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By Andrea Bennett

If these partitions may speak, what tales would they inform? Photographer Shana Novak has discovered a option to reply one in all humanity’s favourite musings by her enterprise, The Heirloomist, which turns treasured keepsakes into uniquely significant framed artworks.

Shana Novak, The Heirloomist.

Novak, a industrial still-life photographer for big- field shops, was already an professional in bringing objects to life for her purchasers when a longtime craving to interact in important private work converged with the reward of her grandmother’s sterling silver, offering the impetus for her first Heirloomist piece.

“My grandmother was the keeper of the household tales. She preferred holding all types of bizarre and funky and beneficial issues tucked away,” Novak says. “You may barely grasp the tales behind all these years of tables that silverware sat on. Arranging them into this fascinating piece of artwork was symbolic of my grandparents’ life collectively.”

It was a watershed second for her. “Having these still-life industrial abilities and making use of them to the objects she had stored over time made me notice, ‘Oh, I can use my abilities from my job to do one thing deeply significant,’” Novak explains.

Since her work on The Heirloomist started, Novak has turn into a residing receptacle for her purchasers’ tales, absorbing them as she strives to seize the essence of what makes every souvenir particular to its proprietor in her images. Considered one of her favourite photos is a large-scale letter written in delicate cursive. “It’s a letter {that a} grandmother despatched to her granddaughter within the ’80s,” Novak explains. “She talks a couple of good boy from down the road who comes to assist her on the farm. The woman finally ends up marrying the boy within the letter and holding the letter. We made an enormous print of it for his or her home.”

Bob Woodruff’s “Alive Day” boots. (Picture: Courtesy of The Heirloomist)

Novak’s commissions have ranged from a four-foot-tall Champagne cork for a eating room to a canine collar to the fight boots worn by ABC Information correspondent Bob Woodruff, commissioned as an “Alive Day” current by his spouse, Lee, to commemorate the day he survived being hit by a roadside bomb in Iraq in 2006.

Among the many hottest objects are stuffed animals, which Novak says are a few of the most troublesome topics to {photograph}. “We’ll spend hours getting the expression good,” she says. “Typically I’ve to ask them, ‘Are you going to behave your self on set? What am I going to do with you?’ They don’t present up camera- prepared, and also you don’t need to make an enormous print for a child that scares them.”

Commissioning an Heirloomist piece is straightforward: Purchasers ship an merchandise to Novak’s studio in Manhattan’s Chelsea and choose a measurement for his or her art work from her web site. (She will be able to additionally accommodate bespoke works.) She images the heirloom inside a couple of days, sends proofs to purchasers for approval, returns the heirloom with insured monitoring—and shortly purchasers have their very own visible story, framed and able to show.

“Everybody has particular issues that inform a narrative. It’s a common idea,” she says. “These objects is usually a cool reminder of how the world works in mysterious methods.”

View the Spring/Summer Issue of Elliman Magazine.

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