Isfahan Engraving (Qalam-Zani)
It’s one of the traditional handicrafts of Iran that its origin goes back to the Sogians period that lived in Caucasus around 5000 to 7000 years ago and had Aryan origins. 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 as to prevent the work from causing a lot of noise, as well as getting punctured as a result of the hammering.
The artistic works of this course made by the artists, are the glorious and undeniable indications of previous metal works of Iran and Isfahan, in particular. The historical discoveries belonging to the ancient times as the Sassanide (700 AD), the Seljuk (1000 AD) and the Safavid (1600 AD) dynasties indicate a few of the outstanding metalwork periods.
Engraving with various plans and methods have been led to the highest amount of engraving production whose current methods include:
1 - Outstanding work:
In this work, the job is performed on both sides of the metal making the out stood part on the metal sheet of high appreciation.
2 - Half outstanding or relief work:
In this method, the background is hammered down by an engraving steel tool and therefore, the plan on the metal looks outstanding by some extent.
3 - Special picture:
In this method, only the lines of the circumference of the design are engraved making tiny and multi-designed background without any outstanding part.
4 - Engraving through metal removing:
In this method, some parts of the metal is removed by steel tools depressing the metal. In special cases, (if copper has been covered by tin), the red color shine and gloss of copper can be observed beside the silver color of tin. This method is considered to be the oldest among all the methods of engraving being performed in a similar course known as carving without hammer.
5 - Latticing:
By removing some whole parts of the metal, a netted shape will be created which is performed by cutting tools and hammer creating a job like latticing with hack saw.
6 - Kuftegary or gold blocking:
This is an excellent pattern of engraving along which the circumference lines of the plan are carved placing new soft metals in their grooves. This method is mostly performed on steel.
The introductory periods are all similar in the steps above. First selecting the metal. Then tar covering of behind the metal to absorb the shocks of the hammer. After that it is the time to make designations on the material. And at last, engraving with different sorts of tool whose result will be decorating the metal with geometric and miniature designs which will be created through engraving, grazing or pressing the metal surface.