Jiří Šuhájek is a talented artist whose designs were awarded at exhibitions in the Czech Republic and abroad, such as „The Best Design of the Year“ (1974, 1979, 1986, 1988, 1995 and 1996), awarded by the Institute of Industrial Design in Prague and by the Design Center of the Czech Republic, and international prizes, such as Premio International, Valencia, Spain (1980) or Prize of the International Glass Symposium, Süsmuth, Germany (1985), State Bavarin prize, München, Germany (1976), Glass Coburg prize, Germany (1985). His works are represented in many world museums and galleries (Victoria and Albert Museum, London, Great Britain, The Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, USA, Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art, Sapporo, Japan).
„To be oneself is the confirmation of truth – in glass, as well as in life.“
Jiri Suhájek was born in Pardubice in 1943. Having finished the Secondary School of Glassmaking in Kamenicky Senov, he started to work in the Moser glassworks in Karlovy Vary in 1962. In 1964 he continued his studies in the studio of Professor Stanislav Libensky at the Academy of Applied Arts in Prague, later at the Royal College of Art in London. In 1971 he completed study stays at the glassworks in Italy (Venini, Murano and Venice) and in Dutch Amsterdam.
In the time period 1972-1994 he worked as a glass artist at the Moser glassworks. Since 1979 he has work as glass designer with the Institute of Interior and Fashion Design in Prague. Than he worked as art director at the Bohemia Art Glass Ltd in Vsetin and than he taught on the Secondary School of Glassmaking in Valasske Mezirici and on University of Tomas Bata in Zlín.
Since 1974 he has been participating regularly at glass symposiums in the Czech Republic (Crystalex – Nový Bor, Moser – Karlovy Vary) and abroad (Germany, Russian, Holland, Ukraine). He has been sharing his experience with other generations of glass designers lecturing and guest teaching in the U.S.A., Sweden, Russia, Japan and Germany.
Towards the end of the 1960s Jiri Suhajek started to model original art works included blown and hot-shaped glass objects, his own figurative sculptures to wire, later he blew rounded and smooth figures, mainly female shapes. During the last few years, the artist has been working, in free composition on the giant figurative sculptures“ The Four Seasons“, originally planned to be the full number of table companions at the Last Supper of the Lord. Monumental coloured creations, Arcimboldo – like glass objects lead into the most recent sculpture – The Burning Bush – made from eight hundred glass components inserted into a metal framework, measuring 3,6 metres in diameter, in yellow, pink, gold, red and ruby. This giant glass sculpture was created for Shanghai, where already eight of the artist´s glass flowers with a diameter of 1.8 metres hang on the walls off hotel Westin. Suhajek created a range of drinking sets and vases elegant in shape and unique in their color combination.