Mark Peyton started Beach Glass Design in 1994. He is an artist formed and faceted by the inventive 1960’s. At the age of 13, he started a “paint-by-number” painting. In a need to break outside of the lines, he wiped the painting away and created from his imagination a still life with fruit. To complete the painting, he made a paintbrush from a lock of his own hair. At that moment, he realized that he was an artist.
As a young man, he worked in an advertising art studio while living in abandoned mansions in Detroit with a bunch of hipsters. In protesting the Vietnam War, he rescued a goat from slaughter and walked it across a bridge into Canada. This made National headlines, “War gets his Goat.”
After receiving a conscientious objector status to the Vietnam War and working in a ghetto on the Eastside of Detroit establishing urban vegetable gardens, he headed down to Florida. Taking a break at a beach bar, he put down his beer and headed to South America, where he picked up his pen and ink to communicate while he was learning Spanish. Eventually, he settled in a Quechua Indian village in the high Andes of Peru where he survived by helping the Indians harvest potatoes.
After a year of living without potable water and electricity, his visa ran out and he returned to Florida, deciding to stay when a chameleon jumped on his shoulder. There he helped a dear friend renovate a house and garden. While being an avid gardener, he filled the house with large paintings of flowers from the garden.
Mark first became aware of beach glass in the 1950’s from his discovery of the glass fragments that washed up on the shores of the Great Lakes Waterway at the end of a landfill peninsula that he grew up on just outside of Detroit. Years later, after collecting beach glass from the Great Lakes, Chesapeake Bay, San Andreas Island and South Florida, he created his first beach glass pendants from those collectible, sand-etched, jewel -like fragments. These designs evolved into hand-carved and tumbled shapes of stars, fish, hearts, crosses, pineapples , and other geometric shapes. Using the same process of water, movement, and abrasion that is found in nature, these handmade, tumbled designs, are transformed into cabinet knobs and pulls, chandeliers and sculptures.
Mark’s creativity puts his designs onto a unique level, and, like beach glass, no two are alike.