It came around far quicker than expected, but the 12th July saw the launch of the long awaited 'Hi Sklo Lo Sklo exhibition at the King's Lynn Arts Centre, in King's Lynn Norfolk. And what a weekend it was! Arriving late Friday afternoon, I my breath was taken away by the incredibly colourful display of Czech glass from the 1950s -80s. Even though I had seen it all before when the owner, Dr Graham Cooley, and I were researching the subject, it still made me gasp. A final late night dealing with the finer finishing touches turned rapidly into the morning of the opening. An exciting day of lectures and other events, organised by the Glass Association lay ahead... Within 15 minutes, everyone had assembled and judging by the smiles and animated conversation, they were mightily impressed - and quite right too! The empty room (seen here) quickly filled up as dealers, collectors and glass lovers came together to pack in as much as possible before the first talk. Graham took the stage and, as ever, gave a thoroughly educational and entertaining talk about the exhibition and many of the leading designs and designers. Setting out the background - and more - with perfect pitch everyone felt ready for the next lecture, given by the eminent authority Dan Klein. Punctuated with fascinating personal anecdotes that brought the designers to life, Dan walked us through the higher end of the market, examining works by Stanislav Libensky, Jaroslava Brychtova and their notable peers.
Both lunch and dinner in the evening were relaxed and sociable, with conversation (and wine!) flowing easily. The hubbub of excited talk about the day's learning was frequently punctuated with laughter. In these days of the internet ruling so much of the trade, it's easy to forget how good events like these are. Not only can you see the glass firsthand, which is most important, but you can trade stories (and sometimes glass) and learn from each other's experience. Never forget the social side of our hobby as, apart from the glass itself, that's what makes it so magical. If you weren't there, all I can ask is 'Why?' All I can then recommend is that you go - now!
For more pictures of the event click here. The Hi Sklo Lo Sklo exhibition is on show at the King's Lynn Arts Centre, King's Lynn, Norfolk from 13th July - 9th August 2008. Check out www.sklo.co.uk for more information. The accompanying catalogue is available here.