Alenka & Marino Kranjac

Dollmakers wife and husband, Alenka and Marino Kranjac in their home studio. 


is a folk singer, author of three books and a crochet designer, all self taught. She holds a degree in teaching and for 20 years has been a primary school teacher. She is also a Montessori certified preschool educator and an Infant Massage coach. 


is a folk musician, multi-instrumentalist and treasurer of the folk tradition of Istria. He is a professional artist with a rich repertoire and more than 35 years of musical performance.

Together they perform in the folk group Vruja that published their fifth musical CD in 2021. 

They started creating dolls in 2020 and have since then had art shows and presentations in their local community.

The dolls that Alenka created

have also made it in her published book for children "Ribič Livio - Livio il pescatore".  It is Alenka's first bilingual book, slovenian and italian. 

Istria is a multilingual and multicultural peninsula of the Adriatic sea. It is no surprise, that with a heritage so rich, the magic of the local environment finds its expression through it's people. 

Vilinska kri

In 2018 Alenka had her first book published by Amalietti Založba (editing house). "Vilinska kri ali tovarišice prav posebne sorte" is a book about witches, "le streghe" or "štrige", as Istrians call them. The folklore of witchcraft is still very alive and present in Istria, as well as in nearby Friuli and other surrounding  regions.

Vilinska kri (Fairy Blod or the companions of a very special kind) was followed by a novel "Mara, vilinska kraljična" (Mara, the fairy princess, Amalietti) in 2019 and a children's book "Ribič Livio - Livio il pescatore" (Livio the fisherman, Civic Library Izola) in 2022.


The region of Istria is a multi-cultural and multi-lingual area, a peninsula in the Adriatic sea with a wonderful mixture of influences from all over Europe and the Mediterranean. That has integrated into the lifestyle and beliefs of the local people. It's traditions are kept alive by people, who inherit the craft and knowledge from the elderly and continue the legacy.

Istrian Folk Music

For more info visit Vruja .

Marino has a wide array of musical projects and international collaborations and a large discography that testifies to his musical genius.

He is a founder of the Istrian folk group VRUJA, a musical group, which continues the tradition of the musical groups from the Slovene Istria and which have had a great influence on the increased knowledge and popularization of the musical heritage of Istria in the latest decades. The group's name is of a dialectic origin and it means source, spring.

The group Vruja

is a successful joint of experienced musicians, who are considered the pioneers in the folk music revival, as well as younger ones, who have grown up in close contact with tradition. Vruja is trying in its own way to add yet another little stone to the mosaic of interpretation and performance of the Istrian's musical heritage. The musical experience of a single member and their mutual work are expressed in the group's performances and thus, the group is regarded as a representative of a musical trend, known all over the world as the Folk music revival.

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