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Traditional brick work betrayed by mass production, one of the last brick work artists says - One of the pioneers of traditional brick works in Iran stipulated: We are not welcome in any department and nobody supports this art any more.

Mohammad Qasem Akhavian, one of the remaining brick workers, who has seventy years of experiences in this field, told handicrafts correspondent of Iranian Students News Agency, ISNA:  In people's view, there is no money in brick work art. Therefore they have no interest in learning it.

This artist who once had 150 masters but does not even have one apprentice now, complains: Nobody comes to the masters of this art to use it in contemporary architecture.

Regarding supporting these artists he said: We are not welcome in any departments; they don't appreciate this art and the artists in this job, and they do not support them. The brick work art has indeed an income, but nobody wants the artists in this field anymore.

This artist, who has works like Nowrooz  Haft Sin, [Iranian tradition for the new year], The Prophet Zarathustra and two pillars named Eskandar Zolqarnein in Naishabour National Garden [Bagh-e Melli] said: Now the brick and stone works are done by machines; with moulding methods they easily mass produce them and they do not buy traditional artists' works.

Akhavian added: Wherever we put our works, they make moulds at night and produce them massively the next day and put them on sale; no one pays attention to this.

Brick [Ajor] is one the most important materials in Iranian architecture. In Babylon they made bricks in 4000 BC. Also in Shush, [Southwest of Iran] and Sialk [Kashan, Central Iran] brick kilns belonging to 1000 BC have been found.

With simple instruments like adze [Tishe'], emery [Sonbadeh], file [Sohan] and...the brick work artists make various designs and patterns. With his sharp pointed adze, the brick artist makes a line with a ruler; the ruler is called Qad [Kesho], itself a special cut brick made for this purpose.

The brick work art is brilliantly done on top of the entrance of Qajar houses, pillar tops, etc. This type of brick, thanks to its strength, colouring potentials and cutting capabilities, can be used in modern construction industry; but it seems it has been totally forgotten.

Note: Original article published in Persian by ISNA.
Translated for by BMarz translators:

... Payvand News - 02/13/08 ... --

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