Glass Museum Nový Bor and AFAD Bratislava invite you to the Prague exhibition opening - REVIVE! LITHYALIN!
- nám. Míru 105
473 01 Nový Bor
- nám. Míru 105
Opening: 24/11/2023 from 5 p.m.
Exhibition duration: 24/11/2023 - 31/3/2024
- Žofia Dubová / Zuzana Gállyová / Lucia Kupcová / Dávid Kurinec / Kristína Ligačová / Palo Macho / Katarína Pozorová / Pavla Pšenicová / Jakub Sojka / Anna Zbořilová
About the exhibition
Exhibition REVIVE! LITHYALIN! is focused on the presentation of experiments by young Slovak authors with the rare and technologically demanding historical glass technique lithyalin. The technological and implementation base was guaranteed by the company Ing. Václav Kuželka - Glassbor CZ in Novo Bor, in the city where this technology originated in the 19th century. The pedagogical and artistic concept was created by associate professor Palo Macho with students and graduates. In 2022, two interdisciplinary workshops were held at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava in cooperation with the companies Glassbor CZ s.r.o., the Jílek glass factory in Kamenický Šenov and the Higher Vocational Glass School in Novo Bor. Both workshops were focused on metallurgical and refining techniques of lithyaline glass with the application of silver and copper glaze. With these historical glassmaking technologies, the authors experimented with a combination of traditional and author's approach and sought not only new aesthetics, but also new meanings in the context of contemporary visual art and art design. In the final author's interventions in blown lithyaline shapes, pencil drawing, line drawing, painterly gesture and sculptural intervention by sandblasting, grinding, edging, engraving and glass cutting are accentuated.
The project has been supported by the Slovak Arts Council and is part of the Images Captured on Glass KEGA project 004VŠVU-4/2022.
Under my leadership and the expert guidance of Václav Kuželka, in 2022 two interdisciplinary workshops of students and graduates were held at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava in collaboration with the companies Glassbor CZ Ltd., the Jílek glassworks in Kamenický Šenov and the Higher Vocational Glassmaking School in Nový Bor. Both workshops were focused on the metallurgical and refining technologies of lithyalin glass with the application of silver and copper glaze. Using the historical glass technologies, the authors experimented with a combination of traditional and author’s approach and sought a new aesthetic in addition to new meanings in the context of contemporary visual art and art design. In the final author’s interventions in blown shapes, drawing, painterly gesture, and sculptural intervention was accentuated by sandblasting, grinding and glass cutting.
Different colours of the surface and the painted layers were achieved by the height of the firing temperature and different oxidising or reducing the firing atmosphere. The combination of temperatures, firing atmospheres and glass refining techniques resulted in various types of objects. Some have the appearance of products, because they meet the requirements of serial production, whereas others can be considered art design, or even an author’s work of art, which is unique and enhances the exceptional quality of creative drawing and painting.
Although they are imaginary categories, and in some objects they merge or overlap, all objects, including experiments, display the quality of craftsmanship and technology as a natural outcome. Technology and craftsmanship are important benefits of the artist’s creative approach and his/her intellectual concept that creates the artistic value of the work of art.
Welcome to the exhibition dedicated to the revival of lithyaline technology. It is not only a presentation of young Slovak authors, students of the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava, but also a call to honor and value traditional techniques, while at the same time trying to visually advance them and look for their current application in the field of designer glass and contemporary design.
In the first half of the 19th century, there was a significant development of glass coloring in Bohemia. A number of new enamels were discovered and patented, Buquoy hyalite, uranium, chrome-colored green enamels, and others. At the same time, the popularity of "semi-precious glasses," whose appearance resembled natural minerals, grew. We also include the so-called lithyalin (Greek Lithos = stone). While for other types of semi-precious glass, their structure was already achieved at the smelter (by composition of the glass stem, melting and processing into a pipe), lihyaline acquires its final appearance only after refining, namely glazing. It was invented around 1828 by merchant, painter and glass technologist Friedrich Egermann (1777 – 1864), who had his famous studio here in Nový Bor (then Haida) on the square, just a few steps from today's museum building. He was a successful inventor and entrepreneur. He received an imperial privilege to manufacture lithyaline glass in 1829 and immediately created a sensation with it, winning numerous awards at industrial exhibitions.
Egermann was able to take advantage of semi-finished products made of inhomogeneous enamel (the principle of densely produced semi-precious glasses), decoratively cut them and then refined them with glazes. This further accentuated the unfused "streaks" in the glass and gave the products a very interesting and unique look. The process is so unique and dependent on so many factors that it is essentially impossible to multiply and each piece is an original.
2024 will be an incredible 160 years since Egermann's death. However, the technique of glazes and lithyaline lives on, thanks in large part to engineer Václav Kuželka, an enthusiastic technologist who has been dealing with the technique of glazes for more than 30 years. He was able to develop a way to make lithyaline today. And what more! He was able to convey this technique to Pala Macha students from VŠVU in Bratislava. Lithyaline, like a number of other traditional or half-forgotten techniques, has great potential. Fingers crossed for everyone who tries to restore their glory!