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KHATAM (Intarsia)

Khatam is a refined and meticulous work of inlay (inlay), whose first examples date back to the Safavid era. It is a version of marquetry where art forms are made by decorating the surface of wooden articles with delicate pieces of wood , bone and metal precisely  cut intricate geometric patterns.
Designing of inlaid articles is a highly elaborate process. Woods used include betel, walnut, cypress and pine. These works include doors and windows, mirror frames, inlaid boxes, pen and penholders, lanterns etc.
This technique involves the creation of motifs, mainly in the shape of a star, with incrustations of fine wooden sticks (ebony, teak, jujube, orange wood, rosebushes), brass (for the golden parts) and camel bones (for the white parts).
Ivory, gold and silver can also be used for collector coins. These rods are first assembled into triangular beams, and then these are again assembled and glued into bundles in a strict order in order to form a cylinder of about 70cm, whose edge shows the unity of the base of the final decoration: a six-pointed star contained in a hexagon. These cylinders  are then sheared in shorter cylinders, then compressed and dried between two wooden plates, before undergoing a final cut that makes slices of about 1 mm in thickness. The latter are then ready to be plated and glued on the support object to be decorated before being lacquered.



Enamel working and decorating metals with colorful and baked coats is one of the distinguished courses of art in Isfahan. Mina is defined as some sort of glasslike colored coat which can be stabilized by heat on different metals particularly copper.

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Ghalamkar fabric is a type of Textile printing, patterned Iranian Fabric. The fabric is printed using patterned wooden stamps. The stamps are mostly made of pear wood which has better flexibility and density for carving and long-standing utility. In this workshop, there are hundreds of different patterns consisting of arabesque designs, flora and fauna designs, geometric designs, pre-Islamic designs, hunting scenes, polo games, Persian poems, Armenian and Hebrew inscriptions. Ghalamkar is also known as Kalamkari in India which basically is a type of hand-painted or block-printed cotton textile. Esfahan is one of the most important producing cities throughout the world. It also called; Ghalamkar which means rendered with pen and ink that initially produced in the same method.

A tapestry may be stamped depending on its density and size, between hundreds and tens of thousands of times. For instance, a six-person tablecloth (2 x 1.4 meters) should be stamped about 580 times in a normal work, while with the same size up to 4000 times in an elegant work.

After finishing printing, they are, in the first stage, steamed for at least an hour to stabilize their designs. Then, taken to the riverbed and kept in some basins to be soaked well, in a great amount of running water. Afterwards, the pieces are piled in some large copper vessels containing stabilizers (liquid) and are boiled. At the same time, they are turned upside-down by some wooden sticks and washed again in the Zayandeh Rood, then spread on the banks to dry in the final stage.


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