Seba Dizajn and their scintillating filigree earrings in Korčula

croatian art seba dizajn

Seba Dizajn and their scintillating filigree earrings in Korčula

When visiting Croatia, there are a few places that tourists flock to, one of those places is Korčula. It’s an island off the Dalmatian Coast and its one of the most populated islands in Croatia.

I was too intoxicated to recall my quick stop over in Korcula back in 2010, but now I have something very special from the island. Something that was handmade by a local, something that is almost too pretty to wear. I said almost, but I’ll be wearing them often.

My very own pair of filigree earrings, hand crafted and gifted to me by Seba Dizajn. It’s hard to imagine, but the artist whose name is Doka learnt the art of filigree from his father Gjovalin Seba and the Seba family have a connection with filigree that stretches back 500+ years. Doka and his father work together in their studio in Korcula.

The earrings are simply stunning. This photos and the gazillion that I tried to take, simply do not do them any justice. When I opened the box they were presented in, I was honestly surprised at how shiny the earings were. When I wore them, I received so many compliments I started to get embaressed.

These are not earrings I can wear every day as my darling Baby Donkey, loves to tug at all of my jewellery, but this pair will certainly be on high rotation in my earring collection. I have them already paired up with a dress to wear for a fancy dinner we have planned next month.

croatian filigree earrings

Are they not just the prettiest?

croatian filigree artists

Mr. & Mr. Seba Dizajn

How did I get these earrings you might ask? Well it’s a great story of yet another social media friendship. Ruth who is Doka’s wife, I met on Twitter. Ruth is a fellow expat, born in New Zealand, who met Doka in Croatia while she was on vacation from her then job in Scotland in 2008.

I interviewed Ruth, so you could meet them and enjoy their fine crafts. When I asked Ruth how long after this holiday romance she moved to Korcula she explained that:

After several visits, a meeting in Rome, Scotland (where I was living before moving here), and numerous phone calls, text messages and letters!! We got married in Korcula in January 2010 and moved here in March 2010.

I love Ruth’s story, because just like the story of the Englishman in Dubrovnik, it’s one that inspires me. After all, Ruth moved to Croatia without being able to speak Croatian, nor did she know anyone. Yet Ruth left her life in Scotland, which she said was just too cold, and took a chance to open and run a successful business. They knew that there were tourists visiting during the summer months, and that they could use the winter time for production.

croatian filigree earrings seba

The happy Seba couple

Ruth & Doka are not alone, because Doka grew up in Korcula and his parents and brother live close by.  Ruth says that, the family connection and support are invaluable and important to both of us.

I was curious about what Ruth did in the business, and I was surprised that she does so much. Ruth explained that:

There are so many steps involved with creating each of our pieces and I am happy to help where I can, filing, polishing, making some of the small filigree patterns and I aim to learn a lot more this winter – which is our main production time.

croatian handmade korcula

Doka hard at work

Seba Dizaijn is a hard working business like any other, and they both work full time in their small store and really enjoy meeting customers and visitors as they come in. Seba Dizajn invite you to come into the store, where they have a work table set up which is a fabulous chance to watch and learn how filigree jewellery is created.  Many customers have read about their shop before they come to Korcula and the Seba’s love meeting the friends from their Facebook page, which Ruth manages as part of her job of social media guru. In a modern world of technology, social media really is valuable addition in marketing, their hand made jewellery.  Ironic in some ways, don’t you think?

Now that winter is approaching, Ruth and Doka are planning a few short breaks & are also looking forward to turning off the morning alarm after working every day for over 6 months. Now that’ s a long season!

Work continues for them, as the cooler months will have them focused on the production of new stock for 2014, which you can see by liking the Seba facebook page. Ruth posts stunning photos of Korcula, the new designs and the design process.

croatian art seba dizajn

Looks like a great Christmas gift idea… hint, hint Mr. CtD

If you are lucky enough to be visiting Korcula you can meet Ruth & Doka in their store, and take home a stunning souvenir with you.

Seba Dizajn
Ulica de Polo
beside the Marco Polo Tower.

Not coming to Croatia soon enough? Then you can head over to the Seba Dizajn online store where you can see a wide range of filigree Jewellery ready to be shipped to your door.

croatian art seba dizajn

Something to suit everyone

If you are inspired to make the move to Croatia, Ruth has kindly answered the same question people ask me often. Perhaps her answer may help you along your way to joining us here in Croatia.

What are the biggest challenges you faced during your moving process and how can other people thinking of moving to Croatia avoid/minimise them?

The visa process, the ever changing rules and misunderstanding the rules the first time round. I could have applied for a different type of visa initially if we had known about the options. My advice to you would be to ask others who have moved to Croatia recently, stay friendly with your local MUP and ask about rule changes – these seem to be frequent, especially surrounding changes with the EU.

I know you want something made, which is it? Earrings? Pendant or that charming cuff? Tell me in the comments below.


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  1. Alice H. says

    I clicked on the link to the online store but it wouldn’t come up. Would like to see what is avaiable! Was just in Korcula but didn’t have time to shop and so sad I didn’t pick up some earrings!

  2. Esther says

    I love handmade items (I also own an Etsy shop) and I even bought a 100% handmade wedding dress as store bought items (mass products) don’t fascinate me so much. When I was in Croatia I actually bought loads of local food (like pestos, nom nom) and wine. It’s such a rich country!

      • Esther says

        I make bags and blankets 😉 (my shop is called ‘So Happy in Red’ on Etsy). I remember walking into little yarn shops in Dubrovnik and Trogir and feeling like I landed in heaven… and then trying to tell the people in the shop what I was looking for, ha!

  3. Jess says

    I think the pendant is my favorite, but the earrings are also gorgeous! I love the picture of Doka at work. I wish I could make beautiful things like that.

  4. says

    Those earring and the rest of the jewelry are just gorgeous. I love the story of how you met Ruth but also the whole process of creating these pieces. I search out beautiful handmade souvenirs like this when I’m traveling. Yet, another reason to visit Croatia :) Social media is such a great way of connecting people.

    • Ruth Seba says

      Hi Mary – social media is amazing! I am also a fan of finding beautiful handmade things when I travel… careful if you make it here, I also found a lovely husband 😉

  5. Thrifty Travel Mama says

    Wow, those earrings are gorgeous! And I like the teardrop filigree pair they have in their online shop. Beautiful work, thanks for sharing!

    • Ruth Seba says

      thanks for the earring love – I must try and load some new designs on the website this week!
      Need to take photos this weekend.

  6. Our Adventure in Croatia says

    great artisan works they do over there at Seba Dizajn, in the age of cheap China imports that all looks the same, it’s wonderful to see a tradition being kept alive and passed down the generations. May it long continue

  7. Farrah says

    So beautiful! I saw one of these pics earlier this week and was absolutely fascinated. It’s really something today to find handmade works of art- you know? And I would like some earrings, please. By December 17th 😉

    • Ruth Seba says

      Hi Amy, thanks for the jewellery compliments. We really enjoy being able to share the process as well as the finished pieces.

  8. amerikanka says

    My first trip to Dalmatia in the 1980s, I took home tons of filigree jewelry – still have one bracelet. But that was just cheap mass-market tourist stuff, nothing like the fine work of Seba. :) My other favorite place to shop for fun jewelry is Mostar, Bosnia. Cool stuff with more of an eastern/Turkish/Muslim feel.