Studio Moste

works_cover

2011-2013

On one sunny afternoon our stroll once again took us nearby the house hidden in pines we’ve been eyeing for some time. Once a mighty villa in a quiet part of Moste now stands forgotten and a bit shabby above the sidewalk with people barely noticing her when they pass by. Even though it is cornered by a road, railway and has hot-water piping maneuvering over the backyard, she emanates a sort of dignity that is a relic of a time long gone.

That afternoon we admired her for some time and whilst lurking around met a man who lived there. We asked him about the first floor apartment that was looking abandoned and he told us it’s been empty for about 20 years and took us inside to have a look. We were thrilled about the spaciousness and tons of furniture under piles of dust and cobwebs, and have started planning the renovation while the man chuckled at our excitement.

Nekega sončnega poletnega dne naju je sprehod spet zanesel mimo hiše sredi smrek, ki sva jo opazovala že prejšnjikrat. Nekoč mogočna in ponosna vila sredi ljubljanskih Most, danes obledela počiva na svojem mestu, tako samoumevna, da je ljudje sploh ne opazijo. Pod njo hrumijo avtomobili, za njo hitijo vlaki, preko njenega vrta pa se vijejo cevi s sosednje toplarne, kljub temu pa še vedno izžareva dostojanstvo časa, ki se ga spominjajo le še naše babice.

Tokrat sva pred njo postala nekoliko dlje – toliko, da sva ujela gospoda, ki je ravno prišel z vrta za hišo. Pozdravila sva ga in pričela poizvedovati po prebivalcih zaroletanega prvega nadstropja, ki sva ga opazila vsakič, ko sva šla mimo. Na najino veliko veselje sva izvedela, da je glavno stanovanje prazno že vrsto let in nekaj minut kasneje smo se vsi trije sprehajali po njem, le dva pa sva se navduševala nad kopico pohištva pod kupi prahu in pajčevin. Gospod se je čudil nad najinim veseljem, midva pa sva v glavah že kovala načrte za prenovo.

The renovation of the apartment in a house named “Dom Mojmir” was our first contact with handwork. During our architecture studies we have dealt a lot with designing projects but this was the first time we have realized our architectural ideas and had a taste of making, using tools and dealing with complications that arose while working on-site. On the apartment we decided to do work mainly ourselves and the process of transforming an abandoned flat to a livable space took almost a year – from september 2010 to july 2011, although a lot of the finer work was to be done from there on. Our home became a polygon for craft and design experiments.

We made our first pieces of furniture right in the apartment with a limited number of basic tools we were given by retired craftsmen. Most of them were from before the era of electricity, when tools were still made to last generations and when some knowledge of using them properly was required. We soon gathered that with getting to know the traditional techniques and sharpening the tools regularly we could do most of the repairs in the flat ourselves. This analogue way of working was very pleasant – it was much quieter and a lot less dusty than using power tools. Although it took us longer to achieve viable results, this way of working was more rewarding and we decided that we want to somehow transfer this approach to our designer-maker practice.

Prenova stanovanja v hiši z imenom “Dom Mojmir” je bil najin prvi stik z ročnim delom. Tekom študija arhitekture sva se veliko ukvarjala s snovanjem in oblikovanjem projektov, prvič pa sva prišla do točke realizacije arhitekturne ideje in neposrednega stika z materiali, orodji in zapleti, ki nastanejo med delom. Že na začetku sva se odločila, da bova večino obrtniških del v stanovanju opravila lastnoročno. Proces spreminjanja zapuščenega prostora v bivalno stanovanje je trajal od septembra 2010 do julija 2011, izpopolnjevanje pa se je nadaljevalo še po vselitvi in traja še danes – najin dom je postal poligon za lastne eksperimente s področja oblikovanja in izdelovanja.

Prve kose pohištva sva izdelala kar v stanovanju, z ozkim naborom osnovnih orodij, ki sva jih dobila od upokojenih okoliških obrtnikov. Veliko orodij je bilo še iz predelektrične dobe, ko so bila izdelana izjemno kvalitetno, njihova uporaba pa je zahtevala več znanja. Kmalu sva ugotovila, da lahko s poznavanjem tradicionalnih postopkov in tehnik ter z dobro nabrušenimi orodji opraviva večino hišnih popravil sama. Analogen način dela se nama je zdel prijetnejši – tišji in predvsem manj prašen – od uporabe glasnih rezkalnikov in električnih obličev. Čeprav je takšen proces nekoliko počasnejši, pa se nama je zdel bolj izpolnjujoč in odločila sva se, da želiva del tega prenesti tudi v najino oblikovalsko-izdelovalsko prakso.


The first material we decided to look more deep into was wood – in one way this was the material we had the most tools to work with and it was also a logical choice for the furniture we needed in the apartment. At the beginning we were pretty proud of our first results but after a time we realized that our furniture pieces, which we assembled DIY style, weren’t the best products out there – the joints were loose, the wood started to move and crack. We came to realize the value of quality and products made to last, which one cannot achieve solely with DIY methods. After that realization we decided to delve deeper into woodworking craft and to figure out how to properly make stuff.

Craft knowledge is composed of two equal parts – theoretical and practical knowledge. We read all the literature we could get our hands on and subscribed to a couple of woodworking magazines, webpages and blogs. Woodworking literature in slovene language is not so abundant, so we focused on the english and german speaking countries where the hand-tool woodworking is not only more popular but also very valued. We started collecting old hand-tools and tried to find an older master woodworker to help us get to know the traditional techniques and teach us how to make wooden furniture the old way – all in all to become our teacher and mentor. We found such a person some years later.

During our research we gradually came to realize that we want to complement our design practice with making the pieces ourselves – this way the treatment and other technical characteristics of the material are not just a thing some woodworker knows but become important starting points for the design-work. The use of quality materials, combining contemporary technologies with traditional approaches and creating in (a dustless and quiet) studio soon became the way we wanted to learn and practice. In observing examples from other countries we have seen this way of work can also be economically sensible, as one does not need expensive and big machines and industrial complexes. But it takes loads more knowledge, discipline and dedication – craftsmanship in the true sense of the word, where making is a way of life and not only the means to one.

Prvi material, ki sva se ga odločila podrobneje raziskati, je bil les. Za obdelavo le-tega sva imela največ orodij, poleg tega pa se nama je zdel logična izbira za pohištvo, ki sva ga potrebovala v stanovanju. Nad prvimi rezultati sva bila najprej nadvušena, sčasoma pa je zadovoljstvo zamenjalo spoznanje – kosi pohištva so bili narejeni po DIY principu, kvaliteta njihove izdelave pa je bila prenizka. Stiki med elementi so postali majavi, les se je pričel premikati in pokati. Vedno bolj sva se začela zavedati pomena kvalitete in dolgotrajnosti najinih izdelkov ter ugotovila, da tega DIY postopki ne morejo doseči. Odločila sva se poglobiti v mizarsko obrt in vse, kar spada zraven.

Obrtniško znanje je sestavljeno iz dveh enakovrednih elementov – teorije in prakse. Prebirala sva vso literaturo, do katere sva se lahko dokopala, se naročila na nekaj revij in spremljala spletne strani in bloge s področja mizarstva. Ker je literatura na to temo pri nas omejena in težko dostopna, sva se usmerila in spremljala dogajanje v Angliji, Nemčiji in Ameriki – kjer je ročno mizarstvo kot način dela ne le pogosto, temveč tudi izjemno cenjeno. V našem okolju sva zbirala staro ročno orodje ter obenem iskala mizarskega mojstra, ki bi imel dovolj znanja s področja tradicionalnih tehnik in izdelave kvalitetnega (masivnega) pohištva ter voljo postati najin učitelj ali mentor. Tega sva našla šele čez nekaj let.

Med raziskovanjem sva se postopoma prebila do trdnega prepričanja, da želiva oblikovalsko prakso dopolnjevati z lastno izdelavo najinih zamisli – saj način izdelave, obdelava materiala in ostale “tehnične” lastnosti izdelkov niso pomembne samo za izdelovalca, temveč so velikokrat lahko tudi izhodišča oz. delo oblikovalca. Uporaba kvalitetnih materialov, kombinacija sodobnih tehnologij in orodij s tradicionalnimi postopki ter umirjeno ustvarjanje v (tihem in ne-prašnem) studiu se nama je zdel način dela, ki se ga želiva naučiti in prakticirati. Na primerih iz tujine pa sva videla, da je takšen pristop lahko tudi konkurenčen, saj ne zahteva ogromnih strojev in industrijskih kompleksov. Zahteva pa več znanja, discipline in predanosti – obrtništvo v pravem pomenu besede, kjer je ustvarjanje del življenja in ne le vir zaslužka.

DIY table by Enzo Mari’s Autoprogettazione / 2011
DIY miza po načrtih Enzo Mari – Autoprogettazione / 2011

Magazine rack for the living room / 2011
Stojalo za revije v dnevnem prostoru / 2011


Shelving unit in the studio / 2012
Regalni sistem v studiu / 2012

Firewood holder in the living room / 2012
Stojalo za drva v dnevnem prostoru / 2012

Kitchen cabinet / 2012
Kuhinjska omara / 2012

Mirror, towel hanger and storage for bathroom / 2012
Ogledalo, obešalnik in pult v kopalnici / 2012


Emptying the future workshop space / 2011
Praznenje prostora za delavnico / 2011

Tool cabinet restoration in the workshop / 2012
Obnova omarica za orodje v delavnici / 2012

Workspace for making of natural cosmetics / 2013
Delovna kuhinja za izdelavo kozmetike / 2013

In addition to woodworking we also explored various other craft fields and did some experimental projects in leatherworking, bookbinding, sewing and tailoring and letterpress. From all these fields we were most amazed by leatherwork as it is very similar to woodworking – the tools are similar, the finishes also and both materials can be combined beautifully so we started to get serious with this craft too. Wood and leather both have a sense of warmth to them and are high quality materials that ensure products with a long time span – be it a furniture piece or a bag that one uses every day.

Poleg mizarstva sva se preizkusila tudi v drugih obrteh in naredila nekaj eksperimentalnih projektov s področja usnjarstva, knjigoveštva, šiviljstva in krojaštva ter tiskarstva. Od teh nama je bilo najbolj blizu delo z usnjem, saj naju je spominjalo na delo z lesom – uporaba podobnih orodij, finalne obdelave materiala in združljivost obeh materialov so povzročili novo zanimanje in raziskovanje tudi na tem področju. Tako les kot usnje imata poleg topline tudi skupno lastnost visoke kvalitete in dolgotrajnosti končnih izdelkov – naj bo to kos pohištva ali torba, ki jo uporabljamo vsak dan.

Bike frame laptop bag / 2012
Kolesarska torba za računalnik / 2012

Sewing leather for firewood rack / 2012
Šivanje usnja za stojalo / 2012


Tool roll for chisels / 2012
Torba za shranjevanje dlet / 2012

Sewing project – blouse / 2011
Šivenje oblačil – bluza / 2011

DIY letterpress, business cards / 2012
DIY visoki tisk, vizitke / 2012

In the next years we decided to narrow down our focus and dedicate ourselves to learning and getting experiences from the fields of woodworking and leatherworking and to combine these two fields with designing. You can see some of the projects done during that time in the Work category on this page.

V naslednjih letih sva se odločila zožati področje svojega dela in se posvetila učenju in pridobivanju izkušenj s področja mizarstva in usnjarstva ter povezovanju oblikovanja in obrti. Najina dela s kasnejšega obdobja si lahko ogledate v rubriki Work.