Erin: What are you curious about?
Mia: I am curious about having the most out of my life experience. This means I want to try everything that I can , see everything I can, meet everyone I can. I am curious about my own boundaries and seeing how far I can stretch them.
Erin: Describe your work and describe your process.
Mia: Sometimes I have ideas that are a direct response to a previous idea, an evolution. I find it fascinating how sometimes one idea follows the other almost immediately and other times there are huge stretches of time between the two that I am surprised how simple the evolution was to get from point 1 to point 2 but how much time it took... I am constantly seeing things in my head and it's a matter of the idea being "ready" in order for me to execute. Rarely do I draw or sketch or respond to an inspiration around me, rather I immediately test it in metal.. first sample and that prototype is equally perfect and imperfect. The "line" is so responsive in metal that if it's ripe that prototype is perfect, but at the same time I need to work it out technically in order to get it to the place where it's presentable to the audience.
Erin: What's your favorite material to work with?
Mia: Gold! soft, clean, responsive... however incredibly cost prohibitive.. I am realizing that I will utilize gold in the Golden Years collection quite soon to create truly timeless designs. I am constantly reminded that the designs I create are timeless, now its time to reflect that in the material as well.Erin: How does fashion play a role in your work?
Mia: I am not a fashion person, but I love seeing that my work is very fashion relevant, but at the same time not subject to short term trends. My design language is timeless.
Erin: Coming from Croatia, what does working in NYC and hand making your designs in Brooklyn mean to you?
Mia: Croatia has a history of handmade. I became familiar with that having spent 4 months in Croatia between 2013 and 2014. I never realized that lack of access to different things meant that people resorted to making it themselves. My grandma created patterns for her clothing and she sew the clothes herself and this was not "long time ago" this was as recent as 4 years ago. I think it's part of my dna. I also recently pieced together my metal obsession with the metalworking history of my hometown Mostar, in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Having had a big influence from the Ottoman Empire, Mostar had a big copper-ware production. Chased and repoussed plates, cups, coffee pots were essential part of the trade industry in the city. I am design-obsessed but I love being able to translate it myself in 3D.
Erin: Where do you pull your inspiration from?
Mia: I look and see lines in the world around me and I try to bend those lines in most simplest ways I am not a fashion person, but I love seeing that my work is very fashion relevant, but at the same time not subject to short term trends. My design language is timeless.
Erin: What does Oblik Atelier mean?
Mia: Oblik means "Shape" in Croatian and it truly is the simplest explanation of what I'm trying to do in jewelry-Find/ capture the simplest shapes in metal...
Erin: What advice would you give to aspiring jewelers?
Mia: Create work, all the time...working creates openings into your own creative potential, and working allows movement forward. Creating is exercising...it keeps you nimble, soft, responsive, creative, supple...
Erin: You work in a shared space with other jewelers, Brooklyn Metal Works. How important is collaboration to you?
Mia: I spent about 5-6 months on my own creating in an impromptu studio. Simultaneously I was able to fully realize the entire Brass Band collection and define the design language, direction etc.. but when it came time for fine-tuning I got stuck and only after having an input from a previous studio mate did I realize how essential collaborative and creative surrounding was. I was always sharing a studio prior to those 6 months of alone time that I never really gave it any thought. Shortly after that realization I became a member of Brooklyn Metalworks. We share space, physically and creatively and we help each other with problem solving. This being technical or business or life... All of us have different experiences that can help propel you forward depending on where you are. Erin and Brian, the owners of the space, have created a platform for true creative co-habitation and besides making the space, they offer lectures, classes, invite new people into the space to further everyone’s creative potential.
Erin: If you had one superpower, what would it be?
Mia: It would be ability to stop or stretch time! I am incredibly efficient but I find myself wanting to cram so much into so little time.
Erin: What’s your dream project?
Mia: For now, a collaborative project with an established fashion or design house. Let's start with Celine and then perhaps move into the world of furniture, large scale sculpture etc...