Through the Looking Glass of My Life
I was born in Rio, on the street that divided Copacabana from Ipanema, those very famous neighborhoods , in 1968 – a very peculiar year in history.
I grew up listening to the wavy and soothing sounds of Bossa Nova, being very close to both those visually and mood inspirational beaches. Such a precious time, so close to all that white sand. With my face literally touching it every day, unbeknownst to me how all that quartz would be important later in my life.
My trip towards the joy of creating glass was kind of late, but oddly just on time. I had been living in Czech Republic since 1991, when I came to study Scenography (Stage Design) at the Theatre Academy of the Charles University. I finished my Masters in 1998.
That became my profession and, since 1998, I have been working for local media outlets, and also for Czech theater performances, up until I became the main Art Director at a television station in Prague. It has been a career crowned by a long series of creations for TV programs’ intros and closings, promos, studio sets and advertisement pieces, plus some external and unrelated cultural events.
It was the fateful year of 2007, when I was invited for a big happening in the city of Nový Bor, which is the most important glass educational and production center in this part of the world. As you certainly know, Nový Bor has a tradition of glass making that goes back more than seven hundred years. Thanks to abundant stocks of wood – used as both fuel and raw material – with also crushed quartz, the region provided ideal conditions for the craft. Glassworks in different areas date back to medieval times and have been traced due to various archaeological finds – such as small pieces of melted glass and fragments of moulds – in places where old glassworks used to stand.
During the celebration of the 260 years since when the all-powerful Austrian empress Maria Theresa gave the village the permission to become a town. I was “the” Brazilian artist handling an exhibition of pieces and some installations at the core of this Slavic place with centuries-long tradition. An exquisite bird within the nest. Though, oy vey, it may not have been written on the stars, but it certainly brightened my future as an artist.
At the time, bordering 40 years in this planet, I had rarely seen glass blowing, which immediately changed from when I met Mr. Roubiček and his world. It became crystal clear – pun intended – for I was enchanted and felt destroyed to shattering pieces inside: that I should have seen this 20 years earlier!!! Was it too late?
Being a Scenographer, one has to draw and paint, though not being a painter. One has to sculpt, yet not being a sculptor, one must design not being a real designer. Throughout my whole life, I was not fulfilling my actual needs as an artist. In theater or TV productions the work happens with a big amount of people. You do big things, but they are not only yours and, after the show ends and the film is shot, everything is gone, put down, dismantled. Thus, I still suffer for having wasted all those years. I was missing the adequate media to express myself, to tell my stories.
That big event in Nový Bor lasted a whole week and ended with a Carnival parade. The organizers wanted to mix the Czech and the Brazilian traditions, because of the Bohemian emigration wave to Brazil in the 19th century and that then became a tradition every year. I went there to lead workshops in their schools, teaching how to manufacture Brazilian Carnival-masks and costume techniques for the local teachers. And that occurred at the Glass School classrooms. And every single visit confronted me with the idea of entering this traditional and celebrated institution to learn how to make glass… That became a true passion. I started to travel, looking for glass galleries and museums all over.
Then came 2010, with a load of things turning around my life, when I decided to make a 2-week course at the Glass School in Nový Bor. Little I knew that it would end up becoming a 3-year course in which I graduated as a Specialist in “Creation and production of artistic glass”.
My research is deeply inspired by the natural movement of glass. To keep a moment of that movement suspended in eternity. To catch a developing shape, stopping it from being just part of the itinerary: to become the actual end. Like a picture in glass. It is certain that my inspiration comes a lot from the beginners at the Studio Glass, like Mr. Roubiček, Mr. Littleton and Mr. Eisch (who I had the pleasure to meet in Frauenau).
One of the series that I like most, from my work, was blowing “on life” material, such as fruits and objects: aiming at taking a “picture” of them in the glass bubble. And keeping them, comparing and finding related shapes and functions, such as a pinecone or even a hand grenade.
Later, I met the technique of fusing, which I previously considered to be second grade, a not so distinguished technique. However, there was when I found myself. The fusing and sloping glass was exactly where I could control the exact moment of the shapes, when it starts to “flow”, so that I could then freeze that moment. As the water that always inspired Mr. Roubiček.
My work now is a mix of the influences from Brazilian neo-constructivism and the Czech glass art.
I work with pre-blown pieces in the kiln or technical glass as glass lenses. I fuse them, break them, fuse again, then slope, looking for the “natural” shape of the piece.
It is now going to be around two years since, with my husband Radek, we’ve built a house at Nový Bor´s region, where I have my atelier and my kiln (200cmx100cmx60cm), where I have been constantly working.
MgA. Ricardo Hoineff
Bieblova 17, Prague 5, 150 00