Factory: Chlum u Trebone
Designer: Jan Gabrhel
Date of design: 1969
The ‘Pierrot’ range can be seen as the natural development of a number of key themes in Jan Gabrhel’s work. Many of his forms can be seen as abstracted versions of the torso, most notably certain shapes in the landmark ‘Rustikal’ range which also has two circular recesses that hint at buttons on a jacket. Here, the applied, hot-worked applied motifs continue that, and also give rise to the range’s name.
The surface of the bottle is also lightly textured, which hints at fashionable and influential Scandinavian glass of the period. Textures found in nature, such as rock, bark and ice, were particularly important. A more general key theme, one shared by many Czech designers of the period, was the optical effects of glass. Gabrhel considers that here, with the sparkling optical effect created by the almost ‘hammered’ effect of the surface. The bright clarity and high quality of Czech glass allows both the textured surface and the optical effects to be successful.
This was the largest piece from the small range, and was described as ‘Vase with ‘Applied Prunts No.11405/41’ in the State’s trade publication Czechoslovak Glass Review in March 1969. As it was expensive, few examples sold, making them rare today.
15.75in (41cm) high.
About The Designer
Jan Gabrhel (b.1930) studied under Jaroslav Brychta and Miroslav Klinger at the Specialised School of Glassmaking at Zelezny Brod from 1946-50. He was employed as a designer at the Chlum u Trebone branch of the Cesky Cristal Glassworks from 1957. He exhibited his work at many national and international exhibitions, including the 12th Milan Triennale in 1960. In 2000, he retired and became an independent glass artist. Although he produced some unique studio works that are similar to those by Pavel Hlava, he is best known for his use of heat-sensitive coloured glass for decorative vases and bowls, and for his numerous designs for drinking glasses.