Old School Ilica

Atelier Marković

Ilica 51

Glazier Services and Framing of Pictures, Mirrors and Various Objects

Damir Marković – owner
+385 (0)1 4846471
info@atelier-markovic.hr  www.atelier-markovic.hr

Working hours: 08:00 – 15:00  17:00 − 19.30

"An old diamond glass cutter could be used by one hand only; every artisan had his own tool. Today tools are standardized so more or less any layman can cut glass."

Oaza: You work in one of the oldest shops in Ilica. Can you tell us its story in short?

Damir Marković: Yes, my grandfather opened it in 1919, my father followed him and I am the third generation, having taken over in 2000. Almost 100 years in the same location, no changing of the address. I am both the owner and employee here, I am everything.

O: Did you try to buy the space from the state?
DM: We would like to and have been trying for generations but to them it is a golden goose and they refuse to sell it. We could have bought it five times over in what we have payed in rent.

O: How did you learn your trade, what is your official vocation?
DM: I got my glazier and framer's qualifications in a trade school but I learned the most as my father's apprentice.

O: What does your product range include and where do you get your materials?
DM: Mirrors, frames… We do cutting by hand, gold plating, silver plating. The profiles arrive from Italy and Spain already machined and the mirrors come from Germany and Poland. Actually, everything is done by hand: measuring, cutting, binding, painting…

O: Who are your clients? Who requests your services the most?
DM: People mostly ask for framing – from small things that cost a few kunas to making big mirrors. There is always some percentage of people that have money and can afford it. It is a luxury after all – you do not have to have a painting or a mirror if you cannot make ends meet. The biggest problem for the crafts today is the disappearance of the middle class. That automatically shuts down our production.

O: What are the differences in production today as opposed to before?
DM: Once my grandfather and father made mirrors themselves using chemical processes (with silver nitrates). Today technology has advanced. It is no longer affordable to do it that way, the quality is better, you can get a higher quality mirror by using thinner glass.
My grandfather worked with crystal a lot. It was imported from the Czech Republic, he would do engravings, cut crystal chandeliers, etc. We only started framing after the Second World War.
China and cheap mass production have squeezed out handicraft today. The product is visually similar, not of the same quality, but is much more affordable to people. A chandelier used to take months to make but a craftsman cannot compete with a machine today.

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