Grace Sumojoki is the managing director of Loving Memoirs, which creates moulds from the faces or torsos of the deceased. Her two other businesses, B&G Lifecasting and Petskeepsakes, produce casts of babies and animals. Loving Memoirs, she says, allows her to help others to remember loved ones who have passed on.
Are people shocked by what you do?
Many might freak out at the thought of creating moulds from corpses. I treat the body like a friend who’s asleep. I explain to him or her that I’m helping to keep memories alive for his or her loved ones. Sometimes, I can even detect a smile on the face of the deceased.
How do you deal with naysayers?
Some people find it morbid to make a face or body cast from the deceased as a memento. I think of it as a way to preserve memories. Everyone is loved by someone, so I want to help everyone keep that love alive. That’s why I see my work as symbols of love. This love can be for anyone, alive or dead. But we don’t advertise our services due to the sensitive nature of our work. Many customers come because of word of mouth.
My upcoming project is Wee Jewels, which transforms 3D casts into jewellery such as charm pendants or rings. Did you know we can even incorporate breastmilk into such items?
This story first appeared in the October 2019 issue of A.