The Cutting Edge of Glass

Glassmaking in the Czech Republic goes back to the Middle Ages, and it is still a centre of excellence and innovation. Gladee Lighting, which has its manufacturing base in the traditional glass-making region of Jablonec, is still pushing the boundaries, as its latest collection shows.

The work of Gladee Lighting’s head of design Jaroslav Bejvl – a renowned glassmaker who is doing much to reframe Czech glassmaking in a contemporary light – the Diversity collection brings together a variety of techniques, ancient and modern. The ‘Jove’ pendant (above left) is made with “a very traditional technique that was first used in early 19th century: when the hot enamel is taken from the oven, coloured powder is sprinkled on to it,” explained the showroom’s Helena Whittle. “This method creates a very unique pattern, so every one will be different.” ‘Jove’ is named after the alternative name of the Roman god Jupiter – and the glass is intended to replicate the swirling gaseous surface of its namesake planet.

Bejvl’s incredible skill is also demonstrated in the ‘Dot’ (above right) and ‘Whisper’ (above centre) pendant. The glassmaking technique behind ‘Whisper’, which features a ‘droplet’ of glass caught as if water was frozen in time, is confidential. “When unlit, its metal transparent coating is almost like looking in a mirror, but when lit, it reveals its secret,” explains Whittle. “For me it’s a true piece of art.”

Gladee Lighting, Third Floor, North Dome