My name is Andreja and I’m artisan producing handmade wooden products made of firewood, reclaimed wood and forest floor debris. I use wood, minerals and rock, natural materials whenever possible.
It has been 9 years since I began working with wood. Starting with rough and rudimentary pieces, I gradually discovered the right techniques and methods to improve my art. Perhaps it was because I had no prior woodworking knowledge that I found a path that nature itself showed me, resulting in work that my customers appreciate. Out of over 3000 customers, I received only two instances of negative feedback. I’m proud that many of my customers return to me repeatedly.
Working with wood brings me pure joy. When I create something, I uncover a story that is hidden inside the wood. I strive to reveal the life story concealed inside a wooden log or branch, highlighting its growth lines and the unique nature of the wood itself. The growth lines in wood reveal the history of the tree it came from.
Each type of wood has its own personality and characteristics. Just like people, every piece of wood is unique with its own texture, feel, and look. I carefully examine each piece of wood to identify its unique elements and use ancient techniques to tell its story. Every piece I make is one-of-a-kind; I cannot replicate it even if I wanted to. Uniqueness is built into the material itself. Unlike gold or silver, you cannot repeat a piece of wood, as each piece has its own unique growth lines and texture.
That’s why I approach each piece I make individually. If I cannot repeat it, why bother trying? Bringing out what’s already inside the wood takes more work than forcing a piece of wood to a particular shape. But the result is natural and beautiful and worth the extra time and effort.
Wood is not a common material for jewelry, but it’s the oldest material that humans have used, even before stone. However, being a perishable material, it did not survive in the soil to be discovered by archaeologists. Jewelry does not make us beautiful; it only emphasizes the natural beauty that is within us. But for that, we must match the material with our personality. Wood offers many different types of materials compared to metal, making it easier to find the right texture, color, and material in a wooden article.
I live in Bela Krajina, close to one of the last primeval forests in Europe. It’s home to a diverse range of wildlife, including brown bears, wolves, lynxes, wild cats, and deer. The river Kolpa, near my home, is still one of the last unpolluted rivers in Europe.
My country has a large population of birch trees. Birch has incredibly soft and thin branches, sparkling green leaves, and white bark. Its hard wood is full of sugars and perishes quickly when it falls to the ground. Only the white bark can withstand forces of nature and has been used for millennia for jewelry, small boxes, shoes, and even as roofing material. Sometimes, the birch wood is colonized by green elfcup fungus, Chlorociboria aeruginascens, which colors the wood in emerald green. This green wood is very rare, but it’s the most exquisite material that I chose for the Miss Slovenia 2019 tiara.
I derive my woodworking materials exclusively from sustainable sources, such as firewood logs, fallen branches, and forest floor debris. I adamantly refuse to cut down any live trees or branches for my creations. My commitment to all-natural materials is steadfast, although I do incorporate some modern composites, such as epoxy or acrylic resin, in my work. To finish my pieces, I rely on natural oils and waxes. Some of my spruce items are also treated using the ancient Yakisugi Japanese technique, which I have further refined to showcase droplets of pine resin that gleam like gold nuggets.
Each item in my shop is unique, so if you see one that catches your eye, don’t hesitate to make it yours, as it may not be available tomorrow. By supporting Andreja Studio, you’re not only purchasing a one-of-a-kind item, but you’re also championing the art of woodworking – a rare vocation in today’s world dominated by faceless multinational corporations.
If you want to own one of my works, please visit my shop,
or you can visit me also at Etsy.