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Jože Strmčnik - Šlanger

Jože Strmčnik - Šlanger is a self-made, self-taught man. Born 23. April 1959 in Luče in the Upper Savinja Valley his path has taken him from Celje to Ljubljana, then Germany, and finally back home. His desire to create forms, his sense of style and aesthetics have led him towards design. Šlanger’s products are individual, unique, perfected to the last detail, yet fundamentally pure and simple. He follows his instinct, persists on his path, draws on nature and himself, and as a result yields incredible results. Such achievements require credibility and honesty; the artist must be honest with himself as well as others.

Šlanger’s works embody these qualities - they are authentic, fragrant, full of life and one of a kind.

Why wood? Wood is alive, warm, fragrant and mysterious; sometimes it is difficult to define, even though its every sliver tells the story of its past. Working with wood is like getting to know a person.

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Oskar Kogoj

Oskar Kogoj, born 23. November 1942 in Miren near Gorica, is one of Slovenia’s most recognisable industrial designers. He attended the High School of Design in Ljubljana (Industrial Design programme) and was taught by Bogomila and Marjan Pogačnik, Miloš Požar, and other former students of Plečnik. He continued his studies at the Scuola Ai Carmini Corso Superiore Di Disegno Industriale in Venice (professors G. Mazzariol, M. De Luigi, M. Bellini, and others) and in 1966 graduated in industrial design at the Istituto Statale d'Arte. Until 1969 he worked as an assistant at the Istituto Statale d'Arte and as a consultant for Baby Mark in Milan. From 1969 until 1970 he worked in Meblo Furniture's Research and Design Department in Nova Gorica. In 1971 he obtained the status of freelance designer. He was the head of the Department of Industrial Design at the International University of Florence and Venice, between 1971 and 1975.

As a student he visited France, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Great Britain, the USA, Mexico, Greece, Cyprus, Israel, Egypt, Tunisia, India, Thailand and Japan. He has exhibited his work more than 300 times; his designs are featured in over 100 museums and permanent collections around the world. Since 1969 he has received more than 40 international awards. He is a member of several international art and design associations, such as: ADI, DOS, ICSID, BEDA, and ICOGRADA. Since 1996 he has been a member of the prestigious Circolo Artistico Veneziano. He lives and works in Miren.


What is form and who am I?

“I always have and continue to search, explore, empathize and invent, without severing myself from the world I live in. I have found some answers in antiquity, in religions and faith, in philosophy and reality; some I continue to seek. When I seek, I create – I create, because I seek. The quest for perfection, for the perfect form, is a long process of personal growth; it can be a form of meditation used to see one’s inner self, one’s inner divinity.  As Aristotle and Plato said: “Man is the measure of all things! Man is creation and creation is man!” - the real human revelation is finding one’s true self and realising that we are our own creators! Form is energy, form is nature and nature is god’s creation. Art and design are an expression of the artist’s state of mind and inspiration – the artist’s work is their embodiment and thus his legacy. However, art also reflects the culture and everyday life of a nation or civilisation and expresses its inner experiences and spiritual world in physical form. Spiritual expression, artistic and technical truths, true art, and true design can only arise from a pure heart. Only when art is truly great, timeless and undying, can we speak of the ideal spirit and its material realisation – the perfect form, the truth.” Oskar Kogoj.

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Rony Plesl

Rony Plesl, the head of the Glass Studio at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague, is among Czech Republic’s most successful and most renowned artists, and one of the first who managed to produce hand blown glass of various textures and colours using traditional glassblowing techniques.

He has collaborated with several well-known artists and companies in the Czech Republic and abroad. Over his thirty years as a designer he has received numerous domestic and international design awards (Barovier & Toso – Italy, Denizli – Turkey, AJETO in Moser – Czech Republic). His vases rank among Czech Republic's 100 best designs of the 20th century.

Awards and designs:

1999:    Best Czech Design of 1999 award for Twiggy vase, Czech Republic

2000:    Best Design SIBO award, Czech Republic

2003:    Best Czech Design of 2003 award for Vernum glasses, Czech Republic

2005:    Quadra Pura vase places among Czech Republic's 100 best designs of the 20th century, Czech Republic

2006:    Best Czech Design of 2006 award, Czech Republic

2007:    Red Dot design award for Cleveland glass

2011:    Design Award 2010 for Erie collection of glasses

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Karl Lagerfeld

Karl Otto Lagerfeldt was born 10. September 1933 in Hamburg and is one of the most successful fashion designers, photographers and artists of modern times.

His work displays his trademark black and white colour scheme and clean lines. In his career – over more than five decades –, he has collaborated with innumerable fashion, film and music celebrities. He definitively made fashion design history when he was made head designer of fashion houses Chanel and Fendi, and successfully established his own brand of apparel.

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Karim Rashid

Karim Rashid is an industrial designer and architect. He was born in Egypt and grew up in Canada. He has designed more than 3000 products and received more than 300 prestigious design awards. He regularly collaborates with numerous companies around the world, including Gorenje.

Even the most challenging materials do not present him with much difficulty; this has enabled him to design products as versatile as furniture, kitchen appliances, lamps, stationery, packaging, sculptures and other artistic works, fashion accessories, graphic images, and much more.  Rashid’s work is featured in numerous permanent collections and exhibitions in galleries all over the world (MoMA, Centre Pompidou, SFMOMA…).

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Rudolf Španzel

Rudolf Španzel was born 18. December 1948 in Griže. After finishing secondary school for design he went on to study at the Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana, where he obtained two specialisations.

He has been at the forefront of Slovene fine arts since 1970. He is among the few Slovenian painters who follow the doctrine of the Renaissance artists; they emphasise realism and deep symbolism. His oil canvasses, which derive from the tradition of classical painting, push the boundaries of realistic depiction. His playful, often biting symbolism tells the deep personal story of the artist and his subject. With his diverse oeuvre of paintings and graphic works, which transcend the traditional fine arts experience, he has made his mark on the Slovenian identity. His paintings are on display around the world; most notable are exhibitions in Great Britain and the Unites States.

He has received several domestic and foreign fine arts awards and created the portraits on the Slovenian tolar notes. He has designed postage stamps, and painted portraits of Barbara of Celje and numerous famous Slovenians. In 1985 he was presented with the Prešeren Fund Award for artistic achievements in figurative art. Symbolic elements complement and elevate the realism at the core of his designs; for example: shells represent birth, the fish symbolises Christianity.



His oil canvasses, which derive from the tradition of classical painting, push the boundaries of realistic depiction. His playful, often biting symbolism tells the deep personal story of the artist and his subject.

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Mateja Krašovec Pogorelčnik

Mateja is the author of the collection of crystal glasses PRIMEVAL EXPRESSIONS as well as STORIES design® founder. She has been working as an independent creator in the field of culture since 1996. Thanks to her achievements in art she has obtained the status of an independent artist in 2001 and became a member of the Designers Society of Slovenia. She works in the fields of graphics, fashion and unique design as well as in publicity. Recently she has mostly been working in the field of unique industrial design which she presents at individual and group exhibitions and fairs at home and abroad (BIO, Design Expo etc).

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