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Blown and beautiful

The crystal glassworks of 20 Czech artists are on show at Amethyst



FRAGILE BEAUTIES: some of the exhibits at Amethyst

GLASS AS a medium has shown great versatility through centuries, bringing to mind the great medieval cathedrals with their majestic and aesthetically crafted stained glass windows, effectively serving to enhance the spiritual ambience and perpetuate their timeless character. Glass with its transparency and myriad play of reflecting light on its surface has a magical quality and an ethereal glow. This quality of glass Chennai-ites can witness in a show of "Handmade Glass from Bohemia" brought to the city by Cheryl Coelho Gonsalves, proprietress, The Silk Route through the agency of Zdenka Horao. Zdenka is no stranger to Chennai having lived here in the 1970s to give visibility to her compatriots from the Czech Republic. The show is on at Amethyst, where the ambience complements the aesthetics of glass display.

Showcased are the works of 20 glassmakers belonging to Ajeto Glassworks from the Novy Bor's region tucked away in the mountains of Northern Bohemia. Czech artists have maintained a leading position in the world of glass art till the present day. Their knowledge of this craft together with technology has enabled them to realise ideas affording scope for bold experimentation. In this respect, the Czech artists are pioneers discovering new dimensions of the art. And invariably, today, when one thinks of crystal glass, it is Czech glassware that comes to mind.

In this context, the Ajeto collection is magical with realistic price tags and is crafted out of the highest quality Bohemian crystal. Its character manifests visually, particularly in the different and unconventional glass techniques and procedures. These artists have produced works in a wide gamut of shapes, sizes and colours that meld contemporary designs with the traditional. This is a rare treat for crystal glass collectors. There are drinking glasses, bottles, bowls, tumblers, jugs, cups and saucers and vases to choose from.

Of the artists whose works are on display, the well known ones are designer Borek Sifek and master blower Petr Novotny. They perfectly complement each other in terms of aesthetics and craft. This exhibition has the works of Sifek whose eloquent and poetically organic designs lend an aura of simple charm and lyrical grace.

An opportunity of this nature should not be allowed to slip by easily. The exhibition has pieces that can adorn any interior from home to office to church. The prices range from Rs. 450 to Rs. 20,000.

The show, which is on at Amethyst, closes this evening.

ASHRAFI S. BHAGAT

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