Making the cut

Karen Feldman

The American Karen Feldman is enriching traditional, elegant crystal cutting with fresh playfulness and perspective. She produces Czech glass as assuredly and easily as if she had generations of experience behind her.

WHEN SHE MOVED to Prague in 1994, she didn’t know much about Czech glass, but she knew what she liked. “At that time I was discovering the lovely glass in Prague’s antique shops. I had a specific notion of a glass I would like to buy, but I couldn’t find it anywhere. So I decided to have someone make it for me,” she says, describing her first impulse to go into business.
The adventure called Artěl began in 1997. She named her firm after the artistic period at the beginning of the last century, when artists of the Artěl cooperative supported the manufacture of products that were functional and beautiful, rejecting mass production. “This idea corresponds to my efforts: although each item is made by hand and cannot be replicated, you can use it every day,” Feldman says. She surrounded herself with the finest glass specialists. “In this country I found true masters of their field, and their creativity and talent are far more developed than in neighboring countries,” she says, adding that “we can afford to be much more courageous and creative because we’re a small firm.”
Feldman dreams up and designs the basic artistic ideas, then she brings in designers who know the specifics of crystal cutting. Her style can be summed up as classic with a modern concept – elegant, tasteful, enriched by unexpected, playful motifs. “Inspirations can come from an old postcard, a piece of textile, glass, or a motif from a children’s book,” says Feldman.
For now you can find Artěl’s products only in the Modernista gallery, but they will soon be available in the Four Seasons hotel as well. “In fact we’re focused on exports. We sell our products at Harrods in London, Barneys in Japan, and Le Bon Marché in Paris.” Whoopi Goldberg, the American presidential candidate John Kerry, and the fashion designer Marc Jacobs are among those already drinking from Artěl glasses.


spring collector

While spring euphoria lasts, stock up on optimistic items for a rainy day.

You won’t get very much light from this ring-shaped lamp and tea candle, but your interior will take on a distinctive style.
3111 Kč, Sia.

Original plastic bowls by Robex are an ideal economical solution for a three-member family or a team.
400 a 540 Kč, Luis.
Wake up from your winter reveries with a jolt of espresso.
396 Kč, Potten & Pannen.
A floral paper weight with an Andy Warhol motif.
1329 Kč, Potten & Pannen.

Sia, Luis - Palác Flóra, Vinohradská 149, Praha 3 , Potten & Pannen, Václavské n. 57, Praha 1


shop of the month

IN THE ABITARE INTERIORS STUDIO you can furnish your apartment in high Italian style, but the specialties might grab your attention even more. Fall in love with enchanting doll house rooms by Mibb or, for more experienced tastes, there’s the original collection of Bugati and S’Oliver bed linens, sophisticated decorative fabrics, stainless bathroom accessories, pottery, or popular Kahla porcelain.

Abitare, Žitná 18, Praha 2

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