Tell us about yourself!
My name is Pavlina Cambalova. I'm a Glass Artist based in a glass town called Zelezny Brod in the Czech Republic. I began studying gem cutting and engraving when I was 15 years old. That experience later attracted me to glass, which compared to gemstones, seemed to be a very easy material to work with. I easily fell in love with glass and started working as an engraver in Lobmeyr, Vienna. About a year ago, I established my own studio where I work and teach. I love doing residencies and participating in workshops and symposia. I teach internationally, some places have been: Corning(NY), Frauenau(D), Sazava(CZ) and I manage the School of Jiri Harcuba (formerly called the Dominik Biman School.)
What draws you to the material you work with, and why have you chosen the processes that you use in your work?
I have always loved to experiment with various materials and techniques, because I love being able to control the process. The material I choose always has to communicate with themes I am working with. I use overlaid glass a lot. I engrave and glue optical lenses so that the engraving "floats" inside. I enjoy doing vitreographs (prints from engraved glass plates), graal technique, and many others.
What themes do you pursue in your work?
My work deals primarily with things that seem quite ordinary, but are absolutely crucial to our lives. Why do I feel at home somewhere? What kind of feeling does beauty evoke in me? How do people respond to change? I don´t judge, I simply watch and record in glass. Engraved glass is the perfect medium for me, because this slow and precise technique gives me the space to stop and think. Also, it offers plenty of possibilities to express the subtle nuances of the inner world, the atmosphere, the feeling etc.
What is your dream project?
Engraving is often perceived as a small-dimensional technique. I love to show that it is possible to use it to create contemporary art installations, large sculptures, or wall objects. I would love to work on an architectural project some day. I could engrave an important element in an interior, such as engraved illuminated walls or lightings. This would support the "home feeling" of the space, creating the right atmosphere in it. I really hope I will get a chance to do that!
If you weren't working in this field, what career would you choose?
Probably some other art profession, because working as an artist is a life style rather than work. It´s not easy but it´s wonderful.
What's something about you that most people don't know?
I have 4 parrots in my studio.
Why are you a member of GAS?
I love being part of the amazing glass community and GAS is doing an important job to keep it alive.
See more of Pavlina's work here