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Julia E. Limpke
Julia E. Limpke is an artist and author, in Bottrop, Germany, although originally she is from the Steiermark region, in Austria. She is the mother of 4 children; Marco, Nina, Pia & Lisa. On the death of Marco, her only son, she was inspired to draw and model children, based on her own children and their friends, Bill and Tommy.

When Julia first moved to the Ruhr area, she began an apprenticeship in the hotel industry. As well as working and raising 4 children, she somehow managed to find time for study. She took evening classes at the University of Art & Design and learned under artist, Heinz Voss, and sculptor, Wolfgang Liesen. Once she passed her exams, she began working as an illustrator and author.

After her first books, Großmama, wir kommen! (Grandma, here we come!), Die Krippe (The Crib) and Tonplastiken; frei modelliert (Clay Models; free sculpted) were published in 1983, 1987 and 1988, respectively, the Swarovski company worked with Julia to create a series of 9 Austrian crystal frosted figurines and an accompanying story book, called Julia's World. This series was available from 1990 to 1992 and the 2.5" tall figurines were priced between $29.50 and $55 each. The marketing synopsis for this series stated:

"Think back to a simpler world. When a child's toys were the trees, flowers and world around them. Where innocence could last a lifetime. And where the peace in a tiny European town is broken forever by war. . . . Julia's World parallels millions of young lives that are profoundly changed by war. Our endearing tale of Julia's family's strength inspires young and old alike to love, to grow strong, and to believe in tomorrow."

After limited interest in her Swarovski series, Julia went on to work with Goebel on the creation of porcelain interpretations of her work. Her first Goebel figurines were released at the Frankfurt Spring Fair in 1992, with great success. Prompted by the young death of her son and by his words, "Mom, when I grow up, I’m going to help children", Julia was encouraged to improve the lives of suffering children. Goebel agreed a partnership with SOS Children's Villages (SOS- Kinderdörfer), a worldwide charity helping children in need. As a result, a portion of all sale proceeds from Goebel's Nina & Marco figurines go to this worthwhile cause.

Julia's designs for Goebel were officially branded and launched as Nina & Marco in 1998, but this title is generally used to encompass all her Goebel work.

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