Website Link: www.nakit-ulmana.si
Where are you located? Ljubljana, Slovenia
Tell us a bit about yourself: I grew up in a charming rural environment. My parents were divorced when I was still young. I could describe my childhood as modest but happy and always joyful. I lived with my brother, my mother and grandfather, who was, in a way, my second father. When I turned 16, I met the love of my life. We have been happily married for some years now and have a son and a daughter. I finished high school, business and administration, but had to get a job immediately because of money. I work as a bank clerk. Designing jewelry is, for the time being, just a hobby. I am my happiest and most creative when surrounded by my family, listening to wicked dance or romantic ethnic music.
When and why did you begin creating your jewelry/art? I began designing in my mid twenties. At first, I did silk painting but later wires weaved their way into my fingers. It came very spontaneous. Ideas were being born and the first necklaces made on the spur of the moment and out of imagination. I have been designing for 15 years.
What materials and methods do you use? When designing, I mostly use colored craft wire, polymer clay and other synthetic materials. Every now and then a pearl, a gemstone or glass or wooden beads are interwoven into the wires. Products don’t have to be expensive to be beautiful. I think it’s stupendous to be able to thread an astonishing design out of common wire that you can easily and without embarrassment wear on special even formal occasions.
Where do your design inspirations come from? Ideas come spontaneously, often in the still of the night over the city, when it’s off to dreamland. That’s the time to reflect on new projects. Sometimes, I’d make a draft sketch, so that it doesn’t slip my mind, but it only happens so often. Most of the time, though, I just let my imagination roam. An idea would cross my mind but then good music, a touch of inspiration and a combination of the right colors do their thing.
What is your best working environment/where is your studio? There is no particular place for designing that I would call my own. I tend to move around a lot; one time I’d work in the kitchen, the other in the living room. In the summer, I find it particularly snug to sit at the back of the house and design outside. Most of all, I consider good lighting to be very important, as the wire is very fine and the eyes suffer considerably.
Magazine articles or press: Over the past years I’ve entered two jewelry competitions for charity and have received positive reviews at both. I have been a finalist for the »Create for Life« competition for the first time. All proceeds from the sale of the jewelery from the finals went to the renovation of the Institute for Oncology Ljubljana, under auspices of Europa Donna, the European Breast Cancer Coalition, and for my second finals placement at the »Create for Fight Against Violence« competition, I received a special prize from the BELI OBROC Society (Fight Against Violence Society) for jewelry with a message.
Last year, I was honored to host at my home Ms Lorella Flego, a renowned Slovenian fashion expert, who did a piece on my work for Glitter, a fashion program hosted by Slovenia’s national television.
Who are you a fan of? I am fascinated by the work of Ms Tanja Curin, an established Croatian jewelry designer. I find her jewelry exceptionally feminine..
Price range: My products are valued at $15 up to $400.
Tell us a little about one of your favorite creations: One piece from my collection is particularly striking; it’s a necklace, a black beauty, fit for the evening, formal occasions. It’s made of fine threads, intertwined in a labyrinth of thicker wire; I designed it in the moment’s inspiration, without a draft sketch or a preconceived idea and it gives the piece the appearance of intricate lacework. More than 100 hours of work went into the piece and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it.
Anything else you wish to add: I assuage the stress of the hustle and bustle with my hobby, which is slowly growing into something more, fueling my desire to own a small shop in the old city center, where my products could bring joy to admirers of unique pieces of jewelry.