IRAN ART EXHIBITION: QALAMZANI AS AN ANCIENT ART IN IRAN
Engraving is the art that creates incising on metal objects, usually metal plates, especially copper; gold; silver, and brass, with a variety of pens and a hammer blow.
According to documents, handicraft history dates back to the second and first millennium BC, but engraving evolved during the Achaemenid period.
The art of engraving in the post-Achaemenid period went through many ups and downs until in the contemporary era with the efforts of Iranian artists, especially the people of Isfahan, and today engraving works such as traditional objects and utensils and three-dimensional decorative paintings, have gone beyond the geography of Isfahan and Iran.
Repousse or the Chiselwork, known as ‘Qalamzani’ in Persian language, is one of the most meticulous types of the fine arts in which the lasting decorative works engraved on metal objects made of gold, silver, copper, brass or other inexpensive alloy(s) elaborately depicts marvelous images of various plants and animals. Historically, the original form of this art dates back to ‘the Cave-dewelling Age’ when the Primitive Man skillfully carved his own image on stones making up the inner walls of his cave.
The ancient Persians mastered ‘Qalamzani’ several millenniums ago and particularly after the advent of Islam many cities in Persia such as Samarghand, Ray, Hamadan and Esfahan earned enviable reputation for their superb chisel works–only within several centuries.
In thorough preparation for this work, the master craftsman fills the objects to be embossed with a hot mixture of pitch and fine sand or ashes, which after cooling is sufficiently hard and heavy, to act as a base yet plastic enough to give way when the embossing chisel drives the metal back. The creative engraver certainly needs the talents of a master painter plus the great skills of driving and hammering the various chisel on to a hard metal surface which is not flat like those of water colour or oil painting bases.
IRAN ART EXHIBITION: Abbas Shirdelwakan, a calligrapher and head of the Isfahan Handicrafts Union, said that the calligraphy combines art and emotion on metal, referring to the beautiful embossed, mesh, and black styles in the art of calligraphy.
The artist stated about the history of calligraphy; the study history of this art shows that the art’s birthplace was Isfahan. By promoting the art and creating different styles, valuable works are produced in Isfahan.
According to Abbas Shirdelwakan, they are now the best calligraphers in Isfahan who have created unique works.