For the past 25 years, Janko Samsa from Žirje near Sežana has been making miniature old wagons called šinar, wine presses, and various devices, machines and buildings that no longer exist or are too big to be stored in a museum. He also makes woodcuts, and, above all, pyrographs.
He wishes to preserve objects for posterity, even if in miniature form; hence he abides by the strict principle that each miniature is an exact replica of the original.
He makes wagons and wine presses in a ratio of 1:7; all other miniatures are custom-made, mostly ordered by museums across Slovenia.
He has held over forty independent exhibitions all over Slovenia and abroad, and helped to present the Slovenian cottage industry and arts and crafts in Japan and America. In the book by Janez Bogataj, PhD, Mojstrovine Slovenije (Masterpieces from Slovenia), the chapter on miniatures revolves around him. He was presented on television several times; moreover, an independent film was shot about his work. There were also quite a few radio programmes and newspaper articles about him. He is always present at biennial exhibitions of the cottage industry and arts and crafts held by the Chamber of Craft and Small Business of Slovenia. He is a recipient of the Zlata vitica award for life's work in this field.
He felt there was a lack of Slovenian literature on wagonwrighting and wagons, so he wrote the book Vozovi in poti (Wagons and Trails), published by the Technical Museum of Slovenia.
He has some seventy exhibits on display in the museum in his house; other than that, he has made around 140 wagons, 50 wine presses and over 50 other models from all over Slovenia. The majority of the models are located in the Technical Museum of Slovenia in Bistra. Of these, he is most proud of his model of the National Gallery of Slovenia in Ljubljana, and of the model of the stadium of the Pan-Sokol Rally in Ljubljana in 1926.