Engraving (Ghalamzani) is the art of carving superb designs on various metals such as copper, brass, silver and gold. Isfahan is the main center for this handicraft. The artistic work of this course is made by artists who are the glorious and undeniable indication of Previous metal work of Iranian handicraft and Isfahan, in particular.
The historical discoveries belonging to the ancient times as the Sassanian ( 700AD), the Seljuk – (100 AD) and the Safavid (1600 AD) dynasties indicate a few of the outstanding metal work periods. Resuming this art is due to the diligent attempts of the Late Ostad Mohammad Oraizi and the Late Ostad Mohammad Taghi Zufan during the past eighty years, which has been led to creating tens of outstanding and distinguished metal engravings on the one hand and training the new generation on the other.
Minakari or the art of fire and soil has a history of about five thousand years, which was used initially as jewellery and home-made utensils. It is also said this art has been formed in Iran, and then it spread to other parts of the world. The enamel inlaid and enamelled glass is the oldest kind of Minakari art which the first one found in Cyprus and the latter in Nahavand of Iran. One of the oldest works of enamelling in Iran is the armlet of Oxus treasure (in Persian called the Amu Darya) made during the Achaemenid period. A large silver tray that would come to be known as the ‘Alp Arslan salver’ is one of the Minakari art belongs to Seljuk era that carried out on the surface of silver and is currently being held at the Boston Arts Museum.
Khatamkari is one of the Persian arts of marquetry wherein the surface of wooden or metallic articles is decorated with pieces of wood, bone and metal cut in a variety of shapes and designs. “Khatam” is one of the graceful Iranian handicrafts that is utilized to coat boxes, cases and frames. As an acclaimed expert in Persian archaeology has put it a sample of Khātam is: “a pair of doorposts belonging to the year 1591, with a background of walnut, tiled with bones and various pieces of wood, and is called ‘Khātambandī’.” The origin of the name may come from the fact that in one centimeter of ‘Khātam’ more than 200 pieces of wood, metal and bone are employed-something that demands a great deal of dexterity, precision and patience. Tiny triangles of wood, bones (camel’s and ivory), metal (gold, silver, copper and brass), glue and tools such as thin saws and files are among the typical items utilized in the making of “Khātam’.
Firuze kub is a relatively new type of handicraft, but it is connected with another story. The word “firuz” means a stone of happiness and is translated as “turquoise”. Iran is considered the birthplace of the best turquoise. According to legend, turquoise is the bone of those who died of love. The stone itself is revered as a symbol of love and passion. The stone in Iran is more expensive than in other countries, but Iranian turquoise is of the best quality.
Firuze kub for hundred years managed to become the most popular handicraft and country’s business card. The best masters create unique items with firuze kub in Isfahan. At Isfahan bazaar, you can find the most beautiful items like vases, plates, trays and jewellery encrusted with turquoise. As a material copper, silver, bronze, nickel, and cupronickel is used.