The Artist: Extraordinary artistry, passionate attention to detail, and a healthy dose of chaotic energy are essential ingredients in the Arman Sarkisyan collection. Throughout his childhood in Armenia, Arman shadowed his father—a talented bench jeweler—and apprenticed with other accomplished local artisans, quickly learning that making fine designs takes time and focus. “There are so many tools to know; even today, there is always something new to discover.” When he arrived in the United States, he studied filmmaking before launching his own jewelry brand in 2004. Favoring quality over quantity, on a typical day Sarkisyan’s studio is only occupied by his father, Hamlet; a well-trained colleague or two; and himself. But the small space is alive with noise, from intermittent hammering to the buzz of electric shaping tools—all working to create exceptional details for his one-of-a-kind designs.
Technique: Each piece of jewelry is handcrafted in his studio in Sherman Oaks, Calif. The 42-year-old designer occasionally works with clients on commission, but mostly follows his own inspirations: film, wildlife, travel, and music (from jazz to heavy metal to electronic dance music). Sarkisyan and his team take time to develop their designs, sometimes working on a piece intermittently for up to a year. The selection of stones is a deliberate process. “I could sit there forever choosing the stones,” Sarkisyan says. “I love intense color because it goes well with my jewelry.” His recent designs have favored bold, dramatic gemstones such as dark-blue sapphires, bright emeralds, opals, moonstones, and tanzanites—all of which complement the brand’s statement-making jewelry. Fittingly, Sarkisyan’s favorite stone, midnight-blue tourmaline (also known as indicolite), has mesmerizing complexity and depth, much like his intricate designs.
Jewelry: Sarkisyan frequently works with oxidized silver and 22-karat gold to fashion elaborate, lacy floral motifs into lockets, rings, pendants, and earrings. “I don’t follow trends, because if you follow trends you’ll go out with the trends,” he says. “All of my jewelry needs to have a story. Each design is a conversation piece.” While in the past Sarkisyan has engraved metal settings with organic floral patterns, his latest works follow more linear art deco themes. Among his many show-stopping creations are: a pair of earrings featuring a golden ship sailing on a bright-blue lapis lazuli ocean resting in a petite, diamond-studded, 22-karat gold cup; and the other is the ornately engraved, gold-and-silver Sacred Heart locket, opening to reveal a radiant carved rubellite heart wrapped in a briar of golden thorns, encircled with diamonds and sapphires. Sarkisyan’s jewelry ranges in price from $3,000 to $45,000 or more.
Where to Get It: Sarkisyan’s designs are available in select jewelry stores across Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. (armansarkisyan.com)