In 1993, Mara Vakoš started a workshop in Osijek, as she says, “with the aim of preserving, nurturing, and making folk handicrafts for the purpose of applying and affirming the cultural and traditional heritage of Slavonia and Baranja.” In 2013 she was granted a Certificate of Traditional Craft (Uvjerenje o tradicionalnom obrtu) from the Croatian Chamber of Trades and Crafts. She employs traditional craft techniques in making both useful items and souvenirs, in an effort to keep eastern Croatia’s heritage alive and to bring attention to the beautiful work that has been handed down from generation to generation.
All of her work is produced by hand using the old techniques. She practices all types of needlework, including colorful embroidery (vez), gold embroidery (zlatovez), openwork embroidery (šlinganje), and crochet (heklanje or kukičanja). She makes clothing and home goods from “domestic materials that are produced by old weaving techniques…[to] encourage the survival of old crafts.”
Mara’s style of zlatovez is a technique of hand embroidering “gold on paper,” a complex technique using two threads. Beads and sequins are added to create a brilliant dimensional effect. Her designs are inspired from motifs that she finds on scarfs, shawls, and aprons from traditional Slavonian folk costume. She then creates sparkling jewelry and accessories that can be worn on the most formal occasions. You can read more about the history of zlatovez here.
We at DOMA Trading are dedicated to the true craftspeople who are sharing their heritage with us. When you purchase a piece of Mara’s artwork, you are truly purchasing a piece of history, which has been crafted with techniques that have been passed down for generations.