“All my life, I started as a glassblower, and I will finish as a glassblower.”
From his studio in Windsor, Vermont, overlooking a reflective pond, Lada Bohac molds hot molten glass into works of art, yet he calls himself a craftsman not an artist. In his gentle voice laced with a Czechoslovakian accent he says, “Anyone who makes something from scratch can call themselves an artist. I stopped calling myself an artist because I do this for a living.” But it is Lada’s creative talent that emerges through each blown piece.
At fourteen years old and upon the completion of ninth grade, Lada had to choose his career path; just as every young Czechoslovakian student must do. He was determined to learn the art and trade of glassblowing. The source for this aspiration stemmed from deep roots that run both through family tradition and the culture of his homeland. Seven years of schooling led to trade school, followed by a college for handmade products and finally, design school. Lada began working at Crystalex, a prestigious Czech company well known for glass art and design, and then in 1995 he was recruited and relocated to the U.S. by Simon Pearce, a domestic, commercial, handmade glass company. After working for Simon Pearce for ten years, Lada decided to open his own glassblowing studio. “Following someone else’s design was not for me”, he notes. Today Lada Bohac is considered one of the finest glassblowers in New England, a true professional in his field.
His exceptional work is due to a blend of hard work and the high quality core products used in each piece as well as the consistent attention he devotes to his ovens. He fires and re-fires each piece many times before completion. Some would consider Lada a purist. “It is important to have clean glass to begin. I always like clean glass with color, all melted together. If someone asks me to make nice, perfect, clean glass, I can do it because I have all the equipment”. Lada consistently maintains his oven to over 2000 degrees, a costly expense, which allows him to be satisfied with his end product.
“You have to be very patient and control the temperature. Just a few degrees down and a few up… everything is a factor. Even the weather outside is important. If you have an open window one day and it was cold overnight it can affect the glass.”
The outcome of this devotion to detail can be seen in every piece Lada creates. His designs are smooth, clean, clear, and flawless. Swirling hues are stretched through beautiful shapes and frozen at a precise moment in time. There is a striking contradiction to the craftsman and his craft; a rugged, hardworking man using rough metal tools that line his studio and heavy ovens to create such fragile art. Yet his works are a reflection of Lada. They are precise, intriguing and peaceful.
Today Lada draws inspiration from his love of gardening. “My hobby is gardening. Where I find motive is in nature ,in the garden”. Lada’s product line offers a wide variety of pieces for practical and decorative use. ”I can make anything from glass, not just animals, not just bowls, not just vases. I like special orders, he says. “Challenge me, I like to make everything!”
Please see more of Lada’s work in the hand-blown glass section or our e- commerce store.
This profile was written by Amy Macy, freelance writer and marketing consultant.
Copyright Common Good Market, 2011