TEHRAN — A collection of handicrafts by Gereh-chini was displayed at a personal exhibition at the headquarters of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts in Tehran.
A total of 21 works of art by Iranian artisan Abbas Yazdipur have been selected for the exhibition, which will end on Thursday, CHTN reported on Tuesday.
Works include mirrors, pictures and window frames, the report adds.
The art of “Gereh-chini”, which literally means arranging knots, is one of the traditional decorative and useful crafts of Iran. It is based on the art of placing pieces of wood finely cut according to a design on a surface.
Gereh is made up of geometric knots that repeat beautifully and rhythmically. Isfahan is its birthplace, and the Seljuk dynasty is known to be the first time Gereh-chini was used. However, the exact date of origin of the craft cannot be determined. The art flourished during the Safavid era.
In Gereh-chini, the wooden pieces are used in their natural color and no paint is applied to them. Gereh is best made from plane trees, according to masters of the art.
The wood of other trees such as walnut, beech, morus, almond, silver, zelkova, pear and jujube are also used to make shrine doors, pulpits, gates, frames and decorative dividers, etc.
Tond, Kond, Shol, Kond o Shol, Pili and Doroodgari are the seven types of knots or Gereh, and each of them has its own context and design. Three main categories can be distinguished among the Gereh Chini: 1. All wooden 2. Moshabbak (lattice lattice) and 3. Orosi or sash window.
Orosi is a type of window made by Gereh and made of colored glass. They are beautiful and were most often used during the Zand and Qajar dynasties. In terms of artistic value, Orosi is very important.
In Gereh-chini, a Gereh or knot is, in fact, a combination of pieces of wood that are locked together in order to create delicate patterns. The finer the pieces of wood, the more valuable the product.
Gereh-chini pieces are designed to last in different climates of Iran with tongue and groove joints. For this reason, works of art from Gereh-chini can be found in many historical buildings.
There are several examples still standing, including Chehel Sotoon, Hasht Behesht Palace, and historic houses like Alam and Sheikh ol-Islam in Isfahan. There is also Tabatabai’s house in Kashan, Abbasian, Boroujerdi, Golestan Palace and other similar buildings in Yazd and Tehran. There are still Gereh-chini workshops in Tehran where this craft is still practiced.
With 14 entries, Iran ranks first in the world for the number of cities and towns registered by the World Crafts Council, followed by China with seven entries, Chile with four and India with three. For example, Shiraz is called the “world city of [diverse] handicrafts”, Malayer is a global hub for woodcarving and carved wooden furniture, while Zanjan has earned the title of “world filigree city”.
Also, the ancient city of Shiraz has been chosen to host the 39th General Assembly of the World Crafts Council – Asia-Pacific Region (WCC-APR) in May 2023. Shiraz has a remarkable number of craft pioneers . With an average age of 70, some of these pioneers are still active in their workshops. The professional records of about 100 pioneers are collected and honored each year by the keepers of the WCC General Office.
Available data compiled by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts suggests that the value of Iranian handicraft exports amounted to $120 million during the first eleven months of the Iranian calendar year 1399 ( March 20, 2020 – February 18, 2021), Mehr reported. . The country’s handicraft exports fell in the mentioned months compared to the same period a year earlier due to the damage the coronavirus pandemic has inflicted on global trade.
The Islamic Republic exported $427 million worth of handicrafts in the first eleven months of the calendar year 1398. Of this, some $190 million was earned through the suitcase trade (permitted for duty-free transfer customs and tax) across 20 provinces, according to data compiled by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts. Ceramics, pottery vessels, hand-woven fabrics as well as personal ornaments with precious and semi-precious stones are traditionally exported to Iraq, Afghanistan, Germany, United States, Kingdom United and other countries.