Fortrove News

Jewelry designer Sonia Boyajian has had a lot of time to reflect during the past few months regarding this Coronavirus pandemic. Although stores nationwide are starting to reopen, these recent events have influenced store owners as never before. Boyajian owns a brick-and-mortar shop in Los Angeles, California. The place is inspired largely by the artist Georgia O'Keefe's studio since the owner has expressed her fondness for the Surrealist genre with statement pieces strewn about. Boyajian's business was put on hold and she self-isolated almost immediately after opening its doors. As a way to meditate, the designer began sculpting colorful little prayer beads and teapots. She did this virtually with the help of her assistant.

Although prayer beads are often thought of to be of a religious connotation, echoing the beliefs in Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, and Hinduism, they can also be utilized in a secular format for relieving stress and anxiety. According to Boyajian in a statement to Vogue, “Making each bead one by one is a very meditative and repetitive process. My goal is to assemble and utilize my beads in the same ways that these religious faiths do.” Every few days, Boyajian crafts nearly 30 beads per hour. Her assistant Dee first makes the clay which is then delivered to Boyajian's studio. Then Dee loads the clay molds into the kiln. The designer then glazes and finishes the colorful prayer beads.

“I always try to create things that have a purpose for me and the customer,” says Boyajian. “The pandemic has been a series of ups and downs for me, but creatively speaking, it has been wonderful. I’ve been inspired by working in the garden, cooking, and creating all sorts of things that I never thought I would create.”

The jewelry designer has said that no matter the state of normalcy that the world returns to, she will continue to create these colorful little beads. “These beads are a great indication of time. They’re like a personal calendar for marking the days while waiting for the future and what is currently unknown to us,” she says.

Information originally sourced from Vogue.