Factory: Skrdlovice, Czechoslovakia
Designer: Frantisek Vizner
Date of design: 1976
Produced: Late 1970s-80s
Frantisek Vízner’s important designs for the Skrdlovice glassworks are united by their monumental feel, a use of complex techniques, and an exploration of form, texture, light, and optical effects. Forms used by Vízner are typically minimal yet architectural, with the cylinder recurring frequently. This design also has another of Vizner’s repeated design elements – a coloured core heavily cased in colourless glass. The reflective and refractive interior and exterior surfaces create an interesting optical effect with the colour. This is accentuated by inclusion of mica powder and random air bubbles in a controlled spiral pattern. Mica is a form of silicate mineral, and the name is derived from the Latin word mica, meaning ‘a crumb’, and also hints at the verb micare, meaning ‘to glitter’. The sandy texture of the mica powder also contrast with the shiny, glassy interior and exterior surfaces.
This design, numbered 7629, was produced in this vibrant green and a strong and deep cobalt blue. Shapes included cylinder vases in different sizes, and a very large charger. As all Skrdlovice glass was entirely handmade, every pieces differs in terms of the precise colour tone, size, and pattern. This fine example is in excellent, original condition and bears a (rubbed) red foil Skrdlovice label, dating it to before c1987.
9.75in (24.5cm) high
For more information about Frantisek Vizner’s work at Skrdlovice and comparable designs, see Beranek & Skrdlovice: Legends of Czech Glass, by Robert Bevan Jones & Jindrich Parik, published by Mark Hill Publishing Ltd, 2014.
About The Designer
Frantisek Vízner (1936-2011) was one of the most important, innovative, and internationally influential Czech glass designers of the 20th century. He took an apprenticeship in glass painting at the Primary School for Glassmaking at Novy Bor in 1951, before studying at the Specialised School for Glassmaking in Zelezny Brod from 1953-56. He then studied at the Academy of Applied Art under professors Karel Stipl and Plátek from 1956-62. After graduating, he produced progressive pressed glass designs for the Sklo Union group of factories. In 1967, he became the lead designer at the Skrdlovice glassworks, before becoming an independent studio glass artist in 1977. His work can be found in many museums and important institutions and his studio works regularly fetch thousands, or tens of thousands, of pounds/dollars when sold.