Irena Dlaka

Lošinj “Škanjel” / Small Bed 
Fragrant “Sansacus“ Pillow 
Jason and Medea Love Potions,
“Unčinet” Made by Nana Mateja 
Lošinj “škanjel” / small bed
– merges two stories – the one about “škanjel”, a low wooden bench that, until recently, had been owned by every house on the Island on Lošinj, and the traditional Lošinj bed sheets for children. “Škanjel” was used for seating when working in the courtyard or resting by the fire, to raise tired legs or reach items on the highest shelf. Children had their own “škanjels”, small and light, that they dragged everywhere with them, always thinking of new things they could use them for. “Škanjels” often served as tiny doll beds so miniature bed sheets were made for them, just like those the children slept in. “Štramac” (mattress) and “kušin” (pillow) filled with homemade wool, “lancuns” (bed sheets= made of flannel adorned with “merlić” (lace) and “koperta” (blanket), all of it cut, sewn, crocheted and knitted by hand carefully supervised by mothers or nanas.  
Lošinj “škanjel” / small bed was not conceptualised just as a souvenir/memento of some past Lošinj times, but also as a stimulation for some new generations to try the creative game with items that surround them.
The first sample was created as the result of cooperation between Irena Dlaka (design, draft, paint) from the INSULOMANIA workshop and gallery and her brother, Darijo Dlaka from the DAST (wooden base) carpentry workshop. It is made of light wood, very sturdy and painted using harmless acrylic water based colours. The handmade bedsheets (mattress and Mirabel pillow filled with wool,  cotton flannel sheets and pillow case, crocheted lace made of cotton thread, blanket made from leftover wool). The prototype was made in combination of green and pink tones, but every Lošinj “škanjel”/small bed is made in a different colour combination and with a unique drawing. 

Souvenir price: HRK 398.00 

Fragrant “Sansacus“ pillow 
– Inspired by bright colours of the Susak folk costume and the scent of marjoram the Island of Susak was probably named after, the fragrant Sansacus pillow was designed in 2016 as a type of an aromatherapy relaxation device (squeezing the pillow releases a mild soothing scent). The material used in the preparation of the pillow is completely natural (cotton, wool, marjoram) and the pattern of the crocheted decoration in several colour variations is the author's original work.

Souvenir price: HRK 65.00

Jason and Medea Love Potions
– the Cres-Lošinj archipelago made history under the Greek name of Apsyrtides or Apsyrtus Islands that tie it to one of the oldest and well-known ancient Greek myths; the one about the search for the Golden Fleece. It is a story about the adventurous journey of Greek heroes on the boat named Argo and the fatal love story between the main protagonists – the Greek prince Jason and the Colchis queen – the sorceress Medea joined by Hera and Aphrodite, the goddesses of marriage and love. Medea, known as a powerful sorceress, became a victim of the most powerful of all spells - love. We do not know what the goddesses used to cast a spell on Jason and Medea, but literary history ties the fatal love with love potions. This is where the love potion concept was shaped. They were named Jason and Medea because, even today, love is a powerful magic. 

The drawings on the labels were created according to the images of Jason and Medea in the antique and modern art pieces and the typical ancient Greek ornament, meander, was used as the frame. The liquid in the glass bottles contains water, sugar, natural aroma of bitter almonds (association with the cyanide poison because love can be poisonous) and a food colouring (the brown colour indicates an herbal mixture) not harmful to health. Upon a request, the bottle can be packed into a special handmade box. 

Bottle price: HRK 20.00

Box price: HRK 15.00

“Unčinet” by nana Mateja
– My nana, Mateja Satalić from Nerezine, was a true island woman. She never wasted anything and she would use everything at least twice. She used the leftover textiles from wool mattresses to make lavender pillows for closets. In order to make them pretty, she would decorate them with crocheted “unčinet“. In her memory, the author has designed a pillow filled with lavender to hang in closets with clothing to deter moths and give off a fresh fragrance. The textile used to make the pillows is “second hand“ (textile leftovers or a recycled textile), and polygonal lace was crocheted according to a pattern from on old Italian handicraft magazine. All materials used are completely natural (cotton, lavender).

Souvenir price: HRK 65.00

Selling place: on request (+385 99 676 8217)

About the author: Irena Dlaka


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