International Glass Symposium (IGS) and the town of Nový Bor have been connected together inseparably since 1982, when for the first time in history, company Crystalex a.s. Nový Bor invited artists and designers from all over the world to its workshops to meet and to give shape to their designs and artistic ideas with the help of local glassmakers. The International Glass Symposium has been held every three years since. Crystalex and Nový Bor organized eight years of the symposium from 1982 to 2006. In 1994 the symposium was held under the name "Glass Ambitions 94" and was organized by companies Egermann ltd. and Ajeto Czech Glass Craft ltd. The grim fate of Crystalex, which went bankrupt, prevented the company from organizing yet another symposium, the anniversary tenth year, in 2009. However, the town management at that time saw the importance and benefit of the IGS for the town itself. After rather complicated negotiation with the Crystalex trustee in bankruptcy, the town was granted consent to organize the 10th symposium. Then the town invited local glass companies to cooperate on its organization. These companies provided technical, organizational and personnel support to hold a symposium at its standard form. The partners were companies Ajeto Czech Glass Graft ltd., Egermann ltd., Glassworks SLAVIA ltd. Nový Bor, TGK – technology, glass and art ltd. Skalice u České Lípy and the Glass School in Nový Bor. We cannot leave out the Glass Museum Nový Bor which had become an organization subject as well. The preparation of the anniversary 10th symposium year did not begin earlier than January 2009 so the time from the decision made to organize the 10th IGS and its realization was really short. The IGS which took place already in June 2009 was not unusual only because it had changed an organizer, but also because of the short time it was prepared in. Certainly not all the IGS traditions carried out by Crystalex were kept; however, it is also the reason why the IGS 2009 had become an unforgettable original in the IGS history.
The triennale tradition continues in 2018. At the beginning of October we will have the opportunity to see the 13th International Glass Symposium, which has literally become a world unique event, a symbol of meeting, creative work and new possibilities. The last 12 symposiums welcomed nearly 600 artists. Hundreds of prominent personalities of artistic and public life came to Nový Bor for glass, and the invitation to take place in the IGS has become prestigious in the glass world. IGS supports the image of Nový Bor, Liberec Region and the Czech Republic, which are perceived as significant glass destinations. It has a great importance for the local glass production, promotion of Czech glass and Czech glass craft in the worldwide context. It also means a great contribution in preserving the cultural heritage and last but not least, it is necessary to point out its collecting role.
The phenomenon known as IGS lives and in 2018 it will already produce the 13th chapter of its history. Each chapter was unique, had its own specifics, brought news and records, however, their common feature was the opportunity for glassmakers and artists to meet in a creative collaborative environment, to exchange views and experience, to gain and fortify contacts and friendships. It will not be otherwise in 2018. Actually, that is what the 13th IGS motto aims to express too – Glass unites us. It not only expresses the union of glassmakers across the world, but also the cooperation of organizing subjects. For the fourth time, Nový Bor is the main organizer, joined by glass companies, glass schools and museum institutions as co-organizers. It is good news for Czech glass and particularly Nový Bor that Crytalex CZ is once again a partner in the organization of IGS.