Based on artist Nancy Friedman’s paintings, a vase was produced by the Ajka Crystal factory per the artist's request. This vase serves as the centerpiece of the room Ms. Friedman was commissioned to design on a luxury cruise ship in Miami. The vase is 50 cm tall and made of 4 layers of glass, and required 15 people and 16 man hours to complete. You can view the vase on our gallery page, (item number 51326/sat993).
" Art 2009- Ajka Crystal "
In October 2009, the Hungarian Postal Authority will publish a stamp with the theme, “Art 2009 – Ajka Crystal” to honor the Ajka Crystal Factory.
The Best of the Best - The Prima Primissima Prize
The Ajka Crystal factory has received the honor of producing the Prima Primissima Prize for the Prima Primissima Establishment; an establishment that recognizes the best Hungarian athletes, artists and intellectuals. The prize, a crystal sculpture resembling the Hungarian race mare, “Kincsem” is manufactured using pate de verre technology. Known as, “The Wonder Mare” Kincsem was Hungary’s most successful race horse – she never lost a race in her career. This, “Kincsem” prize represents unparalleled talent, persistence, and physical and mental strength.
Ajka Crystal Movie
Welcome to Ajka Crystal!
All of our unique, artistic pieces – from glasses, to bowls, to vases and more – are handmade from the finest crystal. Our products are blown by mouth and our designs are ground by hand. The Ajka Crystal factory also produces beautiful hand painted china. In fact, Ajka’s china painting is world renowned and is of the highest standards.
The products produced at Ajka are unique because of the rich heritage and history that have developed over the 130+ year history of the factory. This heritage begins almost 200 years ago in the Transdanubia region of Hungary.
The heritage of the Ajka Crystal Factory was developed by the Huta tribe of the Bakony woodlands, the mountainous region of Transdanubia, Hungary.
The founder of the Ajka Crystal Factory, Bernard Neumann, built the factory in 1878 in Ajka where it still stands today. Upon the completion of the factory, he gathered the local glassworkers from Transdanubia as well as glassworkers from Saxony and Bavaria to work at the factory. Instead of the wood fired ovens that had been used in the past Neumann had the glass melting ovens at his factory fired with coal transported from the nearby town of Ajkacsinger.
The 1879 chamber report regarding production at Ajka states, “Convex, specialty and lamp cylinder glass are in production”.
1914 – 1946:
In 1914 due to lack of manpower the factory closed down until May 1916, when the factory was restarted with only one oven. After the Second World War, in early 1945, the factory once again halted production due to lack of raw materials and coal. Production started again in October of 1946.
In 1948 the Ajka Crystal factory became nationalized. The factory employed 409 people at the time.
From 1960 to 1970 additions were made to the factory floor and production capabilities were diversified and expanded as Ajka began the production of leaded crystal. The factory converted from the use of generator gas to the use of natural gas. The clay ovens were replaced by kadkemence that provided continuous melting.
After the 1990’s period of privatization the factory was purchased by the Fotex group, owned by Gabor Varszegi. During this time the factory enjoyed unparalleled technical advancements and a dynamic growth in production.
The environmentally friendly processes, electronic glass melting that ensures production of high quality glass, multicolored products, as well as hand painted glass were adopted during the privatization of the factory. Due to increased demand, a second site was built in Ajkacsinger where only potash crystal was produced.
In 1991 Ajka opened its art quality hand painting porcelain studio.
96% of the products produced at Ajka are exported. While most of Ajka’s products are exported to the USA and Western Europe (UK, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, and France), Ajka Crystal is also sought after in Japan and in Southeastern Asia.
We produce smooth, hand cut, painted and color combined crystal. Our crystal products, made from clear and colored lead crystal possess workmanship of artistic quality and are produced according to the highest standards.
The Ajka Crystal factory employs 300 individuals.Ajka Crystal Ltd. is a member of the Fotex Group.
Meet our top Artists/ Designers
Winner of the Moholy-Nagy Design Award
After attending the Tomorkeny Istvan Applied Art and Technical High School, Susan went on to study at the Hungarian National Industrial Arts College, majoring in glass. Since 1997 she is one of Ajka Crystal’s professional designers.
Between 1999 and 2001, Susan was the Moholy-Nagy Laszlo form design exhibiting scholar.
Susan strives to present the physical properties of glass in a wide variety of looks and uses. Her work relies on classic forms that she is able to use and appropriate successfully.
Exhibits and Awards:
Venice – Murano, Aperto Vetro
Budapest, Graduate Exhibit
1999 – 2001
Budapest, Hungarian National Industrial Arts Museum – Exhibit of Moholy-Nagy Laszlo Scholars
Budapest, The Podmaniczky Palace’s Art of Tabletop and Gift Exhibition
Budapest, Hungarian National Industrial Arts Museum Standard Prize Winner
Winner of the Kozma Lajos Design Award
Between 1995 and 2000 Melinda studied at the Hungarian National Industrial Arts University in the Silicate Department, Majoring in Ceramics. Melinda studied under the tutelage of Marton Horvath, Zoltan Bohus, and Charles Adorjan. In 1999 Melinda won a scholarship to attend the University of Art and Design in Helsinki for six month at the school’s glass department. During her time in Helsinki, she mastered the “incalmo” technique (a technique was developed by Venetian master glassblowers that has traditionally been used to create horizontal bands of color in blown glass), and prepared her dissertation based on the joint use of several factory techniques. During her college years she studied the uses of Huta glass at the Ajka Crystal Factory, and used this glass to produce unlikely products, such as musical instruments during the course of her work. Melinda is an expert in glass blowing technique, as her specialty involves the study of “lost” or old methods of glass production. Most important to Melinda is, “to find harmony with hot glass”.
Melinda is a Member of the Young Applied Artists Studio Association.
Exhibits and Awards:
Budapest, Hungarian National Industrial Arts Museum – Group Exhibit “Objects that Serve Us”
Business for the Enviornment – Creator of the Hungarian Business Leaders Forum Environmental Protection Migrant Award
Kozma Lajos Artisan Scholarship Exhibit
Budapest, Hajogyari Island – Absolute Design
Helsinki, Horror for Kids! Event
Helsinki Solo Show, Perhepaikka Hermanni – Mural of Heaven for Animals
Pieces on Public Display:
Bardudvarnok, Hungarian National Glass Collection (The Maria Goszthony Foundation)