Glass making craft

Glass making craft

Beautiful traditions in the Liberec Region

The art of glassmaking has been a part of the history of the Liberec Region in the north of the country since time immemorial. It has also become a famous pride of top Czech crafts and beautiful glass-made products continue to dazzle the whole world to this day.

Crystal Valley 

Glass stones from Český Ráj (Bohemian Paradise), crystal chandeliers sold to all corners of the world, jewellers and glassmakers - this is the Crystal Valley of the Liberec Region. The production of glass and jewellery has been connected with the region for centuries, and the still-living tradition of production itself does not differ much from that of a hundred years ago. The Crystal Valley connects glass and jewellery art. More than 40 companies, museums and schools are involved in the unique project. Visitors have the opportunity to look into the world of glass workshops, for example to the glassworks in Lindava or Harrachov and get acquainted with the traditional production of chandeliers, Christmas decorations, glasses and jewellery. Live workshops, glassworks and fascinating stories dating back to the history of the region await visitors. Specifically, in the Jablonec Region, tourists can visit bead presses or fall in love with the region's famous costume jewellery. In Nový Bor, they can witness the production of tens of thousands of pieces of utility glass every day, and gigantic light objects and chandeliers for the most famous and magnificent hotels, palaces, and even ships are created nearby. Delicate and fragile Christmas decorations are produced in Poniklá on the slopes of the Giant Mountains, while jewellery and stove workshops await discovery in Český Ráj (Bohemian Paradise). Železný Brod, on the other hand, became famous for its glass figurines. Most of the local products are then shipped all over the world, but you can only admire the art of our masters here.

Pačinek Glass  

In Kunratice near Cvikov, in the workshop of Jiří Pačinek, you can come and see for yourself how glass dances under the hands of master glassmakers. Jiří Pačinek is one of the truly important artistic glassmakers on an international level. Many years of experience and the possibility of collaboration with the greatest artists, architects and designers of his time inspired him to establish his own art brand Pačinek Glass, which is currently a major player on the world glass scene. The glassworks itself was inaugurated in 2015 and since then, has attracted glass artists from all over the world and lovers of the glassmaking craft to peek under the hands of master glassmakers and in so doing get a little closer to the traditional glassmaking art.

During a tour of the glassmaking complex, a visit to the glassworks awaits you, where you can observe the work of Master Pačinek himself, the glass cutting shop and the glass showroom. One of the biggest attractions, however, is the magical Glass Garden, where you can indulge in a soothing walk among glass plants in any weather and at any time of the day or night. You can visit the glass flower shop - Pačinek Gardens, where you can choose a flower for your own garden or order one directly according to your wishes. A pleasant seating area then awaits you in the newly built Glass Yard, from where you can enjoy a beautiful view of the garden and the glassworks. Here, under the covered terrace, you can make your day all the more pleasant with a stop for some refreshment at the simple snack bar U Pece and by the firepit where you can grill a sausage over the fire. You will also find a small outdoor furnace with a glassmaker next to it, who will be happy to let you try what it's like to become a glassmaker for a while. The highlight of the trip is clearly a tour of the Crystal Temple with a unique gallery and a permanent exhibition of glass art.
 

Lasvit – The Glass House and The Black House

Two hundred years ago, masters of the glass craft lived in log cabins on Palackého Square in Nový Bor. The Czech glass design company Lasvit renovated the historic houses and moved its headquarters there in 2019. The complex includes two modern new buildings - the Black House and the Glass House, which are a metaphor for darkness and light. The glass house visible from a distance from the street is covered with tiles, which are inspired by traditional slate tiles. Lasvit developed this glass façade to refer to regional traditions, but at the same time, to embody modern trends.

According to the company's founder Leon Jakimič, the glass house is supposed to be a unique lamp in the city and should be a sign of renewal and new confidence of glassmaking in the region. The complex also includes two log cabins, which served glassmakers at the end of the 18th century. At the beginning of the 19th century, a glass manufactory operated in one house, and in the post-war period, a glass school and a grinding mill operated. Lasvit renovated both listed buildings and in 2019 several departments of the company, including the top management, moved here.

Lasvit AJETO  

The idea to establish a glassworks in Lindava near Nový Bor arose from a meeting between architect and artist Bořek Šípek and glassmaker Petr Novotný. They built the glassworks in the early 1990s and ceremoniously opened it as part of the International Glass Symposium (IGS). Every three years, world-famous designers, architects, and glassmakers come to this event to create alongside glass masters and bring a new perspective to the craft. The glassworks itself has been creating art objects in the style of Italian glassmakers from the island of Murano since its foundation. Art objects from the LASVIT Ajeto glassworks have personalities in their collections, such as former US President Bill Clinton or singer Mick Jagger, and Václav Havel was also an admirer of Šípek's work. The glassworks creates the Tour de France trophy and the Thalie Theatre Award, as well as components for large lighting installations and some designer lighting fixtures and drinking and decorative glass. Here, glass masters can create colourful glasses called Candy, Frozen bowls inspired by ice or Crystal Rock vases reminiscent of stone.

The glassworks is open to the public, so every visitor can watch from the galleries just how difficult it is to work with glass. You can even try out the work of glassmakers for yourself and use a glass whistle to create your first exclusive glass product, your own pint glass or vase. You can soak up your experience with pleasant refreshments and home cooking in the stylish Ajeto Glassworks Pub, located directly in the glassworks complex. And don´t forget to pick up a glass souvenir here, to commemorate your visit.

Rautis – pearl bead ornaments from Poniklá

The picturesque Giant Mountains village of Poniklá is the only place in the world where traditional pearl bead craftsmanship has been preserved to this day. The first blown bead workshops were established here at the end of the 19th century, and entire families often made their living from it. On a tour in the Rautis company, we will be shown the entire production process, from manual blowing through silvering and dyeing to the actual assembly of the ornament. The journey of a glass bead intended for decoration is quite lengthy - first it must be blown out of a glass tube, then it is silvered, painted, and cut. All these steps are done manually and only then is the bead ready to be threaded. The variety of patterns is extensive. In the beginning, imitations of common objects, transport vehicles or animals were created. Following up on these were typically Christmas motifs, featuring stars, angels, or Christmas tree toppers. Under the guidance of a skilled worker, we will get to assemble some decorations ourselves. In 2020, this unique hand-made ornamentation from blown beads became a prestigious addition to the UNESCO World Intangible Cultural Heritage List.