In the part of the Czech Republic once known as Bohemia, glassworking and crystal are a source of national pride. The region’s been producing glass for almost a millennia, pioneering many of the techniques used ubiquitously today. An unlikely collaboration, orchestrated by a young Czech product designer named Michaela Tomišková, recently brought together two of the area’s most revered glassmakers.
Moser and Kavalier are “legendary,” writes Tomišková, who graduated last year. But the companies apply “very different approaches to the same material.” Moser is all about traditional craft, with a 150-year reputation as a producer of fine crystal. Kavalier is almost as old, but focuses on technical innovation and experimentation. The designer explains that by asking the two companies to collaborate on a lamp, she hoped to “bring together these two opposite stories.”
A look at her lamps, called Hadovka, reveals how the two competitors worked together under the direction of Tomišková. Kavalier’s specialty–a lab glass called Simax–provides the structural components. Moser’s traditional faceted flourishes decorate the otherwise utilitarian beaker glass components. “Cut crystal glass from Moser is more decorative with great light qualities, while Simax from Kavalier is more functional,” Tomíšková recently told Cool Hunting.
Tomíšková’s other work also runs interference on craft and local tradition. Made By Breath for example, is a carefully crafted miniature of a Czech town filled with workshops, houses, and factories. The designer says the model “tries to capture the reflections of lives of the people we work with.”
[Images courtesy of Michaela Tomišková]