"Every one of our scarves represents Armenia. We use the symbols of Armenia—the sun, the pomegranates, the details from old miniature paintings to inspire our own hand-painted batik designs. Every scarf is completely handmade."
Sisters Azatuhi and Anna Stepanyan specialize in hand-painted batik scarves, using floral and fruit motifs, like tulips and pomegranates. Their shop, Sunny Art, is based in Yeghegnadzor, Armenia.
"I have always enjoyed drawing," Anna says. "I have attended art school since I was a child. I graduated from the State Pedagogical University, where I got a degree in batik art. Batik became popular in Armenia in the 1990s. It is an ancient craft which originated in India and then spread throughout Europe and Armenia. I like batik art because it can be applied to accessories such as scarves to be added to everyday clothes.
"Our scarves are completely handmade—even the hems are sewn by hand. I think a lot about each design, because I try to preserve our national spirit in them and, at the same time, personalize them. For my designs, I take certain ornaments from Armenian miniature painting. The designs I create are completely mine. An end goal I always have in my mind is to represent the Armenian symbols, such as pomegranates, the sun, etc., in the best way.
"In our workshop, there is an opportunity for everyone to come and see the whole process of scarf making. Our work is highly valued, and I am very happy for that. We appreciate the feedback of people, because it serves as a real motivation and inspiration for further productive work. It is very important that we introduce Armenian culture with the help of our scarves. Every one of our scarves represents Armenia itself. A piece of sun from us to you, from our lovely Yeghegnadzor."