Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Blue Eye Bead Bracelet with Swarovski Crystals and Amber Beads
In Dilizhan, Armenia tucked away within the cluster of mountain woods is the Agarstin Monastery; a complex consisting of one 11th and two 13th century churches.  Armenia is also the ancestral home of featured jewelry designer Anush Movsesian Avejic.

Though I am not a gung-ho fan of charm jewelry--due to what I feel as high saturation in the market--as I have mentioned in other posts having read some history about talismans has given me more appreciation for this jewelry trend.

With challenging and uncertain times upon us it is nice to have a little reminder or symbol of protection and faith dangling from the neck or wrist.  American-born Avejic, a commercial property insurance broker, calls upon memories of childhood excursions with her father who purchased beads to make jewelry for her mother.

In the wee hours of the morning, before venturing off to work, she takes a colorful assortment of ceramic and glass beads, seed beads, Swarovski Crystals, and lampwork beads using these components to accentuate the central element of her bead bracelet designs: eye beads.

“Saturday mornings as a child, I would go with my mom to the Middle Eastern grocery store,” she recalls.  “It was filled with all kinds of things but what really stood out in my mind were the eye beads and charms.
Sterling Silver Pomegranate Pendant Necklace with Swarovski Crystal Cross
They are worn as protection from what is known as “the evil eye”, which is really no more than the jealousy one feels toward another’s good fortune in life.  I remember finding these beads oddly “creepy” when I was young but loving them when I was older.”

Her Etsy store features primarily evil eye jewelry in bracelet form; they are pretty and whimsical at the same time.  The varying hues of glass and gemstone beads are glossy like rock candy and the color ranges are not too sedated or rah-rah making it great for every day wear.

 The shape of the luscious pomegranate fruit, a longstanding Armenian symbol, is a focal point of her fine silver pendant designs. 

 “The pomegranate is present in Armenian art and sometimes even shown as the symbol for Armenia.  It is a symbol of abundance, prosperity and fertility,” she says.  “The pomegranate pieces are made one at a time; dried, sanded, fired, burnished and polished.

 Avejic’s part-time jewelry making business continues to evolve as her evil eye bracelets have gained popularity.  “Realistically most people wear these popular bracelets for their colorful beads, their fun quality or because it’s part of their tradition.  And me, I just think they’re beautiful and a great conversation starter.”
Mother-of-Pearl and Blue Eye Bead Bracelet

Having grandparents who survived the Armenian Genocide, Avejic is a staunch advocate of stopping the Darfur genocide working with the organization In His Shoes. 

She is also involved in an outreach program that helps to feed and clothe the homeless of downtown LA.’s Skid Row.
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