Birth of a modern goddess
One of my most vivid childhood memories is sneaking into my mom’s room and opening a vintage box on her dresser. It was full of beautiful, shiny things she used to wear on a daily basis. I would touch texture of jewellery in silence. Trying it on and looking myself in a big mirror at her dresser. I used to turn stones towards light and look at the spectre of marvellous shades. It was my hidden treasure chest. I was certain back then that every woman deserved a special piece of jewellery made exclusively for her. Jewellery that would cherish all that was holly and profane in her.
My name is Milica Bubanja, and the jewellery you see here is made by my hands and from my heart. I work in my studio in Ljubljana – the capital of beautiful Slovenia – where love brought me, after a decade of living on Peru’s Pacific shores and in a bustling, million people city of Belgrade. In search of knowledge, I travelled and learned from the best masters of jewellery design and making. In 2012 I opened a school where my guest artists and I share knowledge in the field of jewellery design. Apart from doing what I love, I write a blog in my mother tongue.
I see myself as a writer, rather than a designer. The stories that I interwove in jewellery have their own rules that often do not fit in with the design rules. However, they have something in common. Textures of the Mother Earth, its forests and seas. A fairytale element and a touch of fantasy of inner worlds. The love of which I am a witness. Translucent and vivid forms which call for subtle sensualities of the soul. Taking off layer by layer of a woman in search of her essence.
Maybe you will find a piece of jewellery that will touch your soul. In which you will recognize your Goddess.
Creative process of making
It all starts with an idea that gradually grows into a sketch. It usually takes me several days, weeks, months to elaborate the sketch. When it is ripe and sufficiently defined, it is time for dream engineering. This is my favourite part of the process, full of challenges, learning, where I often lose myself in play. I go out to the woods and spend hours peeling off bark, picking mushrooms, various plants, which I transfer to imprint materials. Sometimes I spend days sculpturing miniature forms, then casting their negative moulds in silicone and preparing them to be transferred to silver. I carefully build composition, move details 100 times before everything gets its meaning and fits in the whole. In the process of silver moulding, I use lost-wax casting, art clay silver as well as classis jewellery techniques. Each of these techniques has its advantages, and I apply them according to what I want to achieve: flexibility, firmness or sculptural form. Often I combine all three methods. I achieve thick gilding with ancient Japanese method Keum-Boo, by fusing silver and 22K gold. The stones I use always come from reliable sources, experienced suppliers with good track record. I find selection and quality of stones to be a very important element of design, and I take them very seriously.
Glass parts are made by the old Venetian melting technique with glass pipes on open fire that I learned in Florence. After bringing all the elements together, the stone setting and final polishing are done.