Old School Ilica

Zlatar Štef
Ilica 52

Goldsmiths and Jewelry Shop

Stjepan Pavlović – owner
+385 (0)1 4847 276, +385 (0)98 207 013

Working hours: 8:00-19:30 (Mon-Fri), 8:00-14:00 (Sat)

"I stand by every one of my pieces forever, meaning I will fix it and spiff it up."

Oaza: How are jewelers different from each other in Zagreb? Are there specific schools are is the trade just what it is?
Stjepan Pavlović: Do not mix apples and oranges. A trade means hand manufacturing, but there are jewelers who deal solely in sales. Handicraft is a whole different matter. If you come to us with a specific wish, we can take care of even that. I stand by every one of my pieces forever, meaning I will fix it and spiff it up.

Oaza: This is a family trade, did your son learn the trade only with you?
Stjepan Pavlović: Besides me, he was also trained by one of the top ten masters in Europe. That gentleman's name is Janko Fukač. He is the greatest and best master in the country.

Oaza: Do you use templates in your work or do you draw your own models?
Stjepan Pavlović: I do not use templates. 99% of the jewelry I make I come up with in my head.

Oaza: Can you single out some of the orders that you are especially proud of?
Stjepan Pavlović: I made a replica of an old Croatian bracelet in filigree. The fine detail of such craftsmanship draws its roots from Dubrovnik and Venice, and partly from the East. It requires special skill. Common orders are also various church relics, e.g. the golden crown of Our Lady of Sinj, made out of 24-carat gold with 187 diamonds, whose bronze cast sits in a monastery in Sinj to this day. Next, a bishop's cross for Bishop Šaško, restored crosses and gold threads on bishops' hats from the Zagreb Cathedral. Also, the rings that the president gives away to the alkars – I make those.

Oaza: Is there an interesting anecdote from your many years of work related to regular customers?
Stjepan Pavlović: 90% of my customers are regulars who use a variety of my services, and 10% are some "random" ones that browse around and if they see something they like, they buy it, but that is not what I make my living off of. I had a situation where people bought their wedding rings from me 30 years ago and then came back so the husband could by a ring for their 30th anniversary. When I went to polish the rings, they asked do I not recognize the model. I then saw my stamp. That is worth more to me than what he paid for the ring.

Oaza: How do you bill work hours, that is, handicraft?
Stjepan Pavlović: Everyone thinks the price is per gram (of gold). That is possible only when dealing with serial production. With hand crafting, pricing is not per gram, but per piece. If that much time, that much work, that much material, that much everything else was spent on that piece, then the piece is worth that much. Not just because it has a diamond or a sapphire or an emerald, but also time, knowledge and craftsmanship to set it, and the value of that is three times higher than any machine or serial production.

Oaza: What is the most expensive ring you offer? How many work days was spent on it?
Stjepan Pavlović: This one is worth between 10,000-15,000 HRK. It takes about three days for that one, and two days for some others. The price varies depending on the stones set, that are brought by the customers or chosen from my store.

Oaza: To finish off, give us a short comment about your working conditions. Do you listen to music while working?
Stjepan Pavlović: Sometimes I do, but I do not hear it, so… it is somewhere in the background.

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