this medium,  one I have  never  been  a  stranger to.  A few years back I showed a number of  larger  wall  constructions  at  the Free Times Cafe and the Ybor City Gallery. The recent pieces:  Artificial Intelligence Exit Signs, Magic Mirrors and Cloud Formations, from my view are a humorous take on things using found materials and paint. But more a fun study in form, colour, line, and texture.  They  are much less monumental than the earlier sculptures and will hopefully appeal to a wider patronage.   For now there are no fairs  or  festivals  to set up my tent gallery,  and that has prodded me to create this  website  and  join the virtual market place. I hope you find it entertaining.

bottom of page