August 16, 2022

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Female Iranian crafter wins top prize at Intl. Craft Awards

Female Iranian crafter wins top prize at Intl. Craft Awards – Tehran Times

TEHRAN – Iranian artist Shahrbanu Arabian was named the Female Craftsperson of the Year at the 5th edition of the International Craft Awards (ICA) 2021, an official with the tourism ministry has announced. 

Arabian, who is a master of metalwork and Minakari (enamel), participated in the event with one of her exquisite works, a lavishly-decorated metal bowl designed for serving gaz (nougats with pistachios and almonds), CHTN quoted Vida Tavahodi as saying on Friday. 

Minakari is an ancient art of painting natural motifs such as flowers and birds on the surface of metals, mostly copper.

Due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, the event was held virtually in India, but the artist will soon be awarded the prize at a ceremony, the official added. 

The award for the Male Craftsperson of the Year went to Dalavayi Kullayappa from India, while Zohra Said from Morocco and Ismael Arturo Rodriguez Moreno from Mexico named Female Craft Designer of the Year and Male Craft Designer of the Year respectively. 

ICA is organized by Craft Village, a social organization, based out of New Delhi, India, working towards training and promotion of handicrafts.

ICA sets a new benchmark in the world with the highest level of skill and design excellence. The awards provide an open platform for makers working in a wide variety of materials and media to have their work assessed by a professional jury and international craft experts. 

These awards promote, inspire and encourage talent of the highest standards, making International Craft Awards an annual global feature.

With 14 entries, Iran ranks first globally for the number of cities and villages registered by the World Crafts Council, as China with seven entries, Chile with four, and India with three ones come next.

In January 2020, the cities of Shiraz, Malayer, and Zanjan and the village of Qassemabad were designated by the WCC- Asia Pacific Region, putting Iran’s number of world crafts cities and villages from ten to 14.

Shiraz was named a “world city of [diverse] handicrafts”. Malayer was made a global hub for woodcarving and carved-wood furniture. Zanjan gained the title of a “world city of filigree”. And Qassemabad village, which is nationally known for its traditional costumes, was also promoted to a world hub of handicrafts. Chador Shab, a kind of homemade outer garment for women, was, however, the main subject for the WCC assessment for the village.

The value of Iran’s handicrafts exports stood at $120 million during the first eleven months of the past Iranian calendar year 1399 (March 20, 2020 – February 18, 2021), Mehr reported. The country’s handicrafts exports slumped during the mentioned months in comparison to the same period last a year earlier due to the damage the coronavirus pandemic has inflicted on global trade.

The Islamic Republic exported $427 million worth of handicrafts during the first eleven months of the calendar year 1398. Of the figure, some $190 million was earned via suitcase trade (allowed for customs-free and tax-free transfer) through 20 provinces, according to data compiled by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts.

Ceramics, pottery vessels, handwoven cloths as well as personal ornamentations with precious and semi-precious gemstones are traditionally exported to Iraq, Afghanistan, Germany, the U.S., the UK, and other countries.


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