As the third generation of a family-run goldsmithing workshop, Marina and Danijela built their own specific expression in applying the techniques of working with precious metals and stones, which they learned as children. Today, their workshop and shop space are still located in the old premises, where “two craftswomen of fine jewellery” create signature pieces, preferably from recycled/repurchased materials.
Today, they primarily use repurchased metals for their craftsmanship; as they say, “it may be more complex to achieve the wanted colour and specificities, but it carries much more significance.” Even though they developed their specific style, they still do produce signature pieces the workshop is known for, and their father is still active, as their craft comes from love.
The Vitanov sisters, Marina and Danijela, are the third generation of goldsmiths and jewellery makers in the Vitanov family. They learned their craft working side by side with their parents, who ran their store together for several decades within the same work and shop space in Belgrade. Though they were both educated in different directions, one studying languages and the other design, they realized their love is in the craft, and they embarked on the journey of creating their signature style.
In 2018, Sestre Vitanov brand was established, and since then, the two sisters run the workshop and the store within the original space used since the 1960s. They create handmade, one-of-a-kind pieces, often from repurchased metal and with the already cut stone which they either inherited or purchased at specialized fairs.
Sestre Vitanov create their magic within the original workshop and store space. Their working space is 60 m2, divided into three working rooms and support spaces (for melting, purifying, and other chemical operations). The two sisters each have their jewellery making stations, and their father, though officially retired, still uses his station. Alongside workstations, they have a space for veneering, polishing, and melting of the metals. Within their store, they run a customer desk and have an additional working area, within which they can do repairs and other smaller care tasks.
Their process starts with the preparation of the material – melting and purifying of the precious metals. After melting, they use moulds for creating strips of specific dimensions (depending on the object type). When the strips are made, cut, and finely smithed, they are braided and twisted, or used for constructing more elaborate pieces by melting them together. If precious stone is used, the process demands veneering of the stone, and often the used metal is engraved. When constructed, each piece is coated and polished.
Sestre Vitanov are best known for making rings, earrings, pendants, and necklaces, in gold, silver, and specific mixtures, which all carry elements of their distinctive style. However, they still make older signature pieces authored by their parents and produce more traditional motives within the new stylistic language. In doing so, they wish to cater for a more traditional customer, purchasing items for specific types of occasions (such as christenings or weddings).
What can be noted are small elements incorporated into their pieces, which to an attentive eye have been making these objects distinctively Vitanov for three generations. Finally, their products are carefully packaged with a touching message attached, whereby the craftsmanship of the Vitanov sisters comes full circle and appears in a holistic way, with their craft and other loves.