Each handcrafted piece is created from lead-free crystal, mouth-blown and hand-engraved utilizing hundreds of years of Czech know-how. What makes Artěl unique is the combination of traditional craftsmanship with Feldman’s fresh approach to design. Feldman states: “We make our crystal precisely how it was made hundreds of years ago – that is precisely what people love about the collection. The mix of tradition with modern is what Artel is renowned for.” Feldman is a fine art photographer by training, and applies these skills in her approach to glassware, in addition to allows pushing the boundaries of design. “My philosophy is to not follow the rules – this has served me very well and it is what makes our company so unique in the luxury crystal industry. I look to all mediums for inspiration, art, fashion, textiles, illustrations, etc and as a result we have a looks that is very unique and highly graphic” Feldman explains.
Each Artěl glass is completely hand-made start to finish in the Czech Republic, in Northern Bohemia. The glass itself is mouth blown in wood molds. If the glass needs to be colored, this process can be done in two ways, either overlay or cased. Both processes are again done by hand and Artěl distinguishes itself for its broad range of colors. The decorative work is executed by hand in a range of techniques including engraving, cutting, sandblasting, acid etching, painting and gilding. Artěl glassware is handmade by Czech masters who have studied their craft in school and then practiced it day-in-and-day-out first as apprentices then later as masters. Feldman expands “Artel carefully choose the best and most talents artisans to work on our team, and we always decide which artisans will make each motif based on their skills and artistry. Not every artisan can complete every design”. Indeed, some of Artěl’s designs are so intricate they demand the best engravers in the world, and can take up to 48 hours to engrave. When it comes to preserving craftsmanship, Feldman is confident the success of her company is what will propel this traditional Bohemian art into the future. She states: “Artěl keeps growing each year, and with this prosperity we ensure that the legacy of Czech craftsmanship will continue and become further renowned. Our products are sold around the world in over 26 countries and we always promote that our collection is made by Czech artisans as their art and skills are known throughout the world.”