Decorative work on metal objects is executed in several
techniques. It is a plastic deformation of metal with
non-cutting round-edged punches, hammered-in form the
front of work piece or from the rear. This technique is
called "Chisel Work" in English and "Qalamzani"
Mostly copper, copper-gold, brass, nickel alloys, gold and
silver objects are engraved.
These vessels are filled to be embossed with hot mixture
of pitch and fine sand or ashes, which after cooling is
sufficiently hard and heavy to act as the base, yet
plastic enough to give away when the embossing chisel
drives the metal back. The creative embosser and engraver
need the talents of a master painter, plus skills of
driving and hammering various chisels on to hard metal
surface, which is not flat like painting base.
Work in Iran
Isfahan has become the main production center of embossing
and engraving works in Iran. Other centers are Shiraz,
Zanjan, Boroujerd, Sangesar (Semnan),...