Vlastimil Beránek

Vlastimil Beránek is an educated and trained sculptor. He graduated from high school and university of art. He was trained by the master, legend of Bohemian crystal sculpture, professor Stanislav Libenský. He is an exponent of the third generation of the glass-making Beránek family who made history of the Czech glass in the 1940s as they established a glassworks at Škrdlovice.


Vlastimil Beránek is known as a creator of sizeable glass sculptures made of glass molten in mould. He is also an author of the world’s biggest sculpture made from a single piece of glass. The sculptures are characterized by elementary simplicity free of tiny details, which look perfectly from all the angles. In their extreme forms, at times, reach the very limits of the technology applied. Shapes of his sculptures are minimalistic, so far, simplified and true that this utmost shape will not allow you to get any further in simplifying it.


In his sculptures, he tries to freeze movement or express emotion. This is a hard task in which proportions, colour and final shapes of the sculpture help him. It is very important to have perfect proportions of the initial shape. Than you can make some intervention in it. You can twist it, distort it, cut out etc. And that is principle of Beránek’s work - to show movement in static sculptures.


Once the shape is ready than he will carve one to one model made in wood, polystyrene, clay or any other material. Then he creates the mould for melting. The mould is made of gypsum, iron and fine ground marble mixed with clear sand. He takes the model of the piece out and the void in the mould he fill with shards of crystal and also a little funnel above the mould is filled with crystal shards, half hemispheres etc. Then he switches on the kiln where sculpture is several weeks and many times several months up to a year. Once cold, he breaks the mould and cleans the raw cast. The raw sculpture surface is full of little craters and veins and micro cracks and it takes several months to file the veins and then polish sculpture to its final shape.


Most of Beránek‘s inspirations come from the sea. “There are not many things on the planet than the deep ocean so covered with secret”, and this is interesting for him. Moreover, the ocean is in constant movement, so it is a perfect environment just for Beránek’s inspiration to his sculptures. Another element that fascinates him, is fire. When you light a match and then extinguish it, there is the last bit of smoke. Very magic moment which quickly disappears. That is the inspiration for Vlastimil Beránek.