Nina Kamien Šimnovec

About Flora and Fauna

Having in mind recycling, upcycling, and sustainability in everyday life, I was seeking inspiration for my collection in already used metal: old coins. As a child, I was collecting coins, so I had many with no real purpose, except being interesting and having some sentimental value. Instead of keeping them in the box, I have decided to turn them into new pieces of jewelry. In the spirit of care for our environment, I chose coins with floral and animal motifs; naming my collection "Flora and Fauna".

I was modifying brass, copper, and nickel coins, adding different gemstones, and enamel in some places. In the end, each piece was gold or silver-plated. Once used and old now again has new meaning and value.

I was born in Ljubljana in 1985. Since I can remember, I had to create things with my hands: in my childhood years different figures out of clay or wire, and later on, when I was in my teens, I started making jewelry from beads and polymer clay. I was never fully developing my need for creation, my education went into humanistic studies, getting my university diploma at the Faculty of Theology in Ljubljana, but as a hobby, it always remained in me. During pregnancy, I got a bit more serious again and I started experimenting with plastic - I had a lot of fun, but in the end, I realized plastic is not my medium.
Five years ago, after attending a goldsmith workshop in the UK, my life turned upside down, falling in love to metal. My deep wish for new knowledge brought on my way a wonderful person, Christoph Steidl Porenta, who has been my mentor since 2018. Under his guidance, I got so many skills and confidence I was able to open an Etsy shop, where I sell my jewelry worldwide. Some of my pieces are available also in Kodre studio in Ljubljana and Gallery Krpan in Cerknica. I am also very proud of being a part of the exhibition of contemporary jewelry on 48th Minfos in 2022.

I find my inspiration mostly in nature and in the symbols around us. I believe each piece of jewelry should tell a story, bringing some kind of message to the owner.