Vitreous Enamel; Original Iranian Art
Iran is full of tourist attractions and nobody can ignore this fact. The attractions are not only related to historical sites or natural beauties. Sometime, handicrafts are the main reason that foreigners get attracted to Iran. One of these beautiful arts originated from this country is called Vitreous Enamel. Keep reading so that myDorna makes you familiar with Vitreous Enamel.
Vitreous Enamel or Mina Kari in Persian, is an Iranian art related to paintings on different dishes like: pottery, silver, steel, golden and cuprous. The background colors in Vitreous Enamel are blue, green and sometime red. If you look at the paintings done in the dishes very carefully, you will see scenes of blue sky and that`s why people have called this art Mina Kari in Iran since Mina means sky.
History of Vitreous Enamel
The age of this art goes back to 5000 years ago and it is categorized as handicrafts. Today, people who work in this field, paint on cuprous dishes but it is possible to do so on silver and golden ones.
It is good to know that the paintings on the silver and cuprous dishes are not in high quality while on the golden dishes, due to some chemical features, you will see beautiful paintings.
The main city in which Vitreous Enamel is done, is Isfahan and there are some skillful people producing this art.
About Vitreous Enamel
Vitreous Enamel is a kind of art in which soil, fire and painting are combined together.
Vitreous Enamel Throughout History
According to some experts, when they compared paintings done by Byzantine artists, it got clear that Vitreous Enamel was firstly done in Iran and then spread to other countries.
Of course a ring in Cyprus and the statue of Zeus in Greece are found which have the art of Vitreous Enamel. Also, an armband with this Iran-originated art related to Achaemenid is found which is kept in the museum of Victoria and Albert of London.
The best time of this art was in Seljuk era during when people used to export the dishes to other parts of the world. One of the historical objects of Seljuk era is a silver tray which is now kept in Boston museum.
There are also some Sassanid plates with Vitreous Enamel in museum of Islamic Arts of Berlin and Metropolitan New York. In addition, Hermitage Museum of Saint Petersburg and museums of England and France are home to dishes with Vitreous Enamel.
Different Types of Vitreous Enamel
1) Wiry Vitreous Enamel
The artists put some thin wires on each other and shape them as they like. Then, they put the wires on the dish and place the dish in furnace with temperature of 1000 centigrade. The wires are welded and then they put colors and again take the dish in furnace for 3 minutes. When the dishes are taken out, they are black but artists work with acid to color them as they wish.
2) Painting Vitreous Enamel
Nowadays, people color the dishes in white and put them in furnace with temperature of 700 centigrade. Then they paint again and put the dish in furnace with temperature of 400 or 500 centigrade.
Tools of Vitreous Enamel
sheet of gold, silver, copper, metal and brass
paper for copying the paintings
some chemical things