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Crafted in Japan

V√°clav Rez√°c is a member of a strong generation of Czech glass artists who studied at renowned Czech art schools in the 1990¬īs. He studied hot glass at the glassmaking school in Zelezn√Ĺ Brod from 1991 to 1995 and from 1995 to 2001 he was a student in the glass studio of professor Vladim√≠r Kopeck√Ĺ at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague (UMPRUM).

Autumn Sky.jpg
V√°clav Rez√°c, "Autumn Sky", 2019, 40 x 75 x 78 cm, 40 kg
During his studies Rez√°c was always fascinated by hot glass making with one intention - to do it in his own and different way. After graduating he developed his individual art work while being involved in various projects and occupations including Lhotsky Cast Glass Art Manufacture ‚Äď a Czech company that carried out the manufacture of the cast glass sarcophagus for the Danish royal family. He is currently a lecturer at the Technical University in Liberec, Czech Republic.
 
In 2016 he was appointed to the position of a teacher at the prestigious Toyama Institute of Glass Art (TIGA) in Japan. The school in Toyama was established in 1991 and from the beginning it has been inviting outstanding glass artists in order to teach Japanese and international students. Employing Czech teachers has always been a part of the Institute¬īs strategy. Three years spent in Japan became a kind of milestone in V√°clav Rez√°c¬īs glass creating experience. The fact is that living, working, and especially teaching in Japan must inevitably change one¬īs approach to many things not only in a professional and artistic way. On the other hand foreign teachers may influence and make a significant impact on the Japanese glass art environment. This is exactly what Rez√°c did. Conditions for mutually beneficial influences are just perfect in Toyama. The school is equipped to provide students and teachers with all techniques and technologies in one place. The school is run and supported by the city of Toyama while students pay a reasonable fee for the training. At the same time the institute offers its free facilities to freelance glass artists and craftsmen who can rent them.
 
V√°clav Rez√°c, "Pink", 2019, 83 cm Dia, 50 kg
V√°clav Rez√°c, "Pink", 2019,
83 cm Dia, 50 kg
 
V√°clav Rez√°c particularly appreciates the Japanese principle of a complex approach to glass tuition that utterly suits him. Every artist is supposed to be a real master able to realize the work from the initial idea to the final shape through all the necessary steps, including his or her craftsman‚Äės personal performance. And the teacher is naturally supposed to be the master ready to execute his own work himself and offer his disciples the best example. V√°clav Rez√°c is exactly this sort of artist and mentor. Within three years of his teaching in Japan he created a fascinating collection of work inspired by Japanese nature and traditional culture. Rez√°c¬īs works designed and completely hand-crafted during his stay in Japan are a faultless display of a deep understanding of both European and Japanese traditions.
 
V√°clav Rez√°c, "Columns", 2019, 27 x 26 x 35 cm, 8 kg
V√°clav Rez√°c, "Columns", 2019,
27 x 26 x 35 cm, 8 kg
All the masterpieces were created in a continuous process demanding the artist¬īs total involvement including the handicraft. The Japanese collection is an outstanding evidence of the interconnection between artistic vision and technological managing accompanied by the mastery of craft skillfulness. Basic shapes are mostly geometrical and they were made using a kiln-cast process. Cold work as cutting and polishing followed. The final form of each piece was defined as hot glasswork where the kiln-cast objects were exposed to burning glass mass flowing down over the cold surface. Strict geometry meets hardly predictable amorphous spontaneity in order to create a surprising harmony of a seeming contrast. Colours are a considerable part of the sophisticated concept. Some works are almost colourless (for black and white are actually no colours and crystal glass is purely transparent) while other works shine with uranium green or calm down with their discreet pink coloration. The charm of the whole collection is enhanced by the fact that every piece is imposing from the first sight and yet, it offers endless delight of contemplation while observing subtle details. Names of works refer to Japanese culture, ancient architecture and nature.
 
Author: Jaroslav Polanecky
The article is published in the context of our cooperation with GLASHAUS - International Magazine for Studio Glass 2/2020
 
Cover picture: V√°clav Rez√°c, "Black Calm", 2019, 35 x 15,5 x 7 cm, 5 kg
Photo credit: V√°clav Rez√°c

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