Celebrate Excellence: Czech Porcelain and Crystal at Designblok 2016

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Celebrate Excellence: Czech Porcelain and Crystal at Designblok 2016
Agnieszka Bar – Vitka & Vitek, Manuba Collection designed for Gdynia Design Days 2016

This designer from Poland aims to maintain centuries old traditional techniques within the palms of her hands. She creates harmony from the diverse Polish regional traditions in the form of plaited baskets and blown glass bowls. These sophisticated artefacts maintain a genuine folk identity, while having her own personal “touch”.

Source: Photo credit: Vitka & Vitek by Agnieszka Bar
Celebrate Excellence: Czech Porcelain and Crystal at Designblok 2016
Qubus by Jakub Berdych Karpelis – From Athens to Pop Art

The inspiration behind Jakub Berdych Karpelis’ “Akropolis” collection brings us back to the temples of Greek Classicism: gilt glass cups adopting the decoration of the Doric capitals. The set of pieces, when staged in its entirety, suggests the outline of the ruins of Athens’ Akropolis, thanks to the attentive study of the different heights of the pieces, granting a pleasant scenic result when displayed.

Source: Photo credit: Qubus
Celebrate Excellence: Czech Porcelain and Crystal at Designblok 2016
Qubus by Jakub Berdych Karpelis – From Athens to Pop Art

A contrasting pop inspiration infuses the “Hands Up” collection of home accessories, including a candlestick, a table mirror, a tray, and a series of table and wall lamps. The hands mimic the gestures of clowns, while generally the collection retains the aesthetic of František Tichy’s paintings of magicians and the circus. The designer was a nominee for the Designblok 2016 Award.

Source: Photo credit: QUBUS
Celebrate Excellence: Czech Porcelain and Crystal at Designblok 2016
Petr Hák & Markéta Držmíšková – Quantum

The scientific definition of “Quantum” is “the minimum amount of substance involved in one interaction”. Winners of the category award at Designblok 2015, these two designers concentrated on “distilling matter” until reaching the “quantum”: in this case, an exact minimum balance of metal and porcelain necessary for creation of their brilliant work. Their most innovative collection of furniture and ceramic foam home wares results, therefore in pieces of astonishingly low density (243kg/m^(3).

Source: Photo credit: Dita Havránková
Celebrate Excellence: Czech Porcelain and Crystal at Designblok 2016
Barbora Hrtáňová - Soffio

“Soffio” is the ethereal collection of porcelain lighting artefacts presented in limited edition by Barbora Hrtáňová at Openstudio Industrial Palace for the occasion of Designblok 2016. As she was inspired by Mother Nature and the games of light that she creates, Barbora artfully combined porcelain with metal and concrete in a beautiful synergy that defies expression. In “Soffio” she symbolically achieves the meeting of fire with air, through a fusion of different materials obtained with the aid of complex technological processes.

Celebrate Excellence: Czech Porcelain and Crystal at Designblok 2016
Sebastian Kitzberger & Štěpán Smetana – Still Life

While blowing glass is one of the most time honoured traditions, Sebastian Kitzberger and Štěpán Smetana offer a fresh contribution to the tradition with the use of real-fruit moulds for their creations. You might find a very modern note of pop art in a three dimensional reinterpretation of the “Arcimboldo’s Fruit” still life, created by these two designers and up for display at Designblok 2016.

Source: Photo credit: Tomáš Slavík
Celebrate Excellence: Czech Porcelain and Crystal at Designblok 2016
Křehký – The tradition of Morava for the contemporary

Perpetuating the inspiration of Moravian folkloric decoration, Křehký’s collections aim to become the precious antiques which families pass from one generation to the next, as a significant part of their household. While all the pieces are manufactured in the traditional factories of the Czech Republic, the continuous collaboration with different designers from all over the world grants the brand an international and contemporary influence. Jakub Berdych Karpelis is only one of the many illustrious names of Křehký’s collaborators.

Celebrate Excellence: Czech Porcelain and Crystal at Designblok 2016
Milan Pekař - Crystalline

Extraordinary in the visual effects department, designer Milan Pekař is certainly a master of crystal glazes, of which he spent several months in his studio perfecting, until developing his very own works. Clean geometric designs for the vases were chosen specifically to show the visual glory of the infinite variations of glazes, with the crystals blasting to life without becoming exaggerated or too Baroque. The metallic glaze with triangular crystal in particular, is based on one 12th century Chinese glaze “Tenmoku”, where the crystallisation of metal oxides in triangular shapes (namely spinel crystal), a peculiar and unusual formation in ceramic glazes, truly demonstrates the designer’s dedication towards research, experimentation and artistic sophistication.

Celebrate Excellence: Czech Porcelain and Crystal at Designblok 2016
Roman Šedina – Excellence combines the naturalness

The pastel colours of Roman Šedina’s porcelain collection suggest a smoothness that highly contrasts with the vases’ rough surfaces. Contrasts that serve as a sign and reminder of the very traditional craftsmanship employed in the making of these vases. Decoration is the expression of the authentic porcelain artisan, consisting in spraying fine porcelain and ceramic materials on the finished surface, achieving articulate designs by exercising different levels of pressure and employing different densities of material in the air nozzles, and Roman, is a nuanced master of these techniques. In addition to this, he has also dedicated himself to the study of ceramic layering, starting all the way back with ancient Japanese potters. The designer was a nominee for the 2016 Designblok Award for their “Home Collection” category.

Source: Photo credit: Roman Sedina
Celebrate Excellence: Czech Porcelain and Crystal at Designblok 2016
Tyformy – Graphic Elegance

Porcelain collections by Tyformy certainly capture the eye, with their distinctive focus on graphic decorations, something the designer chose to make their signature trait. The artist employs a very sophisticated technique, similar to the inocyt in graphics, which consists in creating engravings directly in the plaster moulds, so that the decoration becomes visible only when the piece is freed from its mould in the final stage. While very graphic, the decorations are subtle and delicate. For example, one of the artist’s designs is composed of shapes which are reminiscent of fallen pine needles on a minimalistic and monochromatic background.

There are some unique places scattered throughout the Czech Republic where artisan traditions specializing in Bohemian glass and Czech porcelain crafting are still practiced to be marvelled at by the rest of the modern world.                                                 Synonymous with excellence in its craftsmanship, crystal and porcelain of Czech manufacture is celebrated on exhibit in the internationally renowned Designblok 2016 as part of the main events of Prague Design Week.                                                                   From the artisans of the Lusatia Mountains in northern Bohemia, which date back to 1250, to the splendour of the Baroque courts, Czech crystal has been for a very long time, the gold standard in quality glass artefacts due to its superior stability in comparison to Buran glass.                                                                                                                                           Today, some designers are striving to bring the traditions of the 1500s artisan schools for glass and porcelain, instilling their work with contemporary inspiration while maintaining their grand artistic history, in hope of raising the interest of a wider target of acquirers.

Click on the gallery to see the best porcelain and crystals from the Designblok 2016

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