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An Unusual Hobby of Dragan Volaš: He Gives New Life to Gramophone Records


Wandering through the internet four years ago, I saw interesting graphics and clocks made of wood. Then the idea came to me to put the old gramophone records that every household used to have in our homes again – this time in the form of decor, says Dragan Volaš, who makes clocks from old gramophone records.

Dragan lives and works with his family in the Prnjavor settlement of Donji Štrpci. After a serious illness, he retired on a disability pension, and the free time he had decided to embark on this hobby, which is unusual for our area.

“I’ve had a love for records since I was a teenager. We bought records, listened to them, and hung out. Over time, the upcoming digital technology supplanted analog. I gladly accepted it myself because of the unlimited possibilities of processing and storing sound,” he explains.

This fifty-one-year-old, as he says, coming to his late forties and thinking about old times, felt nostalgic for LP records, and in a way, he was sorry that the once so powerful medium is not in everyday use as before and decided to give new life to records in his own way.

And giving new life to a gramophone record in the form of a clock is not an easy job.

“I draw the desired design on a computer, and the process sometimes takes up to three hours due to the complexity of the graphics. Then I take the board to a friend who laser-cuts the design on the board. After that I stick a sticker on the board, put a clockwork, and admire the final product,” he says proudly.

After the work is finished, he packs the clock in cardboard boxes, which he also makes himself, and puts the decorative items that show us how time flows inevitably every day in a “sandwich” made of styrofoam so that it is not damaged in transport.

Considering that he is a big fan of music, he explains that the inspiration for the first watch designs was, and still is, this type of art.

“Somehow it is logical for me that the designs are from that area. Because the LP is mostly a music medium, I like to listen to rock music, and then the inspiration comes sporadically,” says Dragan.

He explains that he has a lot of orders with the wishes of customers and that these are challenges for him that ultimately result in mutual satisfaction, and the motives are mainly related to film, motoring, motorcycles, love, animals …

“I actually got a lot of ideas from customers. So I got a request to make 25 clocks that would show 24 time zones with changing cities and with the central clock of the city of Zagreb. They all showed their local time. I’m proud of that set of clocks, and he is currently standing in a bar in Zagreb “, explains Volaš. Dragan has his own collection of gramophone records and is a big fan of this type of storing and listening to music that today’s generations hardly know, and he says that it is difficult to find records, because everyone who keeps them has their favorites and might sell some, but to preserve can not give to cutting.

“I mostly cut records that are damaged or uninteresting to me. I find them in markets, at friends’ and on radio stations that no longer need them. But I have more and more problems with procurement,” explains this hobbyist.

When asked if there were cases when he sold a watch to which he was emotionally attached and if he had the first watch made in his collection, he stated that there were cases when he made a watch, and when he sold it, he was “jealous” of the buyer and as soon as come home, make the same one.

“And now I have watches that I am especially proud of. By the way, I wanted the first five variants of watches the most. I still have one in the living room and I installed LED backlighting on it. It is a watch with the image of Albert Einstein and the famous formula E = mc2 “, explains Dragan.

The watches created in the “Vinyl Art” workshop can be bought at a price of 25 to 50 KM, they are unique and unique, and as this man from Prnjavor says, he hopes they will be long-lasting.

“I have plates that are 50 years old and sound great even today, I hope that the clocks will last that long – the clock mechanisms that I install in them are high quality and accurate, they are silent. However, I doubt they will last that long, but my Einstein works flawlessly for the fifth year “, says Dragan with a smile.

When it comes to plans for the future, he continues to work with gramophone records, because, as he says, this hobby makes him unique in BiH and beyond.

“The younger generation doesn’t even know what a gramophone record is, they like the design, and it can be made of other materials … I am aware that by choosing to work with LP records, I have reduced the number of audiences interested in such watches, but I remain consistent “, says Dragan and concludes that for him, working with gramophone records is a hobby and that the work itself is at that level, but that it is difficult to make a living from it.

Jewelry made of LP records

In addition to watches, Dragan Volaš, with the help of his wife Božana and daughters Anđela, Nikolina, and Maja, also makes earrings, necklaces and retro bags, also from gramophone records.

“The LP is interesting to work with because it is light and solid at the same time. Its black color has an interesting texture of circular lines and even when we make the same designs, they are different because of their texture. We also make mugs with pictures, puzzles, pillows, various pendants, towels for weddings and baptisms “, states Dragan.

Inverse clock

Dragan says that he also saw an interesting clock on the Internet that rotates in the opposite direction, on which the numbers are placed “upside down”, the so-called inverse clock.

“I got a mechanism that shows the exact time, but it goes in the opposite direction and I made a simple design – just numbers on the LP. That clock is in my living room and I ask every guest what time it is. No one answers at first, many of them and make mistakes. Some don’t even know the answer, “Dragan says with a laugh.




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