GOLDSMITH JOZEF GJONI,
For years, you are present on the Zagreb jewelry scene. How do you describe your work and the goldsmiths’ work in general?
As in many other professions, a good jeweller requires talent, a skilful hand, well developed hand-eye coordination and an aesthetic sense, since a goldsmith’s profession is as well way of art. Further, a minimum of three years of education and years of practice in various fields of the artisan goldsmith’s profession are required. Personally, I have educated myself throughout my life in different fields of this craft, including diamond processing while I was in Antwerp (Belgium).
Lately Croatian traditional jewellery is extremely popular. You create different types of traditional jewellery. Can you tell us a bit more about the history of Croatian jewellery in particular?
Very popular for this area is the Licitar heart – which is made, based on colourfully decorated gingerbread hearts, whose history begins in the Middle Ages. Traditionally in Croatia a boy gives a Licitar heart to a girl in order to express his loyalty and love, which is one of the reasons why it is a very suitable gift for Valentine’s Day. Additionally comes to mind the very beautiful Šibenik Buttons, once part of men’s traditional costumes, while today its motif is used for female jewellery. The Croatian National Tourist Board declared in 2007 that the Šibenik Button is a most original Croatian souvenir. On the other hand, Peružine originate from a motive of jewellery that was historically made in Dalmatia, especially in Dubrovnik and Split. Its technique is filigree and very challenging, hours and hours of continuous precise work are required to manufacture this particular jewellery. A fun and interesting fact is that our antique jewellery is often used for shooting various films and series, such as the world renowned Game of Thrones, which filled us with pride to have our jewellery on the set of such a marvellous production.
To see the pictures, of jewellery used in Game of Thrones go to http://bit.ly/Pq4UVA
Your entire family is involved in this work. What does it mean for you today to be a craftsman?
For many years, my family is involved in the goldsmith trade making it a significant part of us. Unfortunately, times have changed and the commercial production and sale of jewelry has somehow pushed the craftsman into the background. Nevertheless, people recognize artisan work and an individual approach, which on the other hand encourages us to do our job with love and happiness. Our customers appreciate our craftsmanship and whatever they may choose from our offer, they can be certain that they will have a piece of jewelry of long lasting value.