Jaroslav Ježek was a leading Czech designer who gained fame for his practical and figural porcelain items. He was one of the founders of the Brussels style, an important development in Czech design in 1950s and 60s. Featured at the World Expo in 1958, he represented Czechoslovakia very successfully, taking away two major awards.
Jaroslav Ježek (1923 – 2002) was born in the village of Podlesí near Příbram. After World War II, he studied in Prague at the Pedagogical Faculty of Charles University. He did not complete the art-teaching course, however, and decided to switch to the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design, where he wanted to study porcelain and ceramics design.
Before joining the academy he undertook a six-month internship at the Thun porcelain Works in Klášterci nad Ohří – and he ended up staying there until 1954, when the porcelain works was closed down. He chose practice over theory and never returned to his studies.
In 1955, he was offered a job in a new porcelain development centre in Karlovy Vary. Two years later he was invited to design some exhibits for the Czech pavilion at the Brussels World Expo due to be held the following year.
At this prestigious event Ježek won two awards – a Gold Medal for his collection of porcelain sculptures called Klisnička a hřebečkové (Mare and Stallions) and the Grand Prize for his Elka coffee service.
After his success at World Expo of ´58, Jaroslav Ježek designed a whole series of animal figurines that became very popular. Most of them were produced at the Duchcov porcelain works where they are still made to this day.
Today, we are looking at the tea sets that are making a huge comeback because of their Mid Century Modern design and style.
These beautiful sets occasionally pop up on auction sites such as eBay and when you see one, we suggest you snatch it up!