Regina Włodarczyk-Puchała

R. Włodarczyk-Puchała, vase Gracja, around 1976, glassworks “Julia” in Szklarska Poręba, The Karkonosze Museum in Jelenia Góra, phot. J. Jaremen

A designer with a head full of ideas, vast experience, and a few thousand templates for design work, which she has carried out during more than 50 years of work at the “Julia” Crystal Glassworks.

Glass that is subtle, sophisticated, “skilful”, but also strong – masculine. Sharp cuts, shiny surfaces. In the first period of design work, these were the subtlety of forms coloured with hues. Slightly later, the fascination with colour effects in hot glass mass turned into a love of sharply cut or polished geometric crystal structures. Warsowia, Grace, Venus or Medusa are just a few projects that have changed the face of Polish glass forever.

Designing crystal glass vessels is a very personal story for Regina Puchałowa. We often did it* in a total frenzy and without reflection. Because there are many stories in glass, but also coincidences, and an interesting pattern could appear suddenly, she recalled in one of her interviews.

She was able to recognise the direction and trends in the art of design of the time. She made risky decisions leaving unpolished traces of the grinding stone on crystal glass – subtle matt strokes become an asset of her concept, she is innovative and bold.

She has managed to achieve some kind of universality. Her work is still current, still modern.

Agnieszka Leśniak – artist and glass designer

*On many projects Regina Włodarczyk-Puchala cooperated with her husband, Aleksander Puchała, also a designer at the “Julia” Crystal Glassworks.

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Lived between 1931–2019. Graduate of the Ceramics and Glass Faculty at the State Higher School of Fine Arts (currently: E. Geppert Academy of Art and Design) in Wrocław – diploma in Prof. Stanisław Dawski’s studio, 1958.

After graduation, she started working as a designer at the “Julia” Crystal Glass Factory in Szklarska Poręba. After a year, she took over the position of head of the design centre. She worked there until the liquidation of the glassworks in Szklarska Poręba in 2005. She was a co-founder and for two terms the Chair of the circle of the Union of Polish Artists and Designers in Jelenia Góra.

Author of numerous ornamental patents and winner of important national artistic awards. She was successful at international ornamental trade fairs. Her “Grace” vase was qualified for the international contemporary glass exhibition by the Glass Museum in Corning, Corning, NY, USA, and published in the catalogue “New Glass.A Worldwide Survey”, 1979.

She took part in 7 national individual exhibitions and over 30 group exhibitions in Poland and Belgium, Czechoslovakia, France, GDR, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Switzerland, UK, USA, Yugoslavia, and the USSR.

Her works can be found in state collections in Poland and abroad, among others: the National Museum in Warsaw and Musee Du Verre, Liège, Belgium. They are also found in many domestic and foreign private collections.

Regina Włodarczyk-Puchała contributed significantly to the development of Polish design. It is thanks to her commitment and talent that the products from the “Julia” Glassworks also enjoyed great popularity abroad. She was the wife of glass artist Aleksander Puchała.