Outside of religion, many people have a tendency to view rosaries as little more than an eye-catching and symbolic string of beads. Yet for those who wear them, they have both a practical application and an immensely rich spiritual significance.
It’s these two elements that rosary master and Turkish artisan Erdem Bozkurt keeps at the forefront of his mind when creating what are regarded as some of the finest and most intricately designed rosaries in the world.
“By their very nature, rosaries have both a physical and spiritual quality and you always need to keep this duality as your prime focus when making them,” explained Erdem. “People expect rosaries to look pleasing to the eye and feel soothing to the skin, but they also have to act as a balm to the soul and possess a transcendental quality that allows the wearer to connect with a higher power. I’ve been around rosaries my entire life, and even now, when I see or touch them, the beads and the shadows they cast speak to my emotions and reveal hidden mysteries and truths.”
Erdem first fell in love with rosaries as a youngster when he became an apprentice to his rosary master father in his native Turkey. He has worked in the rosary industry for 30 years and took the revolutionary step of selling rosaries online nine years ago.
Erdem said, “The online side of things has really taken off, and that’s because the methods I use to market and sell my rosaries are modern and effective methods. The rosary industry is a very traditional and old-fashioned industry. I wanted to tailor it for the 21st century whilst still keeping its sense of timelessness and integrity. Judging by the feedback I’ve received from clients all over the world, I think I’ve succeeded.”
The rosary comes from the Latin Rosarium which translates as “chain of roses” or “garland of roses.” The roses are considered prayers in some religions, but rosaries are also used by many individuals as a means of distracting themselves from the mundanity and concerns of the here and now, in favor of contemplating life’s richer and more eternal tapestry.
Erdem added, “People wear rosaries for various reasons. They are timeless accessories and their allure is as elusive as it is powerful. They offer both solace and sanctuary in the storm of modern life, and I’m proud to play a part in an ancient industry that is more in demand than ever before.”