Dišpetoža Jewellery – earrings from Brač stone engraved with Hvar agava lace

7 minute read

You will enjoy great goodness and splendor in the Sea King’s realm, but know this: you cannot return to the land

For three fearsome guards have been set. One raises the waves, the second winds the wind, and the third crosses the lightning.” – Ivana Brlić Mažuranić.

At the end of a narrow road, high up on the hill above vineyards and the bluest sea that surrounds the island, lies the village of St. Nedjelja. This place has always reminded me of one of my favorite childhood stories; Fisherman Palunko and His Wife. That’s how I imagined their house, the fierce sea raging against the windows in winter, and gently shining under the sunset in summer. My imagined girl, Zora, is also here, in her small workshop where the most unique pieces of jewelry you’ll ever imagine come to life.

Dišpetoža Jewelery – full of defiance

Ana Marija Šćepanović is a stonecutter. Yes, you read that right – a FEMALE STONECUTTER. The one who carves stone. A sculptor by profession, born and raised in a small village with a school of only four students. A small workshop where her jewelry is created, handmade from Brač stone, is a place that exudes the tranquility and simplicity of island life

The stone is from Brač, while the motifs draw inspiration Hvar folklore, old tales, and simply put, the island of Hvar itself.

Brač stone ispired by Hvar

I did everything by myself. These walls, for example,” she points to the unevenly plastered walls of the workshop, “I stretched the mesh and plastered them myself. By the third one, I had already become a professional,” she tells me laughing. The tools are improvised too, from grinders, drills, and machines typically used for working with stone.

The furniture is adorable, old wooden pieces that would cause a fight at the Britanac Square in Zagreb, and the view through the worn-out window reveals the rocky southern coast of the island.

The Brač stone she works with is rugged, yet delicate at the same time, and she carefully selects the pieces considering the story they will carry The story is from Hvar, and it goes like this.

Statement peace for every occasion

Just as “konavoke” are a statement piece for every woman from Dubrovnik, Dišpetoža stone pieces will surely become significant jewelry for women from Hvar. And for all those who feel the same, of course. These pieces are elegant, impressive, and of a clean design.

Each piece is hand-cut, ground, and polished, with the final touch often done by Ana Marija’s eight-year-old daughter Marsela, applying a special liquid for stone protection and impregnation.

Stones, bocce balls, and serpentine

Osim što oblikom i dizajnom oblikuju otok na kojem nastaju, priča ne staje ovdje. Svaki komad ima svoju pozadinsku priču, poput hvarske čipke koja je specifična u dizajnu – svaki komad koji sestre benediktinke naprave je unikat.

Our favorites are definitely the ‘Tri Kvorta’ models, round earrings adorned with Hvar lace, simply named ‘three-quarters’ or ‘tri kvorta.’ The serpentine pieces are inspired by the unique patterns of dry-stone walls in lavender fields, and the ‘Jidra’ pieces are reminiscent of sailboat sails. The ‘Balote’ belong to the new collection ‘Sun Lace,’ a simple and striking half-circle design with a small stone bead.

In addition to earrings, there are also beautiful necklaces, on golden chains or an invisible cord, as you prefer.

Defiance and persistence

This jewelry tells stories from Hvar’s ancient times, and the details that Ana Marija communicates on her social media go beyond the classic descriptive names of the items. Dišpetoža means defiant, full of determination. Such is the work with stone, she reveals to me. It requires a lot of patience and persistence, defying all those who think it’s impossible. The life in Sv. Nedjelja is also defiant, enduring all year round.

There’s a certain unusual tranquility emanating from her. Perhaps she’s just reserved around unfamiliar people, which I definitely am. I too have calmed down, quieted down as we went over the intricate details of the crafting process, which I’m always incredibly interested in. I’m looking through the window, from the house high above the hill, over the boundless blue, imagining her shaping those small pieces of defiant stone while the fierce wind blows outside. Dišpetoža. Jewelry full of defiance from the island of Hvar

Finally, so I don’t leave you hanging, you can order pieces of Dišpetoža jewelry here, or at the adorable concept store Hvar Republic in Jelsa.

P.S. If your path leads you to Jelsa’s square, look down. You’ll find a large commemorative stone to the Hvar tradition, over 500 years old, called ‘za Križen,’ with Ana Marija’s footsteps carved into the stone.

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