There are a lot of things to bring back with yourself from a trip you planned to take for so long. The memories and the wonderful experience is probably why you started in the first place. Memories could always be triggered by something, a special smell, a fuzzy feeling, or just some tunes of a melody. Handicrafts are objects we choose voluntarily and permit them to remind us of our journey. Or to have other people know that we thought of them while we were gone.
Despite what others might argue, handicrafts are the best keepsake and souvenir, a country could present as its perfect image. It has all the history, sometimes philosophy, delicacy, and artistic features one is looking for in a destination. The richer the country, the more varied and diverse these handicrafts could be.
Iran is not just land with various historical sites, it has more to offer in other aspects like art and handicraft industry. There is such a delightful world behind every handicraft. It is unique, absolute, and complete.
Multi factors, hand in hand could create legendary land. Iran has more potential for tourism than its already bestowing. Iran plays an important part in the world of arts and crafts, thereby, abundant fascinating souvenirs are expected to be found in its workshops and Grand Bazaars.
These exclusive artistic works are sold in the city bazaars which are by far the best places to start looking for them. Even if you’re not into buying souvenirs, these bazaars could be like a museum. Many local people interact there and it’s a good place to see the culture from the front line. In the main cities of Shiraz, Isfahan, Tabriz, Kerman, and, Yazd where more foreign tourists visit, the air is more inviting and attractive and the handicrafts come with high quality and at a budget price too.
Not only that these crafts are diversified, they also have different geographical origins. They are mostly perused by the nomadic and ethnic tribes who have lived for many centuries. Weaving, architecture, painting, pottery, Khatam (Persian technique of inlaying) calligraphy, marquetry and, metalworking are examples of these crafts.
Carpets and Rugs are counted as weaving products, dating back to 2,500 years ago. The art of carpet weaving is imbedded in the culture of all Iranian and comprises amazing patterns with the same ideology of a Persian garden. Both full of flowers, birds, beasts, and, manned walls. The Persian carpet is traditionally handmade from natural materials in the length of some months. Depending on the geographical land where the rug is made or even the tribe who weaves it, the patterns and designs are different from one another with some variations in textures and the number of knots in rugs such as Gabbeh and Kilim.
Tilework is a handicraft, mostly inspired by the same idea that created the Persian Gardens. The blue mosques of Isfahan were ornamented by tilework as an exclusive feature. The art’s origin dates back to the old centuries. Great palaces were built with this art and other than mosques, many Persian traditional houses were decorated with Tilework as Tekyeh Moaven al-Molkin Kermanshah where this style of Tilework is used to tell stories. Unfortunately, some say that it is now a lost art in modern architecture, but on the other hand, it seems to have warmed up its way to the heart of the younger generation as a source of inspiration. Fashion is partly under Tilework’s influence. Nowadays we see scarfs, ties, shirts and, dresses that look like this unique handicraft.
Ever since the Safavid dynasty took over the monarchy throne and started to rule as one of the mightiest families in Iran in the 16, 17 and, 18th centuries the gentle art of meticulous marquetry (Khatamkari) has been popular inside and outside of Iran’s borders. These crafts coat patterns (commonly star-shaped) with thin segments of wood (ebony, teak, orange, rose), brass (for golden parts), and camel bones (for white parts). Several objects could be decorated with marquetry, jewelry/decorative boxes, for instance, chessboards, pipes, desks, frames or, some musical instruments. Khatam is deeply attached to Shiraz and it is still being practiced there. Some masters, use it in Persian miniatures, making it a more attractive artwork.
Though embossing or Monabbat has thrived in the Islamic era, it goes way back to the Achaemenes. Patterns depicting animals or mythical creatures would be carved on gold, silver, copper, or bronze.
Needing to produce containers, made Persians look at what they have abundantly around them. The metal was easy to access and, they had like 5000 years of practice so, artistic utensils were created. Enamel working (Minakari) and the art of decorating metals with colorful and baked coats is a delightful artwork, specialized in Isfahan. This craft was always welcomed by painters, goldsmiths, and metal engravers.
It is said that traditional Persian needlework is the most ancient method of adorning clothes. Sistan and Baluchestan province has proved its proficiency and its conversance with this beautiful art. The sewers, who are usually women, get the inspiration they need to create the patterns on the textures, from nature and geometric shapes. These textures are usually used to make the traditional costumes and the thread is from gold.
Small pieces of Persian miniature or even its calligraphy, with the rich background of literature in Iran, could also make a cute nice gift as it has many of the identity elements that represent the country.
Surely, not all of the crafts could be mentioned in one blog, and to explain every single one with thorough details would require pages and pages of reading and writing why with one visit you could know better for yourself.