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26 Sep 2020

Behind the Crafts: Saghmos Ceramics

"Saghmos" is a pottery studio located in Dashtavan village of Ararat region ․

Why "Saghmos"? Because Psalm recordings are always on during our studio hours.

The founders of the studio are Ani Sahakyan and Andranik Manukyan.

The psalm is mostly focused on the production of jewelry, but we accept orders for almost any type of pottery.

Andranik Manukyan, a young potter from Dashtavan, and his beloved Ani Sahakyan, who is a master of clay, have jointly established a studio where the created items spread love and clarity everywhere.

They are both pedagogues by profession and they have decided to do everything to develop pottery and pedagogy together throughout their own lives. The two of us decided to study in the pottery department of Tumo studios. But, due to the epidemic, the classes started to be held online, when it was so difficult knowing the need to real practice․ Thus, they established an innovative studio during the days of the epidemic when It required a lot of investments and time.

For this powerful couple, pottery was originally considered a divine profession ․ God created man from clay and breathed life into him. It is with his soul that the psalms were written. They also wanted their work to be filled with his soul. This is how they hear psalms when making pottery, just as psalmists make pottery. And so they decided to name the brand "Psalm Ceramics - Saghmos Ceramics".

They try to have works with the heart of a person of all tastes on their page, in the studio. Pottery masters say that it is good when you have your style. They have not found their "own" style yet, that's why they are presenting a mixed style, for different tastes but very soon they will reach a unique and different "own style".

Working days at the atelier see a range of activities, which often run parallelly. This includes preparing clay, making the potteries in raw clay, finishing them on or off the wheel, unloading and reloading the kiln, glazing, decorating, processing orders, packing. All days are different, and these activities mostly happen simultaneously. The basically enjoy what they do, and like to think that this joy gets translated into the work.

In older days, people were buying handmade products because those were the only ones available to them in the market. Today, buying handmade is a conscious consumer choice. They believe that, now more than ever, it is essential for those who can afford it to buy handmade objects and support small businesses, who are respectful of those who make these objects, value the time put in the work and hold the end product in high esteem. Making by hand is a slower process but slowness can be seen as a positive value in a world where everything is so rushed that it often loses its sense of purpose. Therefore, buying handmade products, as a consumer, has become a real statement – not only these products are more ethical but the energy of the object has integrity.

Yes, they like to create, to innovate, to get new colors, which is very difficult. They are constantly thinking about what new works they can prepare to be different and to be creative, they are studying the demands and requirements and deliver items with best outputs and highest charm.

At the moment they have one dream - to establish a free pottery business school for youth in the town of Ijevan, Tavush region; very difficult and responsible but strategic plan. With this move, they believe about the opportunity to change the mentality of the youth pushing them to stay in Marses instead to turn their eyes on Yerevan move; the activity of the studio will contribute to the development of both the cultural sphere and tourism in the region. It will promote creation of new jobs and alleviation of social problems. There will be no gender or age restrictions in the studio, as "Saghmos Ceramics" emphasizes the therapeutic effect of pottery on a wide range of people.

Next steps are:

• Fundraising the project

• Area /building/ purchase and renovation

• Studio furnishing and decoration

• Admission of teenagers who want to participate in the program

• Lesson process organisation

• Work sale

After reading this article, all Armenians can contribute more effectively to make the Ijevan projects more successful.

To join the fundraising you can also make transfers to the following accounts with Ameriabank:
1570 0267 6714 0100 AMD
1570 0267 6714 0101 USD
Andranik Manukyan