Roses bloom in the dark

Fashion designer Anni Ruuth describes the creative design process of the Summer Night Rose jewelry line.

When Maria Uunila from Kalevala Jewelry contacted me a little over a year ago and asked me to design a collection for Kalevala, I thought that I had received the message by mistake. My first, spontaneous thought was “Why me?”, as I have never before designed jewelry. Would I have anything to contribute in this area of design?

Towards the best results with the Kalevala team

Since jewelry design was a completely new area for me, I decided to approach the design process differently, not in the same way as I usually do: instead of pen and paper, I wanted to carry out the creative design in a more concrete way, to see directly which forms work and which do not. I looked for compositions and shapes directly in nature – the blooms of the white rose bushes known as Midsummer Rose in Finland, and the way they settle in relation to each other, turn, lean and make room for yet another bloom. I studied the flowers in detail, the shape of the petals in particular, and drew patterns based on them, which I then folded into shapes the way I wanted, utilizing various materials.

What was particularly wonderful in designing the Summer Night Rose line was how I felt I had somehow found my lost connection with nature just by observing it. Last summer, I pottered about in our garden, barefoot, just photographing the blooms and collecting them. It was wonderful.

As to design, I was given free rein and no-one interfered with the visual design in any way. I was only guided towards the best possible outcome. The Kalevala team openly accepted my ideas and started looking for ways to implement them open-mindedly. It was inspiring to see how relentlessly they sought the vintage sheen I wanted and just the right tone for the jewelry, through a number of experiments.

“I started the design process by diving deep into the world of Kalevala Jewelry. I got to explore jewelry archives over many decades, which was truly inspiring. In the archive world I was particularly fascinated by the mysticism and Finnish folklore.”

I share very similar values with Kalevala Jewelry and this made working together even more lovely. One of these values is domestic production. I sigh with delight every time I get to walk through Kalevala’s production department and witness the jewelry being created before my very eyes. That makes the Summer Night Rose particularly special and meaningful for me.

I started the design process by diving deep into the world of Kalevala Jewelry. I got to explore jewelry archives over many decades, which was truly inspiring. In the archive world I was particularly fascinated by the mysticism and Finnish folklore These themes differ from the style that I find natural for me to implement, so I set out to find something in common between Kalevala and my own aesthetic design language.

I found that something very close by – actually all around me: in my roots and my personal history. In the times we are living in, home has surely become more important for us all. For me, home symbolizes warmth, security and love. A Midsummer Rose blooms in the yards of my childhood summers, next to my grandmother's house and my childhood home, and there is something very comforting and homely about that scent. I was immensely fascinated with that flower and I felt that it had a story to tell.

Inspired by the sensitivity of the Midsummer Rose

The Midsummer Rose has a certain powerful intensity that I also see in Kalevala Jewelry, but it also has fragile beauty that I feel is characteristic for me to interpret as designer. This way, the Midsummer Rose wrapped its roots around me and Kalevala Jewelry and made my inner world blossom in a whole new way.

Throughout the inspiration process, my mind was set in the early 1900s and I also read poetry set in that time. I immersed myself particularly in the work of Saima Harmaja. What particularly inspired me about Harmaja's poems is the way she describes the great themes of life, such as love – forcefully and yet subtly at the same time. Harmaja's poems describe and express emotions through nature, which enables you to sense them at many different levels. One particular poem and verse from Saima Harmaja's poem “Intimacy” served as the driving force behind the whole process:

“In my room here, it is still spring. The rain falls in torrents, and roses bloom in the dark, and the nightingale sings. Stays with me.”

The line in the poem, “roses bloom in the dark”, is an apt description of the time in which the Summer Night Rose line was created. The poem allowed me to create and enjoy beauty even in difficult times. It reminded me of that even in the darkest of times, or actually right then, it is important to focus on the small, good things in life.

My starting points in life have taught me that nothing in this life should be taken for granted. Designing the Summer Night Rose line has been the greatest honor for me and I am grateful to Kalevala Jewelry for their trust in me and the opportunity they have given me. I would also like to thank Kalevala Jewelry for their work in maintaining Finnish production and handicraft traditions.


In the creations under her namesake brand, fashion designer Anni Ruuth interprets the sensitivity of classical art and ballet. Her first jewelry line, the Summer Night Rose designed for Kalevala Jewelry, emanates the same sensitivity. The collection abounds with lavish and intricate details in a highly three-dimensional manifestation of the designer’s vision and eloquent design language.

As a designer, Anni Ruuth is inspired by the techniques, skills and materials used in creating traditional Haute Couture pieces. In Anni’s hands, minimalistic silhouettes are combined with top-quality silk and delicate feathers – and now with jewelry too.

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