It all started with the non-fiction writer Olli Kuusisto and his son Kim Nivalinna. They were discussing 1000-year-old texts written on birch bark, when they had the idea of building a metallic Everlasting Kalevala in honour of the 180th anniversary celebration of the Kalevala.
Kim designed and laser marked the paintings and the texts, solving the technical problems.
His father designed the layout, and chose the texts for the book.
The illustrations in the work were painted by the Estonian-Russian artist Sergei Minin, who is one of the few artists who has painted Nelson Mandela’s portrait.
The masterpiece is called Iki–Kalevala (Everlasting Kalevala). It is made of aluminium and contains 24 pages. The project lasted half a year, and one of the main challenges was related to the binding of the book.
Kim had two ideas for the binding, and ended up with a solution in which he made small changes to a copper pipe. He created the covers in collaboration with entrepreneur Janne Jälkö. Using a flocking technique, they modified the metal cover to achieve a fabric-like feeling.
The 24-page metal book weighs 820 grams and includes 22 poems and paintings. The work is translated, according to demand, into English, Russian, and Swedish.
The authors are convinced that the Metal Kalevala will last forever, passing from generation to generation.