Answered By: Rebecca Hopman Last Updated: Jul 19, 2016 Views: 61
From what I've read, Karen Lamonte did move to the Czech Republic in part because they had casting equipment that allowed her to create large-scale pieces. In her "Meet the Artist" talk at the Museum, Lamonte states:
"Then I realized that I wanted to make lifesize, human scale—my scale—work focusing on clothing. I realized very quickly—I tried a couple of smaller pieces in the United States, and I realized that scale was immediately going to be an issue. So, that’s what led to the move to the Czech Republic. So, in 1999, I applied for the Fulbright and moved to Prague. I studied for one year, and my grant was to study at the Applied Arts Academy and to work in these foundries. There were three, really, three major foundries that you can go into as an artist and cast glass. I went and met the foundry owners, and I showed them my past work and I said, And I want to cast a glass dress! And one of the foundry owners said, Great, come on up! So, that was sort of the beginning."
You can read (or watch) the rest of the talk on our website. Her move to the Czech Republic is also mentioned in the following articles:
- "The Spectacular Glass Dresses of Karen Lamonte." (Brett Littman, Glass Magazine, Spring 2002)
- "Karen Lamonte: Reflections on Glass." (John Perreault, American Craft, June/July 2005)
I can't speak to whether this is still true - that the Czech Republic is the only country with casting equipment for large-scale pieces - but it seems reasonable to mention this as the reason for her move in the late 1990s.