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AS IS | Klára Mikešová

Glass artist and designer

From Prague, Czechia

Based in Prague, previously based in the Liberec Region ( Czechia)

Klára Mikešová is an internationally acclaimed artist and designer; the material/medium closest to her heart is glass. She combines practicality and aesthetic pleasure in her work, each of her pieces reflecting her thoughts and emotions

Fractal Vase; hot-shaped crystal glass with machine-cut decor inspired by fractal geometry. The piece was awarded first place at the Glass Cutting World Cup and was part of the International Biennale of Glass which took place in Sofia, Bulgaria. Photo credit: BOMMA.

A: Please, tell us a bit more about yourself. What brought you to art?

K: Originally I studied architecture at the Czech Technical University in Prague. Eventually, I realized that I was drawn in a different direction, and when I was given the opportunity to study under a globally acclaimed glass artist - Mr. Bořek Šípek - I didn't hesitate and relocated to Liberec. That was a beautiful time in my life - of familiarizing myself with glass and learning all the things that come to me naturally today. It was an unrepeatable opportunity which I am very grateful for.

A: What inspires you the most?

K: Glass is my inspiration. I love glass, every aspect of it. It's technologically challenging but rewards with exceptional aesthetic results. I love its long-standing tradition which is deeply rooted in our country and I believe it will remain this way in the future as well. I love its beauty which is ever-changing and never ceases to surprise me.

A: Do you have any specific rituals while working (creating)?

K: I work with a computer a lot these days and although I'm finding it a useful and powerful tool, nothing beats a pencil when I'm just beginning to seek a raw idea, shape, or solution. As I begin to create, I sketch and take notes, let my thoughts flow freely around a topic, and wait for the right prompt. Only when an idea gains a clearer shape in my head do I move to the virtual environment.

A: What would you recommend to someone new to art (an artist or just an admirer), what to begin with?

K: If you'd like to create, the process should come from within, you should be genuine at what you do. And if you manage to have fun, then that makes for great added value. If you'd prefer to be an observer, all you need is to keep your eyes open, watch and let the art speak to you.

A: Your top 3 adjectives related to art?

K: In art, I find that the story or idea you wish to convey and the emotion you wish to elicit are essential. I am intrigued by the beauty, even if it's hidden from side, and craft. I believe that art shouldn't be created unless you understand the material you want to use. By combining these three elements you get a timeless piece of art.

A: Your favorite Czech artists?

K: The 60s and 70s in Czech glassmaking are very close to my heart. Such personalities as Pavel Hlava, Ladislav Oliva, František Vízner or the Roubíček's played a role in Czech history and helped give Czech glass a good name all over the world.

A: What piece of art do you think embodies the Czech national spirit and culture? Why?

K: That's hard for me to say because art is subjective and everyone has a different measure for what's interesting or significant. I consider the Czech long-standing glass-making tradition important. Names such as Moser, Rückl, Bomma, or Preciosa have long represented the Czech Republic in the world and it is thanks to them that the phrase"Bohemian glass" still has an appealing sound to it.

A: The perfect phrase to start any conversation about art is: ..?

K: I think I'd ask questions such as: What appeals to you? What do you like? because art is all about emotion. Sometimes it's appropriate, to begin with a fun fact that gets the attention and which you can build on. For example, did you know that the dark red color of hand-blown glass, also known as ruby red, is created by adding real gold to molten glass?

A: Where can we meet you?

K: Ideally in my garden when the weather is nice.

A: Please, share your favorite quote or idea (not necessarily related to art):

K: There is one idea that has accompanied me. It is the understanding that glass is an incredible material - it never stops metamorphosing depending on what reflects in it and thanks to lighting, which is ever-changing. A glass vase will look different positioned in a garden and surrounded by trees as opposed to an enclosed white gallery; it will look different in the morning and daylight or the evening, under artificial lighting. The vicissitude is what makes glass what it is, and that is why trying to capture its essence is a life-long endeavor.

Thank you!

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