It was during a vacation to Maine that my husband and I first saw vintage silverware in a totally different light. A local craftsman had transformed an old knife into a small flower vase; old spoons draped with shimmering beads had been upcycled into wind chimes; and forks reshaped to create small pieces of jewelry. It was wonderful to see how, with a little creativity, items long forgotten had been given a new lease on life. Little did my husband and I know at that time that this brief encounter was to become the start of our own personal love affair with antique & vintage metals; one that would lead to the launch of our own design company—Simply Kalina.
Many of our product began life in a different form, often reclaimed from the dusty corners of antique shops and vintage markets. Neglected silverware isn't always attractive however with careful workmanship, imagination, and a lot of TLC, we have upcycled a multitude of forgotten treasures to create a line of jewelry and gifts for you to enjoy or share.
Ashley & Fred Lewis
It was during a trip to Maine (many moons ago), where our love affair with antique silverware began.
An old antique store caught our eye, so we went in, ever hopeful that one-of-a-kind bargain. And we were not disappointed.
Laying on top of a table in an old, dusty corner, was a small stash of silverware. Odds and ends really, but we could see their beauty shining through the dirt and grime that seemed embedded in their handles. While we were fascinated by the incredible craftsmanship, we were just as curious as to how, over a century later, these European beauties, ended up in Maine, USA!
It felt like the spoons, forks and knives were calling our name, so we scooped them up, not quite sure what we were going to do with such a mis-matched set.
Shortly after leaving the store we came across a small market where an elderly gentleman was making a wind chime out of old silverware, not unlike the ones we had just purchased. He told us the story behind his spoon rings and how young men (often slaves), would bend the metal to form a ring for their sweethearts. So romantic!
It was wonderful to see these old pieces being repurposed, and the thought crossed our mind that the only thing lovelier would be if the wind chime had stayed with the original owners. Silverware sets were often given as a wedding gift and were treasured by their owners.
Today, we work from our home studio in beautiful North Carolina, helping families re-purpose their old silverware and coins into custom heirloom jewelry/art that can passed from generation to generation. Our unique process involves hand carving each piece into a design that has been created specifically for the recipient.
We also have a range of designs that are available for those, who like us, love the uniqueness and history behind our pieces which date back in some cases to the 18th century.
Ashley & Fred Lewis
People are often surprised to learn that Kalina is not a family name, rather a girls name that originated from one of the oldest Aboriginal tribes in Australia-the Wemba Wemba,. Kalina means love.
Having spent many years living in Australia, Ashley felt an instant connection with the Kalina name. It seemed a perfect tribute to the beautiful sun burnt country that she loves so much, and captures the essence behind the Kalina brand. Products that are made both with love, and from the heart.