Factory: Crystalex, Novy Bor
Designer: Jiri Suhajek
Date of design: 1978
Jirí Suhajek is one of the Czech Republic’s most important and progressive living glass designers. Gaining experience at the genesis of the studio glass movement in Britain under Sam Herman, he is also one of the few Czech glass artists who crosses glass making and design. Stylised floral or budding motifs recur frequently in Suhajek’s work of this period, and are typically joined by randomly applied trails or threads that indicate the unique, ‘studio glass’ nature of a piece.
This impressive conical piece from the ‘Flora’ range is comparatively complex, and has an opaque white core cased in cobalt blue transparent glass. This is then embellished with randomly applied white trails, and a large bud-like spot also containing silver chloride, which occurs across the range of forms. This popular range was produced in a number of shapes and sizes, includng a globe vases, cylinder vases, and a paperweight. It was also produced with an ochre mottled beige background instead of cobalt blue.
The range was included in the 3rd International Exhibition of Glass & China at Jablonec in 1979, and appears in the State’s trade publication Czechoslovak Glass Review in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The largest size produced, it is in excellent, original condition. With it, Suhajek combines the Postmodern style with studio glass, in a purely Czech manner.Large sizes such as this are scarce as they were more expensive at the time, so sold in smaller quantities.
11.25in (28.5cm) high
About The Designer
Jiri Suhajek (b.1943) studied at the Specialised School of Glassmaking at Kamenicky Senov from 1957-61, and then worked as a draftsman at the Moser glassworks at Karlovy Vary. From 1964-68, he studied at the Academy of Applied Arts in Prague under the influential and talented Professor Stanislav Libensky. In 1968, he travelled to London to study for a diploma in glass at the Royal College of Art, graduating in 1971. He spent the following year working at different factories including London’s Glasshouse, Venini, and colleges in Amsterdam and Edinburgh. From 1972-94, he was a key designer at Moser and was also a designer at the Institute of Interior & Fashion Design in Prague. He is now an important glass teacher, an independent glass artist, and he takes part in important symposia. He has won many national and international awards and his work is in public and private collections across the world.