The inlay on the wood

The inlay on the wood

The art of moaragh-kāri or inlaying consists in inserting, by gluing on a wooden or polyester surface, thin pieces (tesserae or dowels), wood or other material to form a decorative image. the dowels must have the shape of thin slabs, like a veneer which is then cut with the fretwork technique and with great care, since the more precise the cut, the less empty spaces remain between the dowels. The inlay technique is one of the most widespread in Iranian craftsmanship. All solid materials are allowed such as: wood, metal, mother of pearl etc. The word Moaragh means "pieces and fragments". The oldest example of Moaragh Kāri comes from the archaeological excavations of Shahr-e Sukhte (the so-called burned city) located in the south-eastern region of Iran. A wooden comb decorated with geometric motifs dating back to the fifth millennium BC was found here; Considering that wood deteriorates easily under natural conditions, no other finds have been found. The other examples of the Moaragh Kāri are therefore quite recent such as the painting decorated with the drawing of two knights of 1943 attributed to Master Ahmad-Ra'na. The Moaragh kāri technique is also applied to embellish the doors of buildings such as the entrance door of the current building of the ministry of education in Tehran which dates back to the Qajaride era and is located on the north-western side of the building; it has a height of 4,5 meters and a width of 3 and above the door there is a semicircular arch. Each side is divided into 3 square parts: the upper part is made of glass, while the other two parts are made of wood with decorations made according to the moaragh kari technique with abstract floral motifs called "eslimi". arte is the result of the combination of colorful fragments of wood well cut into various shapes and their interlocking on a wooden surface. In addition to wood, metals such as gold, silver and copper can be used, or even animal bones and ivory. This art is usually visible in paintings, chairs, tables, caskets and especially in objects made of wood. A type of Moaragh kāri used in the western region of Iran, in the cities of Kurdistan, Kermanshah and Azarbaijan is called Moaragh Nāsok kāri, which means “subtle, refined”. This style is mostly used to have a decorative image on wooden caskets with geometric motifs. Sometimes we find the combination of Moaragh kāri with the monabat kāri technique. The thickness of the wood fragments in this case does not exceed 3 millimeters and for this reason they are called moaragh nāsok or thin. Another type of Moaragh is the one made on a black polyester surface. It is worth remembering that the oldest type of Moaragh was the one on wood.
The best employed in this art is pear wood, ebony, mulberry and palm.

 

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