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Firuzehkubi or Turquoise Inlay of Isfahan


One of the most popular handicrafts of Iran, that is both decorative and applicable, is “Firuzehkoobi” or turquoise inlaying. Firuzehkubi are small pieces of Turquoise gem stone which are inlaid, like mosaics, on a base that are tools or utensils made of copper, silver, brass or bronze. They can cover all the base or parts of it. Firuzehkubi is a rather young handicraft, beginning only seventy years ago. It was invented for the first time by Yusef Hakimian to decorate pieces of jewelry like earrings, bracelets, brooches and etc. Later it traveled to Isfahan and was practiced by a craftsman named Haj Dadash. Today Firuzehkubi is one of the most celebrated souvenirs of Isfahan.

The Firuzeh or Turquoise gems that are used in this crafts are supplied by the stone workshops and stone grinds that cannot be used for other purposes. To make a Firuzehkubi, first the base, the utensil or jewelry, is chosen. Then the surrounding of the parts where turquoise is to be inlaid will be soldered and divided by a thin wire with height about two to three millimeters. If there are motifs and designs to be applied in the intended area, they are also drawn and soldered by the same wire. This process not only adds to the beauty of product, but also improves its durability and resistance. Then, after being washed, large or small pieces of Turquoise are picked.

The base object is heated to 30 degrees of centigrade. While heating a special kind of gum powder called “Gerdooyi” or “Walnut varnish” that acts as glue, is poured upon the object so that it melts. The Turquoise pieces are then laid on the surface. This is the most important part of process. If the base is a round object, the laying step is repeated. To fill the empty spaces between the inlaid pieces, the base is heated once more to forty degrees of centigrade, the gum powder is poured and the spaces are filled with smaller Turquoise. The remaining gaps that cannot be filled with stones, are filled with a blue mortar. In the next step, the surface is sanded. Finally the product is polished and obtains a shiny and smooth surface. The more elaborate a Firuzehkubi work, the more valuable it is.

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