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The artist's studio

If I had to sum myself up quickly, my lifestyle follows these ideas: NOTHING TO WASTE, BUY AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE and DO IT YOURSELF.

The artist's studio

If I had to sum myself up quickly, my lifestyle follows these ideas: NOTHING TO WASTE, BUY AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE and DO IT YOURSELF.

If I had to sum myself up quickly, my lifestyle follows these ideas: NOTHING TO WASTE, BUY AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE and DO IT YOURSELF. I've followed these ideas for the last 15 years in all fields, especially in art. I went to the Middle School for Design and Photography and later studied to be an art teacher while throughout I did adrenaline sports in which ingenuity in the use of waste materials comes to the fore.

It all started in the first year of middle school, when we moved from Ljubljana to Velike Lašče and where I finally got my own room, a space which I could design for myself. I had huge ideas but tiny amounts of pocket money and a plentiful need to go out partying. So one day I mentioned to my father that I needed a coffee table and could we buy me one. “Son, you have your pocket money, go and buy it yourself”, he told me, and in my head I quickly worked out that that would mean I couldn't go out for two Fridays. So I did a tour of the villages and came across the municipal refuse site, where I found material for my table. The drum from a washing machine, the wheels from an office chair, a piece of plexiglass and a broken lamp were what I used to make the coffee table and went out that evening – I had a table and a night out. 

kavna mizica
coffee table

It quickly became clear that I needed somewhere where I could be creative in peace. At first this was under a canopy behind the house, which I covered in foil and tarpaulins as necessary. I remember my first tool case was an old briefcase that my father no longer needed. 

As the months went by and material built up, it became seriously necessary to rent a neighbour's shed and make a studio in it. My pocket money had stopped, and student work was quite well paid but two cars, three motorbikes and Friday evenings did not allow investment in the studio, so I confidently and proudly decided that my equipment, tools and accessories were going to be “freebies”. I still use that expression today. I always say that give it time and everything will work out. Later on I will tell you more about my ideas for freebie objects. Now about the studio:

It's in the village of Prhajevo, in an old farm building and to my eye measures about 30 square metres. The floors aren't level, are “paved” with soil, there's mould on the walls and an electric cable hangs from the ceiling, the door lets in draughts and there are three windows. 

OK, I tell myself, it's something to start with. In those days we still had something delivered at home telling us the dates and locations of bulk refuse collections. We had a big car so I was able to quickly gather a few wardrobes, shelves and lights to set up a space a bit like a studio. That was the start, and then we had a really hard winter and Lašce cold. I still hadn't found a wood stove, so I “persuaded” an ex-employer, the owner of a bar in Ljubljana, to lend me a gas heater, which proved to have more features than I had imagined (PHOTO 4).

I put some lights up, which were made of all kinds of materials, ran a couple of extension cables for electricity and the studio shone resplendently. Well, that's how it seemed to me at the time. Over the years I accumulated a lot of waste material and used most of it to upgrade the place, its insulation and functionality, until finally I began to not only paint but also assemble “ready made” products into useful objects. By then I'd already moved back to Ljubljana, and the story with furnishing a rented flat and all other financial needs led my mind in the direction of recycling and reusing. There started to emerge furniture and various ingenious “freebie” things, which made home life easier and added an aesthetic note and cosiness.

Every object, tool and piece of equipment carries its own interesting story, and I'll take you on a walk through the study in the next blog. Until then, don't throw anything away, you never know when it might be useful. 

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