Tales from a travelling merchant

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Tales from a travelling merchant

one of our staff members has currently left us for an extended pilgrimage in Armenia.
My tour across the country has taken me to some pretty spectacular places. One would imagine that places like this could only exist in dreams. From the architecture of the buildings to the natural beauty through the landscape of the country, I am constantly amazed with my surroundings. I have seen an endless number of churches; I have repented all my sins and am probably one church away from joining a convent—light humour as I’m not even catholic. One recurring theme—let’s call it a leitmotif for it’s artistic nature— that follows every church in Armenia is the cross-stone or khachkar.
What each cross-stone shares in similarity is the cross, hence the name, but when you take a closer look, you’ll notice that each stone is very different with its motifs and various ornamentations—it’s quite stunning. The attention to detail is incredible. Having stood the test of time (some date back to the 10th century), these pieces are revered for its craftsmanship. The cross-stone tradition dates back to early Christianity as a way to replace pagan idols, and they told Christian stories through pictures for the illiterate. Over time some cross-stones were believed to be “saints” bearing transcendent power to heal the sick, fulfil a wish, bless lovers, or give strength to warriors before war. I saw one such example at the Noratus Cemetery, shattered glass was scattered around the khachkar of Ter Karapet Hovhanesi Hovakimyan. Legend states that if you break a vessel of water on the cross-stone, you will abandon all your fears.
Some of my friends and I took part in one of these legends on our visit to the Etchmiadzin Cathedral. On the back of one of the khachkars is the Armenian alphabet jumbled up. It is believed that you must close your eyes and point at the letter, that letter reveals the first letter of the name of your true love. I wont reveal the letter just yet—of course I’d like to keep some things secret for now—only time will tell its accuracy.
It is with the same care, patience, and precision that craftsmen today make our products. Those very cross-stones inspired our “stone cross” collection. This collection is made in Armenia so you can rest assured that our craftsmen are familiar with the tradition and utilise their knowledge while making our products. Because each piece is hand-made through meticulous care and attention to detail, it too is meant to stand the test of time. Also, what makes our pieces even more unique is that because it’s hand-made, each piece has its own character with different shades and quirks that make it all the more beautiful. Click on the link to see our “stone cross” collection. That’s it from the Traveling Merchant, stay tuned for more stories in the weeks to come

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