Mina-kari (enamel), the art of love and fire

August 18

Mina-kari is one of the most beautiful Persian arts that you can see the best kind of these handicrafts in Isfahan. The history of this art dates back to 5000 years ago.  

This art was at its peak in Seljuk period and the artworks were sent to neighboring countries. Mina-kari is one of the most beautiful Persian arts that you can see the best kind of these handicrafts in Isfahan. The history of this art dates back to 5000 years ago. This art was at its peak in Seljuk period and the artworks were sent to neighboring countries.

Mina-Kari Iranian Handicrafts

Mina-kari is an artistic work that different motifs are designed by a very thin brush on metal such as gold, silver, copper and brass. The background color is usually blue, green, and sometimes red. Mina (enamel) is formed by the combination of metal oxides and several salt species in the vicinity of the high temperature (750 to 850 ° C), in which the colors are formed over time and on the basis of temperature. For creating enamel patterns on the metal, it is necessary to make the proper layer that is created by glazing. Usually the used glaze is white, but depending on the type of design, colored glazes may also be used. A single piece of Mina pass through many bands before it reaches completion.

Mina-Kari Iranian Handicrafts

Mina-kari is categorized into three kinds as below:

  1.  Painting enamel
  2. Charkhaneh or chess like enamel
  3.  Cavity enamel   

Also three kinds of dye are used for making these handicrafts: herbal, mineral and metal. Isfahan is the center of producing these kind of handicrafts and there are many professional masters in this city. Painting enamel is more available in Isfahan. Around Naqsh-e Jahan square you can find the most beautiful ones and see the masters are working in their workshops. The masters produce different artworks such as vase, plate, bowl, makeup box, Quran box, mirror, clock, and some jewelries like ring and so on. Also some of the masters are specialist in decorating the doors and windows of the holy shrines.  The criteria, which could affect the quality of enamel, are selection of an appropriate metal, decoration, standard heating and finally, elegance and accuracy of artist. The beauty of the work depends on the period of heating and the artist’s precision. The greatest master of enameling of Isfahan is Shokrollah Sanizadeh, whose ancestor was a renowned painter.

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