Studio Cepelin – a hidden jewel where now meets then
Not a lot of people know about Studio Cepelin. Situated on Dolenjska cesta in Ljubljana only people that want to find it, do. It is a repository of abandoned, beautiful things where one feels cosy and welcome. Studio Cepelin was founded by Tina Merica and Katarina Riznar. They have transformed a former textile workshop called Utinsilia that was later also used as a diamond cutting factory but was left abandoned for years, into a repository of things full of style and nostalgia. When they took the place over it was basically a dump. With a lot of hard work and passion they have transformed it and gave it new energy turning it into a place that you simply must revisit. They are selling as well as renting out vintage furniture. One can also rent the place as a filming studio for small projects. There is an ongoing event called Ambient Soup, every first Thursday of the month, where lovers of ambient music can enjoy themselves and feel at home, while great DJs from all around the globe put their music out there with one goal – making a great evening for everyone. Studio Cepelin is a home away from home.
We talked to Katarina Riznar about it and here is what she had to say.
What is Studio Cepelin for you?
Cepelin is kind of our portfolio. It’s a place where we represent our vision. We started from scratch. In an empty, dirty warehouse we saw the potential of this place. And in a way, we have a perfect excuse for ”hoarding” – a defect, that has become a business for us. We have collected old furniture and accessories for years so it is a passion that we needed to justify. When we put the old furniture into the space of Studio Cepelin all the great pieces got their meaning back. When you put a piece of furniture inside a space it gets its purpose back and so the concept of our studio grows. We couldn’t make Studio Cepelin work without passion, hours of hard labour, organisation and constant adjustment of place to the idea that we had. Everything was evolving very naturally. We cannot say we had a concept when we started or that we were following a business model and the result speaks for itself.
What is the purpose of the studio?
Firstly it is a prop shop but not only that, it is our office, workshop, shooting location and a place of inspiration.
How did the idea of the studio come about? How did you find this place and make it special?
After hours of talking about such a place Tina got a hint from a friend about this place. We went to check it out and immediately knew that this was it. We knew that this is The place that we had in mind. From then on everything was evolving very naturally. Hours upon hours of work, day and night with the renovation. It took us three months to clean, paint. Only then was it ready for the real work. We couldn’t have done it without the help of our family, friends and a special neighbour who was leading us with the construction. A lot of hard work and sleepless nights were put into this project but in the end, we crossed the finish line of renovation. The result speaks for itself.
What is in your opinion the added value of Studio Cepelin?
It is definitely a place of inspiration and good vibes. You can feel the effort we put into it with our hands and the love for this special, hidden corner of Ljubljana. It is a place of memories and little glimpses of our past. Every one of us can find that special drawer in Cepelin that takes you down a memory lane. Studio Cepelin is also very camera friendly so it is often used as a photo or video shooting location.
Some people might think that collecting so much stuff can be called hoarding. What is your take on that?
Indeed it is, can’t argue with that. And Cepelin it is the best excuse for making a living out of it. Our defect kind of makes sense in here and a lot of stuff gets their meaning back and becomes useful again.
What can one gain in a space like Cepelin?
Besides renting things, it is more about getting the inspiration. And it is a feeling that gets under your skin once you come and experience it. A lot of people ask if we live there or if they could. Despite the massive quantity of things, lots of plants and flowers, it doesn’t get crammed, each piece or plant is part of the experience and that special feeling.
Do you have any favourite anecdotes thus far?
One of our set designers found an old picture of her father when he was young. We still don’t know how his picture came to Cepelin but it is an extreme example how each of us can find a piece of history of our own in the space of Cepelin.
What is in the future of Studio Cepelin?
We have some boiling ideas but we’re still working on them by our gut feeling. You will experience them when the time is right. There will definitely be more cups, lamps, chairs in Cepelin and even more flowers.
Can one contribute to the work of Studio and how?
Of course! If you have things like furniture, your grandmothers old piano, hat holder … that you can’t throw out, we are happy to take all of them under our wing. They will definitely get regain their purpose.
Text: Nina Orlić and Katarina Riznar
Photos: Students VIST, Mentor: Branko Čeak