Art of Minakari , Persian minakari , Indian meenakari


The Iranian art of Minakari is one of the most beautiful, and it has many fans. The following discusses the types of enameling, how enameling handicrafts are made, the history of enameling, and the prominent state of enameling art. If you are looking for research on enameling in Isfahan, stay with us until the end of this article.

In his book "A Guide to Iran's Art," Professor Pope writes about Iranian enameling: "Enameling is the brilliant art of fire and earth with baked and brilliant colors." Iranian enamel painting reaches its peak during the Safavid period and continues to this day.

It is made of translucent or transparent glass glaze that is used on tiles and metals for patterns and is a combination of lapis lazuli. The term Minasazi means a type of flower, tooth glaze, a bird, enameling silver, etc. Terminologically, the only definition that fits is: the art of fire and clay with baked colors. Metal is made into containers and glazed, and then painted with slime in the shape of twists, knots, and flowers, and then baked.

Minakari History 

This translucent or transparent glass glaze is used on metals and tiles for patterns and is a combination of lapis lazuli (certain dictionaries). Mina is a type of flower, tooth glaze, a bird, the act of enameling silver, etc. Terminologically, Minasazi is the art of fire, and clay with baked colors and minerals. An enamel container consists of a piece of metal glazed with slime and decorated with twists, knots, and flowers, and then baked.

The method of making and preparing enamel dishes

In enameling, gold, copper, silver, steel, aluminum, bronze, brass, and bronze metals are used, and copper is the best metal. A copper sheet can be rolled, is malleable, durable and strong. Enameling copper should be 99% purity and the highest thickness possible, otherwise the impurities will appear as blisters when heated. The reason for choosing copper metal is that its ability to absorb glaze is more than other types of metals.


An expert coppersmith must first select the metal that will serve as the main material for enamel handicraft, then make the metal into any size and shape by a coppersmith, and then glaze it with a uniform white glaze by an enamel master . White glaze at this stage is known as lining glaze. After this step, the glazed metal is placed in a furnace with a maximum temperature of 750 degrees Celsius to be baked, and then the glazed metal is removed from the furnace and covered with a higher quality glaze and heated for the second time.


The glazing process is usually repeated three to four times. As soon as the metal is glazed and heated, it is ready to create any plan and pattern the artist desires, and these plans and patterns are tailored to the artist's tastes. The impressions are made on the object according to the order given to him. Enamelists refer to this stage as "seven-color painting on the enamel." After painting, the enamelware is sent to the furnace again, with a lower temperature than before, about 600 degrees Celsius, so that the colors are as desired. In general, enamelware is made in two ways: hammering and bending, which are explored further below.

A circular plate of metal is cut to a certain size, then a filler tip is placed in the center to determine the bottom of the object, a smaller circle is drawn, and successive blows are made with a hammer. With continuous blows, the hemispherical shape of the container becomes more apparent, and the hammering process continues until the object is complete.

An enamel substructure can be manufactured by bending machines through a process known as the one-piece dish manufacturing method. 


In this method, the following tools are used:

There are small, large, and foreign pliers

Ruler with round heel


wooden hammer

Narrow tail

grater Sohan Sharp

pen wide head nail



For large objects consisting of several parts (such as nut bowls, sweet bowls, and chocolate bowls with enamel bases), copper, zinc, and brass are soldered together with tenkar powder or borax to cover the seams.

After the container infrastructure is prepared, its surface is machined with a grater or machine to erase the effects of the hammer. A grinder polishes and removes the appendages that are created by soldering and hammering the round part of the object after it has been soldered and hammered. The edges of dishes, vases, and candlesticks are also polished with filing, and the unevenness of the edges are removed with sandpaper. At this point, the infrastructure of the desired object has been completed and is ready to be whitewashed.

Using special materials such as neshadar powder, tin, and cotton, bleaching is done in the workshop. In this method, the dish is first washed and cleaned.

. If the underwork of the enamel dish is raised and a raised enamel dish is produced, put it on the fire until it is well heated, then rub some solid tin on the dishes, which will melt due to the high temperature of the body of the dish. Then, the cotton is dipped in neshadar powder and it is pulled firmly on the container, and by repeating this process, the tin is transferred to the entire surface and the container is ready for painting.

Types of glaze in enameling

When the copper base of the enamel product is ready, it should be covered with glaze so that the enamel container is ready for design and painting by the master enameller. Enamel glaze on metal is divided into two main categories, which are: Industrial metallic enamel glaze (matte and transparent) Art enamel glaze (matte and transparent) Industrial metallic enamel glaze is more practical and less artistic, but the percentage of its combination with artistic enamel glaze is very high. This glaze can be used on various metals, but iron and cast iron are the main metals on which this glaze is used.

In terms of chemical structure, artistic enamel glaze is considered to be the most suitable according to the type of metal used, compounds and expansion coefficient that is homogenous with the metal, considering all these factors. In this method, all kinds of thermal fluxes are used instead of lining glaze. In order to create a good connection between the surface glaze and the body, the lining glaze is repeated 2 to 3 times on the body. Like other glazes, art glaze is used in matte, transparent and sometimes semi-transparent form.

Types of enameling

There are different types of enameling and enameling crafts are produced using different methods, although some of these methods were only used in the past and are obsolete today. In the following, the types of enameling have been fully discussed.

Cellar enamel

In this method, enamel is produced by metal wires that are soldered on the work surface, then the space between the wires is filled with enamel colors, and to prevent the wires from turning black, the work surface is covered with a colorless enamel glaze, and finally, the enamel is fired in a special furnace. After heating, the wires are polished. Of course, today this method is used less and mostly in the countries of China, India and Russia to some extent this method is used. In this type of enamel, in order to make the wires shiny, a combination of enamel art and tapestry must be combined. Of course, silver solder must be used for soldering the wires, because if other solders are used, there is a possibility of separating the wires.

enamel painting

In this method, the background or sheet of copper is made into the desired shapes, after various steps, including bending (to prevent the brittleness of the copper, the copper object is fried with heat and placed in water at once) and grouted (with a water ink solution and sulfur ink to remove grease and waste on copper) then the copper object is glazed three times. After it is ready, it is painted on the glaze and heated again. In this section, an object may be heated four to five times to form the enamel. Of course, works that have a colored background and need to be gilded are usually taken into the furnace five times, but works that have a white background are placed in the furnace four times. Today, the most common type of enameling is painted enamel.

inlaid enamel

In this type of enamel, beads in the shape of rubies and in different colors are attached to the beads by a little glaze color and water. Usually, we don't glaze the places where we want to stick the ruby-colored beads, but it should be in the form of copper so that it can hold the beads better and more beautifully. This art is less common today and in the past it was mostly used on bearers, sword scabbards, teapots, etc. It should be noted that ruby-shaped seeds can be prepared by crushing and heating different colored glass.

Embossed Enamel 

In this method, the desired patterns and lines are drawn on the metal object, or the copper background is highlighted in different ways by the master penman. Of course, in embossed enamel, the pen artist should not make the ridges on the dishes steeply, but the raised shapes should be at reduced angles to the main surface. In general, the form of writing on enamel vessels is different from ordinary writing vessels; Because in calligraphy, the master coppersmith tries to make the shape more hollow and sharper; In the case of embossed enamelware, the relief must be slanted to accommodate the glaze color.

Sometimes, the embossed enamel is made in two continuous pieces, like the bowls of large plates; So that the outside of the container is raised and the inside is completely smooth. In this method, the bowl has two covers: one raised and the other flat, which must be matched and soldered by the master coppersmith with silver solder. Embossed enamel is also used in different plaques, especially in blessed places for different lines. The method of glazing this type of enamel is the same as painting enamel, which must be glazed in three stages and put into the furnace once or twice after painting.

Mesh Minakari

In this method, the enamel is transparent like window panes so that it attracts attention when the light passes from both sides. This method, which is the most delicate method of enameling, is used on high quality silver and gold metal that does not oxidize and is usually used to make valuable earrings and pendants. When the design on the metal, the hole and its surroundings have been sanded and polished, it is ready for enameling. The prepared metal is connected to the mica plate and placed on the tripod. In this method, mica is used as a substrate because enamel does not stick to mica. In this method, enamel is not used as a powder but as a piece.

The desired colors are placed in the holes of the design with tweezers, then they carefully check the surface of the metal and put it in the furnace and hold it for a while after firing until its empty spaces appear. These spaces are filled again so that the surface of the metal is covered little by little, and after reheating and cooling down completely, the mica is separated from it. Then, the container is rubbed under running water with a flint stone to make its front and back level. This must be done carefully as it may break the enamel and at the end it is polished by hand to make it clear and bright.

21st Jul 2022 craftihouse

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