News ID: 58712
Published: 0338 GMT January 02, 2015

Master engraver stresses revival

Master engraver stresses revival

Master Mehdi Mahmoudi-Yeganeh, a well-known engraver of Zanjan province, has been teaching this ancient craft to youths free of charge for years.

"I always tell my trainees to be responsible for reviving the art and culture of their motherland. We should study the culture of other nations, their luminaries and beliefs, but we should preserve our Iranian culture,” he said.

“If the youths are committed to their culture and preserve their national and indigenous culture, we will have a say in future."

Mahmoudi-Yeganeh noted that engraving has various styles, including three-dimensional and reticulated styles.

Explaining the process of engraving, he said the design is sketched on copper and engraving is made with high precision and elegance by using tools such as chisels.

“It takes one or two years for a trainee to learn the basics of the craft,” he said.

Mahmoudi-Yeganeh obtained the UNESCO’s seal of authenticity for handicrafts in 2013.

"Currently, due to economic problems, copper-smithing has become more industrialized. Some craftsmen prefer to use machineries instead of handworks,” he said.

“However, traditional works still have uses. Therefore, I made a table with an engraved surface, which was warmly received by customers. It also received the authenticity seal."

He put the cost of purchasing engraving facilities such as a chisel and copper sheet at 500,000 rials ($16.6).

Mahmoudi-Yeganeh recommended that the youths learn one of the traditional arts alongside their education and job, because art can fill gaps and soothe one's soul.

The art of engraving in Zanjan has an antiquity of 900 years, the designs of which are largely traditional.

Engraving is defined as the art of carving delicate designs on metal, which has always used traditional designs.

Engraving is done on different metals such as copper, brass, silver, gold and some alloys. To engrave, first the backside of the work is covered by tar to prevent the work from getting wavy as a result of hammering and the pressure of the chisel and from causing a lot of noise.

Then the chosen design is transferred on the work by using a tool called "nimbor". After the main lines are engraved, different patterns are cut by using different types of chisels.

Sometimes, if necessary, or depending on one’s preference, the craftsman proceeds to reticulate stone-set, gold block and silver block. In short, the beauty of the final work depends on the creativity and proficiency of the artist.

   
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