A leading Czech designer who gained fame for his practical and figural porcelain items. One of the representatives of the Brussels style. At the 1958 World Expo this style is named after he represented Czechoslovakia very successfully, taking away two major awards.
Jaroslav Ježek 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 in the Thun porcelain works in Klášterci nad Ohří – 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 EXPO ´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 today. We also offer many of them in Modernista, and our customers’ interest proves that half a century on they have still lost none of their charm.