Five years ago, before I started Persian walk, I worked in a company as an engineer. We arranged an important meeting with foreigners. Our company tried a lot to invite a German company to Iran for a big arrangement. I was sent to buy a souvenir. I came up with lots of idea about what is the most appropriate gift for this meeting. Finally, I decided to buy a unique handicraft. I went to a big store in Tehran and caught a glimpse to the stuffs and I was surprised. “Wow” what a large number of choices I have!!!!! It was the first time that I found out how many handicrafts are made in Iran!!!
Every corner of this ancient country offers special cuisine, art, culture and handicrafts. Some of these human arts have been produced in Iran for more that 6000 years. I searched a lot and finally decided to buy “Mina-Kari” which literally means enameling.
Enameling is one of the oldest handicrafts of Iran. Some archaeologists believe that it started in 1500 B.C. in Iran. According to Arthur Pope, who was specialist in Iranian arts, Iranian during the Sassanian period were so innovative about gem liked objects enameling works and Khosrow’s cup was one the wonderful sample of them.
The golden time of enameling in Iran was related to Seljuk period and Safavid period in Isfahan.
Enameling is a handmade art that consist of paintings on a metal objects covered by enamel. Enamel is a kind of glaze. Craftsmen mostly use copper and brass as the base metal but in some special cases they use silver and gold too. They use copper oxide, gold oxide and some kind of mud (Gel mashi) to produce colors of paintings. The surface of enameling works are anti scratch, because of that glaze and it reflects the quality of that piece. The artist puts the enameling objects to the kiln for several times to made a unique Mina Kari. These artworks have variety of price and design. Some masterpieces are created by experienced craftsmen with delicate design and coloring. This is one the most important reasons for pricing. Finding an appropriate price and high quality artworks needs some experience and it’s recommended to find a reliable local shops.
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