It was then time for Peter to pay his dues in hard labour. He joined Beechmont Pottery, a production pottery staffed by Americans who had come to Queensland partly for the work, partly for the surf.

One of those was John Durand, who was to have a significant influence on Peter’s development as a potter.

"For every potter who wants to throw, starting in production pottery is best. You learn to minimise your movements," Peter says.

“When I arrived I could make only 100 coffee mugs a day,” he says, adding that he can now produce that quantity in just two hours. Through practice -- he handled three quarters of a tonne of clay a day--- his natural abilities were stretched and honed. His reputation for throwing clay into perfect shapes was established.

Later he established a pottery at nearby Nerang where he pioneered a white glaze with a green and pink spray. It was in striking contrast to the sombre Japanese-influenced hues that then dominated Australian pottery.