We are committed to spreading the idea of glass as a privileged artistic medium for the creation of a wide range of art forms and furthering the innovative technology of cast glass, which our predecessors Stanislav Libenský and Jaroslava Brychtová rediscovered in the 1950s as a distinctive technique enabling the realization of artists’ visions of what can be made from glass.
We are an inspirational and professional partner in the field of using unique cast glass technology to produce glass objects and installations for artists, designers, architects, and individuals from the Czech Republic and around the world.
Building on our history as the oldest studio of cast glass sculpture in the world, we have established ourselves as a strong and internationally respected brand, with a vision of continuing to inspire the world to push the limits of what is possible in the field of glass art objects and installations.
As part of its work for leading Czech and European experts and curators, the studio seeks out collaborative projects involving renowned artists and designers across all artistic genres and in a variety of artistic media with the goal of creating entirely new glass works or transforming existing iconic works into glass form.
Our values are based on a respect for the tradition of cast glass sculpture in the Czech Republic, for precision craftsmanship and know-how, with an eye to innovation and creativity. Combined with artists’ visions, this approach yields powerful stories, manifested in glass form.
We aim to foster professional and public debate on questions relating to glass as an artistic medium. We cultivate our heritage by enriching and inspiring the world to realize the ambitious visions of artists and architects, and we are committed to shaping the future of glass as an artistic medium within the world of contemporary art.
Our long-term goal is to systematically engage in dialogue with renowned international artists, galleries, curators, and art institutions with the aim of realizing our vision and strengthening the position of glass art objects on the international scene and among experts and the general public.
The world’s oldest studio of cast glass sculpture
Lhotský Studio produces glass artworks and installations using a unique cast glass technology. The studio follows in the tradition of cast glass sculpture in the town of Železný Brod dating back to the 1950s and continues the work of its founders, the internationally renowned artistic duo of Stanislav Libenský and Jaroslava Brychtová.
Legends Stanislav Libenský and Jaroslava Brychtová and their legacy
Until the early 1990s, the studio in Pelechov produced all of this iconic duo’s cast sculptures and large-scale works for architecture. After much urging by Stanislav Libenský and Jaroslava Brychtová, in 1994 Zdeněk Lhotský – sculptor, internationally known glass master, innovator, and founder of Lhotský Studio – took over the studio in order to continue in the tradition established by its founders. Working in the spirit of the studio’s founders, we work to preserve their artistic legacy, continue to develop the glassmaking tradition, and honor Czech craftsmanship, all with an emphasis on precision workmanship while pushing the limits of what can be created by human skill, creativity, determination, and love for one’s craft.
Projects that are changing the world of art
In 2018, the studio completed work on the world’s largest work of cast glass, a “sarcophagus” for the Danish royal family. Weighing more than 4.5 metric tons and measuring 3.8 meters long, the work was installed in the chapel of Roskilde Cathedral, but is currently not accessible to the public.
Over the years, Zdeněk Lhotský has turned the studio into a highly professional specialized artistic facility that has produced unusual and technically demanding projects for a number of artists, including Marc Newson, Faye Toogood, Howard Ben Tré, Judy Chicago, Geoffrey Mann, and Karen LaMonte. The studio has also worked on many important projects and works for architecture and, last but not least, produced several important works by Czech glass legends Stanislav Libenský and Jaroslava Brychtová and glass sculptures for the studio’s founder, the sculptor Zdeněk Lhotský.
Time-tested tradition, know-how, and experience
Our combination of innovative technologies with know-how passed down from generation to generation enables us to realize formally complex sculptural objects with complicated structures down to the smallest detail, as well as large-scale works of art that could not have been produced previously using any other technology. Our use of innovative techniques and our artisans’ passion, professionalism, creativity, and dedication to their craft – backed by more than thirty years of experience producing glass objects using innovative methods – help us to find unconventional solutions that transcend the ordinary and predictable. We place great emphasis on unprecedented workmanship whose quality results from a human touch that imbues each work with enduring value.
Technological innovation and development
Shortly after taking over the studio, Zdeněk Lhotský and his team engaged in intense experimentation and began the search for new technologies, new ways of casting glass, and new materials. They worked to perfect the construction of their kilns and tested the limits of formally and structurally complicated glass objects. Results of their work include “EX glass,” a material suitable for outdoor use in architectural projects, the unique Vitrucell technology, and eighteen modern kilns for realizing the most demanding glass works and installations.
At EXPO 58 in Brussels, hundreds of thousands of people admired the original glass objects on display in the Czechoslovak pavilion. One of these works was a panel with colored glass stones decorated with animal motifs. This work by the artistic duo of Libenský – Brychtová was made using the cast glass technique at the state-owned Železnobrodské Sklo company. It was the first time that these two artists showed the world, in a work of purely modern artistic stylization, that cast glass could be used for large-scale objects as well.
The next big success for glass art in Czechoslovakia was at EXPO 70 in Osaka, Japan, where more than 10 million visitors could admire the largest glass work ever made, the 22-meter long The River of Life – again by the successful artistic duo of Libenský – Brychtová.
Over the course of several decades, the “Na Pelechově” workshop produced numerous monumental creations by Libenský and Brychtová – and later by other artists as well, in particular Libenský’s students from the Academy of Arts, Architecture, and Design in Prague.
After the Velvet Revolution in 1989, the new management of Železnobrodské Sklo decided to privatize the company.
In 1994, Zdeněk Lhotský became the cast glass studio’s new owner, manager, technologist, artistic director, and sculptor producing his own works of art.