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Crystal Craving of Alborz


Craving crystals is one of the most original and common cold methods of decorating crystal works tracing back to Achaemenid dynasty. Sassanid artists were very skillful in carving crystals and Crystal works from Islamic era were influenced by the works from ancient Iran. In fact, the carving is the oldest complementary and decorative process that is done on crystals from many years ago. But what today we refer to as carving glass and crystal in Iran began from 1935 when a crystal factory was established and went through many ups and downs during the time. In this artistic process, different designs are carved on to crystal pieces using specific stones that are harder than the production and elevates it to another level. Today the carving is done using small electric machines with round stone discs that rotate.

The speed of the rotation of the disks depends directly on the kind of carves. 
The faster the rotations of the discs are, the deeper the carves will be and on the contrary, the slower the rotations, the shallower the carvings will be. Also by changing the thickness of stone disc, hand movement and duration, the form and depth of the carving changes, too. 
In the art of crystal carving, first the points where the intended design is to be applied are marked, then carver holds the product close to the engraving machine and carves the markings. Finally, the carved points are burnished. The designs used in carving are mostly imaginative and made from memory, and are inspired by personal thought of the carver. They mostly include paisley, “Gol e Gandomi”, geometric and arabesque motifs such as six angle stars, “Shamseh” or sun and etc. Today, in addition to crystal carving by engraving machines, there is another method. It uses a machine called milling to apply the carves. The designs created by the milling machine are not deep due to the construction of the machine. The province of Alborz is one of the most important centers of producing crystal carvings in Iran, and some of these products are kinds of jars, glasses, bottles, luster chandeliers, bowls, plates and fruit dishes.

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