In the 1930’s, my grandma and her sister were young and unmarried, and they found themselves in a messy situation where they no longer were able to use their family name Stranden, which was their father’s name. They needed a new name. They invented Soilevuo as their new last name.
How and why Soilevuo, I do not know. Maybe as a variation of Stranden, maybe after war hero Siilasvuo, maybe just out of thin air they came up with this beautiful, one of a kind surname, which combines Soile, a womens forename, with the common ending -vuo. The result is a fantastic, original name which does not come from any man, but from grandma to granddaughter.
In the 1960’s, before I was born, my grandma bought a Pfaff 360. She was talented in sewing but unfortunately her deteriorating health kept her from enjoying this hobby. Fifteen years later she died and I inherited both the machine and her passion in sewing, which I developed even further. I was devastated when in 2004 my dear Pfaff broke. My trusted repairman had retired and there was no one who could have fixed the machine which had served us so well.
In 2006 my life changed dramatically. As a way of coping, I began to work with materials from my everyday life: twigs, sea shells, plastic toys, horse chestnuts, coins. I try to find inner peace in combining new and used, recycling and upcycling, trying to turn something dull and ordinary into interesting and original, seeing beauty in ugly objects. In a true Soilevuo spirit, when in a tight spot, I invent a new life out of thin air.