Just below Coldwater Canyon lies an oasis of calm, light, and creativity that is the workshop of Arman Sarkisyan. Welcoming us into his sunlit studio, the sound of LA traffic melted away and we were transported into an effortlessly curated world of art (much of the art is by his wife, fashion designer Louiza Babouryan, with whom he shares this enviable atelier), objet, and of course, jewels!
Sarkisyan began developing his love of jewelry from a young age while watching his father, a master jeweler in Armenia and Russia, hone his craft. Arman is perhaps best known for his intricate lockets with 22k gold and blackened sterling silver, but there are many treasures to be found in his collection. His sense of color, balance, and craftsmanship make for a winning combination that’s unmistakably Arman’s own. -Jenna Wise for The Stone Set
What drew you to jewelry? What did you learn from your father as his apprentice?
My father is the encyclopedia of jewelry making; he taught me everything I know and I’m constantly learning from him to this day (including making my own tools, to the chemistry). I started on the bench when I was 12 years old, and he’s in my studio with me today.
You studied filmmaking. How is it similar to design? What are your favorite films?
Filmmaking and fine jewelry design are similar because they both allow you to express yourself – to tell a story – there is tremendous freedom of creativity in both and that’s where I thrive. I’m a movie buff – there’s no way I can give you three favorite films.
The Seventh Seal, Ingmar Bergman
Rashomon, Akira Kurosawa
There Will Be Blood, Paul Thomas Anderson
Stalker, Andrei Tarkovsky
The Color of Pomegranates, Sergey Parajanov
Oldboy, Park Chan-wook
Citizen Kane, Orson Welles
Pulp Fiction, Quentin Tarantino
Raging Bull, Martin Scorsese
The Godfather I&II, Francis Ford Coppola
Aguirre, The Wrath of God, Warner Herzog
Blue/White/Red (Trilogy), Krzysztof Kieslowski
Your jewelry has a Gothic Renaissance feel. How does this period influence you?
I’ve always been drawn to that era. My designs are a blend of Gothic, Byzantine and Russian renaissance eras. The challenges and techniques of old world jewelry making serve as endless inspiration.
We love your lockets (and hope to own them soon). Why are you drawn to them?
I love the technical components that are involved and how lockets always evoke a sense of sentimentality. There is almost always a story behind a locket; they have a very heirloom like quality to them.
What pieces are Arman signatures?
Lockets, our stag motif, our starburst which is used across a number of silhouettes, our Peace on Earth ring, of course our hand engraving…shall I go on?
What are your favorite stones to work with.
I love to work with tourmaline for its range of colors. My current favorite is Indicolite.
You’ve said that your wife is your muse. How does your family play a part in your brand?
A house full of fans and critics – I couldn’t ask for more.
What’s the greatest part of owning your own business? What’s been the most rewarding moment?
Independence and being able to do what I love. The most rewarding feeling is seeing our clients wear and collect the jewelry – that appreciation is what it’s all about and pushes me to continue dreaming up new pieces.
What’s something about you that would surprise people?
I’m a great cook – my Indian and Thai dishes are the best and are always in demand at my house.
Give the world some advice.
Be true and authentic to what you do and the rest will follow.
Photography by Emerald Carroll for The Stone Set