• Dubravko

The faces behind AEterna

Hey there! Welcome to the new section of our website, the blog! I thought we could start by letting you know a little bit about the people who stand behind the name AEterna. If you follow us on our Instagram, you might know a little bit about us, but we're gonna assume you know nothing and start from the beginning.

The year is 2006. A young boy joins a renaissance troupe in his hometown, Dubrovnik, where he meets his soon to be boss-turned-friend who owns the only medieval shop in town, and is looking for an employee. The young boy is me, Dubravko, and I am your current host. In 2006 I started selling the historical parchment replicas dressed in a renaissance costume, walking up and down Dubrovnik's main street, Stradun, with a dear friend and a colleague from the troupe.

It was a fun job and it paid well, so I kept coming back every summer break. Soon I started working on the booth at the local traditional crafts market, and joined my boss and his wife in the workshop as well. There I learned all the techniques I still use to make our products, and truly fell in love with the job. I enjoyed working with Mirko and Lana and have been friends with them ever since.

Mirko and me at the booth

Then, about 3 years ago, Mirko decided to try something new, and asked me if I'd like to take over the business. Given the fact I was stuck in a rut at the time, I talked to my girlfriend about the future a lot, and so I quickly said yes! It seemed like a perfect opportunity for me - I like making things with my hands, I'm fairly good at it, and I am absolutely crazy about anything medieval. Thus began a new chapter in our and AEterna's life, with new management and crew (that being me and my fiancée Tanja, who joined the business as soon as we took over).

Tanja and me at Koprivnica renaissance faire, 2018

So here's just a few words about the two of us.

Tanja is a published historical fantasy author and a tour-guide. She has published two books about a hidden magical history of Dubrovnik, known only to wizards and members of the Lunarian Order. The books are called Republic of Stone and Republic of Mortals, with the Croatian versions published as paperbacks, and Republic of Stone in English as a kindle e-book. She is currently writing the third book in the Lex Legis series, titled Republic of Darkness. The plan is to write five books in total, but seeing her write every day makes me think it might be more than that. In her free time, she obsesses over the English Royal family, cooks amazing meals and tries to make me stop acting like a 12-year-old kid. At AEterna, her main role is that of the Great Illuminator, as she is much better than me with the brush. So when you see the nice golden details on one of our replicas, that's Tanja's work.

Tanja and her first book at the SFeraKon 2016 convention

I am basically just a huge nerd. My main gig is making our replicas and trying to sell them at our booth in the heart of Dubrovnik Old town during the tourist season, which is usually April to November. The rest of the year I make the replicas, research new ones, occasionally cross swords with some members of our old renaissance troupe, and every now and then teach junior and high-school kids Arduino-based robotics. I am also the main vocalist for a local black-metal band Zimogroz. In my free time I read a lot, mostly fantasy novels, and run Dungeons&Dragons games as a Dungeon Master, something I enjoy possibly a little too much.

Me in my natural environment

So that, in short, is who we are. Admittedly I didn't tell you very much, but we will write more about AEterna's history in one of the upcoming posts. In the meantime, feel free to leave us a comment with any questions you might want us to answer, and don't forget to follow us on Instagram to see more of our art! Until the next reading, stay well!