Enamel, brilliant art of fire

Minakarí refers to the art of adorning metals such as gold, silver and copper, sometimes also glass and ceramics, with opaque or transparent colored materials. In fact, it can be considered an experimental or workshop art that consists of a series of complex interactions whose final product is a very special item of its kind and hence its name. In Iran, minakarí is made mainly of copper. The colors used for enamels are classified into three groups: floral, mineral and metallic colors.

The elaboration of the work happens in several stages:

First, the desired shape is created using different types of hammers.

Second, the object is cleaned well and the enamel is prepared.

Third, the first coat of enamel is completely applied to the surface of the desired object and then placed in the oven at a temperature of 900ºC for two to three minutes.

Fourth, the enamel color turns white as it cools, thus creating the base of the paint.

Fifth, the main lines of the design are sketched and then the remaining parts are painted.

Sixth, after painting on the enamel, the object has to be fired again in the oven at a temperature between 600º C and 700º C.

Finally, the paint is covered with a transparent enamel, it is fired again and the object is ready.

Currently, in Iran, the main production center for enameled articles is in the city of Isfahan, and some important artisans are engaged in this field producing similar works based on the style of enameled painting. Enamel art is mostly applied to make glasses, flowerpots, vases, cups, trays, clocks, containers, boards, jewelry boxes, etc.


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