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Tempered People : Iron- Sculptures by Ahmad Nadalian

By Ahmad Nadalian, RiverArt

The endure of time make us stronger


Every summer blacksmiths come to Polour. They recycle iron and make tools for workers. Most blacksmiths who travel around are Gypsies who usually widespread in Asia and Europe.

Back in the days Gypsy blacksmiths followed nomad and they made tolls for them. My ancestors who were Sangsari nomad commissioned some iron tools to Gypsies.



Nowadays Gypsies mostly live on the border of the cities and collect plastic and iron to recycle. 

We still can find Gipsy blacksmiths, one of them happened to come to Polour. Seeing tempering, rhythmical pounding by sledge and shaping the iron is very exciting to watch especially when they temper iron.

The life of nomad changed and it is necessary to find a new platform for this to craft.

The characteristics of my art work are that I always sought for new media especially those who are traditional and may have been forgotten. I like collaboration with ordinary people and children. I document my process as well as writing a journal of my work.



I began to work with blacksmiths in summer 2009. Mohammad Reza Ahangar who is a master of blacksmiths and Fazlolah Alizadeh assisted me to learn their technique. I continued working with them this summer along with his son and one of his relatives who joined us this year.


I collected rusty iron that was peeling paint by the river and I asked the blacksmiths to shape them as I wanted. I was there as a pupil and in some stages I shape the iron to human figures.













The blacksmiths told me that their job was practiced by Prophet David, but blacksmithing reminds me of Kāveh the Blacksmith. He is a Persian mythological hero who led a popular uprising against the foreign demon such as ruler Zahhāk. Kāveh the Blacksmith is considered one of the national heroes of Persian mythology. He led a popular uprising against a ruthless foreign ruler, Zahhāk. His story is narrated in the Epic of Shāhnāma, the national epic of Iran by the 10th century poet Ferdowsi Tousi. Kaveh is the most famous Persian mythological character in resistance against despotic foreign leader in Iran. After losing 18 of his sons to Zahhāk's serpents, he rebels against the foreign ruler of Persia and leads the people to overthrow the tyrant king. As a symbol of resistance and unity, he raises his leather apron on a spear, known as the Derafsh Kaviani. This flag is later decorated with precious jewels and becomes the symbol of Persian independence, resistance and resilience, as well as the revolutionary symbol of the masses in their fight against foreign invaders.


I asked blacksmith to shape my idea like a sword.



My sword has female body



We made many other objects. 




Some of the objects we made can be used for polishing stone for my carvings.






I experienced tempering. 






The grandchild of blacksmith watched our process. 








The Tempered People are solid and standing here.



My impression was that my ancestors could make these goddesses.




Sometime I dance them around and they make sounds like music.

Blacksmithing is a difficult job, but love makes it easy.

Rumi says:  blacksmith turned his visage to black, hoping to kiss his beloved at the dark of night

کـرده آهنگـر جمـال خـود سیـاه     تـا کـه شـب آیــد ببوسـد روی ماه



My grandmother has a comb to brush the wool of sheep.


Now in paradise we have combs like human face that wind combing their chignon and the music of bell invite me to happiness that is inexpressible.




Thanks God who gives me the gift of enjoying the art.

... Payvand News - 08/30/10 ... --

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