The symposium offers possibilities, values and qualities that can only be brought by a meeting of people who are passionate about the same thing, in this case glassmaking. In a limited time, artists and craftsmen, working together for the first time in their lives, create items and objects according to pre-prepared designs. They often develop and grow thanks to mutual interaction. The aim of the symposium is therefore not only creation as such, but also the building of respect between its participants.

Since the 19th century, Novohradsko region has been one of the important European centres of glass production. Local products were exported in large quantities to a number of countries and won success at world exhibitions. After all, it was here that glass began to be decorated with iridescent layer, long before it became fashionable in the Art Nouveau period. And Novohradsko region is, despite all the difficulties that time has brought, a glass-making region to this day. That's why, on the initiative of the company R-GLASS Trade, the operator of the glass factory in Katarinska Huta, doc. Patrik Illo, head of the Glass studio of the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava, and the activities of the Stará škola in Kokava nad Rimavicou, which is supported by the Ivan Hronec family, organized the international glass symposium from April 8 to 13. 2024.

Educators and students of university glass studios from six European countries – Slovakia, Czechia, Poland, Romania, Hungary and Ukraine – created in two places. Glassmakers in Katarinska Huta breathed life into drinking glass designs, Peter Glosík and Peter Ďuriš in the Stará škola in Kokava  greatly assisted in the realization of objects created in the mobile glass furnace. The international dimension was further strengthened by the organizational partnership with the state Museum of Glass and Jewellery in the Czech Jablonec nad Nisou.

The results of the symposium will not disappear from the region after the exhibition, as they will become the basis of the Stará škola glass collection being built. A selection of them will also go to the Jablonec museum. However, the benefit of this event is definitely not just physical items. They are experiences, emotions and memories that each of the participants will take with them. And they will have Novohradsko region and its glassmakers imprinted on their soul forever.

Petr Nový, Kokava nad Rimavicou, 4. 13., 2024


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