Many designers and small businesses have been affected by the coronavirus and have been forced to close down their stores during the pandemic. Sonia Boyajian, a jewelry designer based in L.A., was one of many artists whose business was put on hold, and she decided to make good use of her time by crafting as a form of meditation—sculpting teapots and making colorful prayer beads.
Prayer beads have been used in religions such as Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, and Hinduism, as a form of prayer and in their nonreligious form, they’re also referred to as worry beads to relieve stress.
Boyajian makes about 30 beads each hour every few days and her assistant Dee makes the clay and brings it to her studio where Dee puts it into the kiln and Boyajian finishes the project by glazing them.
“Making each bead one by one is a very meditative and repetitive process,” Boyajian told Vogue. “My goal is to assemble and utilize my beads in the same ways that these religious faiths do,” she continued.
So far, she has a lot of beads and she plans on making them into jewelry and selling them online and in her store.
“I always try to create things that have a purpose for me and the customer,” Boyajian says. “The pandemic has been a series of ups and downs for me, but creatively speaking, it has been wonderful.”
She plans on continuing to design the beads even after the world regains a sense of normalcy. “These beads are a great indication of time,” she says. “They’re like a personal calendar for marking the days while waiting for the future and what is currently unknown to us.”