Exhibit of engraved metalwork opens in Tehran

October 10, 2021 - 20:0

TEHRAN – An exquisite collection of engraved metalwork has been put on show at the headquarters of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts in Tehran.

The week-long exhibition features decorative plates, vessels, various embossed utensils, and personal ornamentations, which are handcrafted using an indigenous skill called Qalam-Zani, IRNA reported on Saturday.

Qalam-Zani is one of Iran’s traditional arts to make decorating and painting motifs on metal objects, especially copper, gold, silver, and brass.

The art became popular in the Achaemenid era (c. 550 – 330 BC) and reached its peak in the Sassanid era (224-651 CE).

Nowadays, artists first fill the object with bitumen and gypsum to reduce the noise of the pen and then draw the desired pattern on it. When passing through the old bazaar of Isfahan, tourists can hear the sound of artists working to keep the art of Qalam-Zani alive.

With 14 entries, Iran ranks first globally for the number of cities and villages registered by the World Crafts Council, as China with seven entries, Chile with four, and India with three ones come next.

The value of Iran’s handicrafts exports stood at $120 million during the first eleven months of the past Iranian calendar year 1399 (March 20, 2020 – February 18, 2021), Mehr reported. The country’s handicrafts exports slumped during the mentioned months in comparison to the same period a year earlier due to the damage the coronavirus pandemic has inflicted on global trade.

Ceramics, pottery vessels, handwoven cloths as well as personal ornamentations with precious and semi-precious gemstones are traditionally exported to Iraq, Afghanistan, Germany, the U.S., the UK, and other countries.


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