The Styria Cancer Society from Maribor and Alma Mater Europaea - ECM organized an art therapy workshop for the production of enamel jewellery on December 21, 2019 in cooperation with the Association of Oncologic Patients of Slovenia - Maribor Cancer Patient Self-Help Group, Union of Slovenian Patients Union.
This year's workshop was attended by members of the Maribor Cancer Patients Self-Help Group. These workshops give an opportunity to women who have been diagnosed with cancer to share their experiences, information about the onset of cancer, and problem solving through creativity and human contact.
The workshop was led by a graduate jewellery designer Nataša Grandovec. Nataša received her degree in jewellery design and modelling techniques from the Guildhall University in London (today Metropolitan University), where, upon successful completion of her studies, she received a Higher National Diploma. She later earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Inspiration very often draws from nature. Her products are miniature stories. In a competition "Create for Life", organized by Europa Donna, Ona Magazine and the Roche pharmaceutical company, she won the first prize with her needle product, titled Bird. Since 2013, she has been a mentor to participants in Art Therapy Workshops for the production of enamel jewellery, organized by the Styria Cancer Society Maribor.
Art can be an effective support to people in need, enabling a positive mindset. Participants in cancer therapy workshops, while getting rid of negative beliefs recognize their own artistic potential and create works of art - small wearable plastics. Each participant exudes the ability and skill of a lay designer.
In 2017, the art-therapeutic workshops for the production of enamel jewellery was recognized as a social innovation by the evaluation commission of ŠGZ (Styrian Chamber of Commerce) for innovation in Podravje. The team of innovators that developed this social innovation upon the initiative of Borut Ambrožič, was composed of: Nataša Grandovec, Vera Fegus (dr. med. Spec.), Borut Ambrožič (mediator in health), Tina Ferlinc (dr. med. Spec.) and mag. Matija Varl. The group was given a Bronze Award for their innovative contribution to the fight against cancer.