At the same time as Harvey K. Littleton was developing his studio glass furnace in the USA Volker Precht was working in the GDR behind the iron curtain. He began to work with a new artistic form of glass design using his own glass-melting furnace. In doing this he went against the state requirements for communal work in public enterprises and against the communal artist associations. Precht wanted to create large-format animal sculptures, but had to admit to the fact that his ideas were neither possible using a glass blowers torch, nor his glass melting furnace, so he turned his attention to the immense design possibilities for containers.
With the increasing openness in GDR art and cultural politics, free, non-functional glass craftsmanship received more and more attention. In Lauscha in the Thuringian Forest, a group of glass designers came together whose artworks received international acclaim – in both socialist and non-socialist countries.
During the 1980s Wertheim Glass Museum was able to organise an exhibition of works by GDR glass artists before the wall came down. The museum bought some of the exhibits from artists such as Günter Knye, Albrecht Greiner-Mai, Albin Schädel, Frank Bätz-Dölle, Hubert Koch, Hartmut Bechmann, Ulrich Precht – and the vase in front of you by Susanne Precht.