CZ, Sázava – The Center of Glasswork Artistry, Huť František
The construction of the first Sázava smelting plant was completed in 1882 and it got its name after its founder František Kavalír. The production was focused on laboratory and heat resistant glass. Sázava furnaces were equipped with countless laboratories and households in the form of tea pots, glass kerosene lamps or laboratory glassware. The Kavalier family business is renowned worldwide. Huť František (glassworks) together with the glass village Na Kácku has been preserved in its original form until today.
The last smelting in the František smelter took place in 2003. In order not to be condemned to deterioration, the last smelter owner thanks to the endowment helped the reconstruction of the whole complex, which was thus transformed into a cultural and social center. In June 2014, the Center of Glass Art, Huť František in Sázava opened to the public, where under one roof you will find a glass museum, laboratory, shop, but above all a history of glass art conceived in a modern style.
In the two-storey exhibition hall called Noah's Ark you will find collections of contemporary art glass, which presented Sázava glass at international symposia. Glass is not only perceived as decorative and utility, but as a unique work of art and sculpture. The real dominant in the central hall of the museum are the old cooling furnaces, but they are no longer functional. Today, glass products are born before the eyes of visitors in their more modern versions, and when the furnaces are extinguished, the spectacular space can be used for various shows, concerts or other social gatherings and as educational workshops. Those who are not afraid of hot forges can, under the guidance of an experienced glassmaker, try to pick up hot flowing glass from the pan and blow into the whistle. The product itself created in the glass course can be a good memory of Hut' František.
During the tour you will become acquainted with one of the oldest and quite demanding craft. You will learn, for example, how the glassmakers' work cycle went, why it melted in the afternoon and evening, at what temperature the glass melts and how the furnace melts, what wood the blow molds are, and that the glass pipe is 2000 years old. Every master glassmaker has his secret formula of technological processes, which is passed down from generation to generation. Working with glass can be divided into two phases: the first is metallurgical processing, the second is refining. Exposure with cut, engraved, painted and sandblasted glass can be found on the first floor. In addition to a shop and a sales gallery, there is a café.
Text and photos: Monika Babická
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