(persia digest) - Enameling in Isfahan is an art with a 5000-year history and is currently performed on copper. In the old days, it was done on gold and silver. This art is a combination of fire and soil combined with the art of painting to create exquisite designs. Enameling is also old among other nations. The Persian enamel is said to have gone from Iran to other countries once researchers had adapted Byzantine enamel to the Persian enamel.
Enameling is a magic art, similar to alchemy, i.e. the art of transforming copper to gold, which was studied centuries ago by many researchers of natural chemistry. The art of enameling can be considered a creative invention by mankind, which includes complicated reactions as does alchemy as a laboratory art.
Enamel work resembles alchemy as it is formed by combining metal oxides and several types of salts fired in high temperatures. Colors are created in time depending on temperatures and are assembled on gold, copper, or silver. Isfahan is the hub of enamel production in Iran.
Gold is used to prepare the red dye in enameling, copper to obtain the green dye, and limonite to prepare the yellow dye. The blue, turquoise, and white dyes are obtained from a special dye which is only found in Samarra, Iraq. Enamel works currently available on the market include earrings, necklaces, bangles, rings, large and small makeup boxes, cigarette boxes, enameled and inlaid boxes, tea sets, glassware, plates, vases, and large and small enamel paintings which are combined with other artworks such as goldwork, khatam inlay marquetry, and miniature.
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