Designer: Jirí Suhajek
Produced: Late 1970s
Jirí Suhajek is one of the Czech republic’s most important and progressive living glass designers. Gaining experience at the very heart of the genesis of the studio glass movement in Britain under Sam Herman, he is also one of the very few Czech glass artists who crosses both design and making. Combined with the high quality of glass produced at Moser, Suhajek was able to create a number of landmark designs, including this vase. All were a new departure for Moser, in terms of their style and the way the designer worked closely with the glassmakers throughout the production process.
Suhajek was inspired by nature, and abstract, modern art in this design, and so has followed a tradition that began in Czechoslovakia in the 1950s. Murano glass of the 1950s-60s, such as the sommerso designs of Flavio Poli, can also be seen to be an influence in terms of the vibrant colour, casing and curved form. The stylised flower is made up from melted glass chips and applied trails, which are used in an almost painterly manner. The thick colourless body was then dipped twice in green glass to give the distinctive ‘wings’, optical effect in the uncased ‘V’, and the weight. This example is in excellent condition, with a number of bubbles, or ‘seeds’ within the glass which were not unintended, and which drive home the unique, nature of studio glass. The green and red colourway is also comparatively uncommon.
8in (20cm) high.
Another example of this vase in the more common amber colourway was shown in Hi Sklo Lo Sklo: Postwar Czech Glass Design From Masterpiece to Mass-Produced, by Mark Hill, published in 2008, p.58.
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.