Boya Porcelain

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Bojana Brkić started her entrepreneurial work with porcelain in 2014. She founded her workshop and store two years later, at a cosy and very central location in Zetska street. You could call Boya Porcelain a newly-established family business, as her husband Rade is handling all of the business and administration aspects of the enterprise. Bojana organizes regular workshops and courses which attract many young people and ensure the transfer of knowledge across generations.
Bojana graduated in Belgrade from the Faculty of Philology, in Chinese Language and Literature. She has no official education in the crafts itself, but she encountered ceramics for the first time in early 2000s, when she attended a ceramics workshop. While she was studying, she was renting a small atelier, and decided to turn ceramics into her professional hobby. She even had income from her ceramics work, and invested it back into equipment, and ultimately financed her trip to China, where she stayed several years. Now she sees Boya Porcelain not as a hobby but as a long-term entrepreneurial commitment. When it comes to selecting products and working on the visual identity, marketing and social media, Bojana is behind it all, faithfully multitasking.

Bojana graduated in Belgrade from the Faculty of Philology, in Chinese Language and Literature. While she was studying, she was renting a small studio, and decided to turn ceramics into her professional hobby. Now she sees Boya Porcelain not as a hobby, but as a long-term entrepreneurial commitment. You could call Boya Porcelain a newly-established family business, as her husband Rade is handling all of the business and administration aspects of the enterprise.

The 50 m² space is at the same time the workshop, the showroom/shop and a place of knowledge transfer and informal education. Its location brings along many random visitors, as well as those respecting the unique character of porcelain. The space is beautifully and carefully arranged, while exposing the entire production process to anyone who enters. Bojana is usually there, most likely getting her hands dirty with brand new series, and is always ready to explain the intricate process behind the products.

Bojana works with porcelain as the key material, and all the work is done in-house, including the visual identity and design. She grew fond of it due to its pure whiteness and elegance. Porcelain is hard to produce by hand, and it involves three thermal treatments.
The first one is bisque at 900 — 950 degrees Celsius, when the piece loses most of its water, in order to be thicker and convenient for glazing. The next one is at the high temperature of 1.250 degrees. The baking and cooling process takes around 24 hours, so there is lots of waiting involved. After the glazing, Bojana usually adds 24 carat gold elements, after which the pieces are fired in the kiln once more at 800 degrees. All of the work is done by hand and no machines are utilized, aside from the oven.
Porcelain is usually casted from molds, but Bojana likes to work by hand and adds a bit of irregularity and roughness to the very slick, often richly decorated material. All of the raw material is purchased in Serbia, but comes from Limoges in France.
Altogether, as many as seven days are needed to complete a product. If you would put away all of the waiting, related to the kiln firing, a product could be dealt within three hours. But waiting is one of the crucial segments of the process of making porcelain objects.

The main theme of Bojana's collections is tableware with most of the produced items belonging to that category. Bojana likes the social or family aspect of this domain, as the table is the meeting point of family and friends, and a backdrop for many special occasions. Thus, they are mostly working on cups, various plates, vases, bowls and related objects. Bojana feels comfortable with keeping this modest scope of activity and constantly refining it.
What she enjoys the most is working on custom sets, that are usually commissioned by private customers (families), or restaurants and companies. Individual customers are predominantly women, but also men are slowly showing up and acquiring pieces. Most often, the customers are actually purchasing gifts for their loved ones, friends or family members. But in the process, Bojana aspires to spread and affirm a peculiar culture of everyday objects, as porcelain is not that common, cheap or expendable.
They are also gradually starting to develop online sales, but having in mind the fragility of the material and not entirely regulated Serbian e-commerce, this is still a challenge to be met in the future.