So, as I was driving that morning, it occurred to me that it might be nice to have my 70-year old Aunt model those pieces for me - because she was the one who commissioned me, because she is a Matti descendant, and because I think that she is one of many types of women who (I imagine) wear my jewelry.
When I called to ask her if she would be willing to model, she was hesitant at first - probably for the same reasons I would be hesitant (because of the prescribed standard of "beauty" that we associate with models) - but I hoped she was also honored to be the one wearing the family jewelry in my catalog...and of course she agreed to do it! So, this is Marlene. She is the one in our family who has kept an exceptional record of all of our distant relatives in Finland, as well as kept us all in contact with them.
For the shoot, we decided to keep it very simple. Just Marlene, at her home, with a strict, pre-determined number of pieces (I didn't even bring back-ups to the shoot) ... and I would have to say that it was the smoothest shoot we did of the entire project. We were like a well-oiled machine, we were there for about 2 hours and that included a nice snack after the shoot of banana bread and iced-tea. It felt so good to have it go so well!
The house that you see in the shots is actually the very first house that my father designed - over 30 years ago - for his sister (Marlene) & her husband Ernie (whose hands you see in this shot of the the WOOD bracelets on my wrist) and they still live there today. Somehow, the inclusion of my father's architecture allows me to pay tribute to the role that he has played/continues to play in my design career.
All photos by: Paige DeWees