HISTORY IN DETAILS
History of the Ajeto Group in details.
The Ajeto glassworks with its official fourteen years history is a relative newcomer to the heartland of Bohemian glassmaking region famed and renowned for many passed centuries.
Right from it’s very beginnings, Ajeto is a place from where exquisite glass creations reach out to the world of art and design, now for well over ten years.
The phenomenon of Ajeto unique style and international renown, was conjured up by the unique trio of Borek Sipek, Petr Novotny and Libor Fafala, during the era before the veil Iron Curtain was torn down in the Czechoslovak Velvet revolution of 1989.
In 1994 , the Ajeto glassworks has moved to its current location – Lindava, a humble little village tucked-away in the hilly landscape of the Northern Bohemian forests. Lindava with about 450 inhabitants, has since moved on from a place barely known by the average Czech native, to become a location visited and loved by many a renowned glass craftsmen and artists, as well as celebrities from other walks of life, designers, architects, fashion designers, performing artists, musicians, actors, film directors - masters of trades and arts of all kinds.
The dream of Ajeto only truly materialised when its current Lindava incarnation was raised out of the ruins of a once famous German textiles factory that fell into disuse during the long rein of Czechoslovak totalitarian establishment. The factory came back to life during autumn of 1994, architected in Borek Sipek’s unique style.
Through Ajeto the little place Lindava has become a mixing-pot of world cultures, nations, arts and crafts, its repute reaching far beyond the borders of the Czech Republic, beyond Europe. It is a place sought by cream of the world glass art crop.
Borek Sipek as the art-director has been challenging the glass craftsmen and technologists with his ideas since the very birth of Ajeto. The realisation of Borek’s designs has only been possible thanks to Petr Novotny’s world-renown hot-glass artisanship, and Libor Fafala’s unequalled skills in all facets of glass manufacture technology. The relentless push for more intricate, complex and awe-inspiring designs continues to drive the glassmaking skills and technologies to an art-form of its own.
Ajeto has grown to become a place where the ideas of Borek Sipek as well as many other designers and artists come to life.
The fast-track to success and world renown would never be possible without the skill and craft of Ajeto’s glassworkers and their daily toil with the unique and seemingly uncontrollable medium. Only through persistence and hard work is it possible to fulfil the often outrageously crazy wishes, dreams and demands of the artists.
For those fortunate enough, a visit to Ajeto is an eye-opening experience, especially when visiting a glass-works for the first time. Within a two hour leisurely drive from the Czech capital Prague, Ajeto makes for a perfect weekend day-trip.
Even before entering the glass-works itself, visitors can admire the glass sculptures exhibited outside the factory, each piece being a unique creation contributed by some of the worlds most famous glass artists. Featured among these are works by Dale Chihuly from USA, G.M.C.M. Jilsen from the Netherlands, Rob Stern from USA, or Borek Sipek himself.
Despite all that’s been said, the focus at Ajeto is on the work at hand, the required concentration takes first priority in realisation of the never ceasing flow of prestigious commissions. In return for the efforts, the glass-workers rarely have lack of interesting and challenging work.
Trying to sum-up the specific past achievements of Ajeto would be a hard task for anyone. Only during Borek Sipek’s post as the Prague Castle architect, named by then Czech President Vaclav Havel, Ajeto has played a key role in the refurbishment of the presidential offices by realising the architectural glass, chandeliers, lighting fixtures, tableware and a wide range of furniture fittings designed by Borek Sipek. Most importantly Ajeto glass has represented the Czech Republic on numerous occasions in the form of official presidential gifts, now taking place of honour in the collections of presidents, and royals all over the world, to name just a few, the ex-president of the United States of America Bill Clinton, the French president Jacques Chirac, the Lebanese president Emil Lahud, His Royal Highness King Harald V of Norway, Her Imperial Highness Princess Sayako of Japan, and Her Royal Highness Princess Caroline of Monaco.
Ajeto and Borek Sipek glass also has a place in the collections of Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan, fashion designers Karl Lagerfeld or Jean Paul Gaultier, as well as the Czech celebrities Vaclav Havel, Halina Pawlovska, Marta Kubisova, Jan Triska, Michael Kocab and many others.
Amongst the past Ajeto projects worthy a note is the Skoda stand at the 2000 World EXPO in Volfsburg. The monumental lighting fixtures and architectural glass elements designed by Borek Sipek were only made possible by the skill and innovation of the Ajeto craftsmen.
A recent addition to the long list of major projects is the Czech Airlines Sky Team Crystal Lounge at the Prague International airport, designed by Borek Sipek. Ajeto produced a bright mix of vases, tables, and furniture parts creating the glamorous yet relaxed atmosphere of the Crystal Lounge.
The beginning of 2005 was marked by a major glass installation commissioned by Zepter International. Ajeto manufactured a 15 meters long and 3.5 meters wide chandelier for the Beograd Opera house, again designed by Borek Sipek.
Over the years of its existence, Ajeto has been the glass-studio of choice for the Czech art-glass pioneer Rene Roubicek. It is at Ajeto that Rene Roubicek created many of his works that now grace the exhibition halls of worlds major art institutions and numerous private collection across the globe.
Glass made at Ajeto has entered the pages of glass-art history at the hands of Dale Chihuly, hundreds of glass-components for his installations were realised at Ajeto.
Two of the jewels of the worlds oceans, the liners Carnival Pride and Carnival Spirit are embellished by hundreds of glass creations from the Ajeto glassworks.
For a number of years now, Borek Sipek’s collections made at Ajeto have successfully featured among the offerings of the world-renowned design label Rosenthal. This year’s Rosenthal collection is an unequalled show of Borek’s fresh style and unmatched skill of Ajeto craftsmen.
Through the 20 year long relationship between Borek Sipek and the exclusive Italian design label Driade, Ajeto glass has become an inseparable part of the Driade collections. Driade currently offers in the vicinity of 100 unique Ajeto design pieces.
To work with Ajeto, for Ajeto, or having just a hint of association with the glassworks commands professional respect of the highest regard world-wide. Ajeto is not just a place to do ones work, it is a lifestyle.