IRAN ART EXHIBITION: FLUCTUATION IN ENGRAVING INDUSTRY OF IRAN
The art of carving designs on copper, gold, silver, and brass, commonly known as Qalam-Zani in Iran, dates back to more than one thousand years BCE.
The art is practiced in Isfahan, Shiraz and Tabriz, each of which has its own style. Engraving is the creation of lines and motifs by hammering on metal objects.
Due to its softness and ductility, copper is more common in the art of engraving than other metals. On the other hand, archaeologists and art historians believe that copper was the first metal to be considered in the art of metalworking and engraving.
The art of engraving on metal is therefore of greater interest to artists, as it is more durable than other objects. In addition, the motifs and symbols in different historical and cultural periods vary according to different ideological and cultural changes and under the influence of social conditions.
The art of engraving was practised in the Median, Achaemenid, Seljuk, Parthian, Sassanid, periods until the Islamic period, and has developed in both designs and techniques.
Engraving remained at its peak until the Qajar period, but in the contemporary period this art has been revived by artists like Mahmoud Dehnavi and the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Ministry.
Iran Engraving is defined as the art of carving delicate designs on metal; and in our country this art has always been done in the Iranian method and its designs have also been traditional ones. Iran engraving is done on different metals such as copper, brass, silver, gold and also some alloys. To engrave, first the back side of the work is covered by tar so that during engraving it prevents the work from getting wavy as a result of hammering and the pressure of the chisel and from causing a lot of noise.
IRAN ART EXHIBITION: Then the chosen design is transferred on the work and by a tool called “Nimbor” the main lines are engraved, afterwards different patterns are being cut by the use of different sorts of chisels on the surface of the work. Sometimes if necessary or according to his taste and interest the artisan proceeds to reticulate, stone-set, gold block and silver block the product, in short, the beauty and delicacy of the final work completely depends on the creativity of the mind and proficiency of the artist of this field.
Engraving with different sorts of tools whose result will be decorating the metal with geometric and miniature designs which will be created through engraving, grazing or pressing the metal surface. The artistic movement of the engraver’s hand and the harmonized blows of the hammer and engraving tool will be finally led to create a unique job. However, the decorations and embellishments are going to be performed on a material which has already been shaped with hammer and anvil by another skillful artist. Metal working masters are those who work with different sorts of metal sheets shaping them into beautiful dishes, vases, boxes, samovars and etc. and preparing them to be engraved. Nowadays, due to the hard job and old getting of the masters, the preparation of the metal is sometimes getting performed by machinery.