My story as a designer of handcrafted jewelry

I have always been attracted to the field of arts and crafts, especially to the field of handcrafted jewelry. Ever since I was little, I have always made and designed something, from any material I could get my hands on.

At the same time, I was also attracted by how people can express their feelings and emotions non-verbally, regardless of the medium of expression - I explored this through music and dance.



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Becoming a jewelry designer


At first, I studied to be a musician, but my path took me elsewhere. My uncle was a classic goldsmith, but at that time, I had no contact with jewelry made of precious metals. I transformed a classic jewelry store into an unique jewelry studio, where modern handcrafted jewelry is made exclusively by hand. During my design journey, I did a lot of research, reading and experimenting with the material itself in the studio; that I realized the limitations of the material, how to behave towards it and what are its untapped possibilities. I was looking for a way to create a conceptual design from this material in the simplest, most logical and natural way.


My mentor was a jewelry designer Žare Ognjenović, who constantly gave me encouragement and strength to explore my ways. ´Lara, you know how it is. You need to walk wild paths, only these can be yours,' he repeated to me over and over.



Where does inspiration come from


Inspiration is omnipresent, I can even say that it is a way of life. I am inspired by the people I meet in my life, their stories and thoughts, but the biggest inspiration is myself.


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Just as I observe and listen to other people, I also observe and listen to my own thoughts. And in my mind I can find patterns or systems, which I then transform into unique pieces of handcrafted jewelry. I could say that I am inspired by the perception of life itself, be it my own or someone else's.





Handcrafted jewelry I make


My jewelry is created exclusively by hand, with the fire and small tools. In other words: from the first image of the piece in the mind, to the preparation of the material, rolling, making the basic shape, preparing the positions for the corresponding stones, processing with fire to filing, grinding, embedding stones and polishing the piece.


Concept of my design

A concept of my design is contrast, which is always present: from the choice of ancient technique in combination with the modern, combining different colors of metals, the raw appearance of reticulated metal that resembles stone, to precisely and precisely designed delicate moldings. Only when I accept all my contrasts and live them do I dispel them - this is also illustrated by my jewelry.





Exploring creative spaciousness


When asked who am I and whether I consider myself more of an artist, craftswoman or business woman, I say I am all and nothing. I never recognized myself in the labels and felt good about them. Rather than a sense of security and the known, pre-determined social “identities” create only limitations in me, instead of opening the door to creative spaciousness.