Art & Crafts from Iran

Our shipment is unpacked and the showroom is ready. We’ve had a couple of curious friends round and all of them have spent money, our stock is dwindling very rapidly.

A friend (the one with the fab beach house I really envy) bought a trunk and selection of tiles yesterday, then phoned this morning and placed an order for eight tiles for her sister in the UK. Seems selling is not going to be the problem, but keeping the place stocked is. A trip to Iran is on the cards in the next couple of months!

The Iranian tiles pasted below are the size of a comic book, hand painted and vividly coloured. Really beautiful, they have been snapped up.

Iranian tilesIranian tiles

Iranian tilesIranian tiles

You could call this Iranian patchwork. A very large piece of fabric comprising lots of small, hand embroidered, pieces of cloth. Quite exquisite.

Iranian shisha pipe - baked clay, bamboo and decorated with silk thread. Very different from the usual Middle Eastern shisha pipes.

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11 Responses to “Art & Crafts from Iran”


  1. 1 Lisa April 6, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    Oh wow!! I am most sorely in need of some artwork to warm up these somewhat bare newly painted walls. Please come do a little Iranian selling soiree in Cape Town!

  2. 2 Jeannine April 7, 2010 at 9:29 am

    mmm. . . newly painted walls and a creative, active toddler. . . never, in my experience, a combination that lasts long.

    Cape Town is definitely on our radar – will let you know!

  3. 3 shoreacres April 11, 2010 at 4:10 am

    Did you happen to see Ian’s “blue post” from Egypt? He had so many gorgeous photos, and now you have your blue tiles. Even though I’m not a huge fan of blue, I could become such if you two keep nudging me like you are!

    My latest post is about trains, and an English blog friend sent me a link to your “Blue Train”. My goodness – wouldn’t a trip on that be fun! We decided we’d pretty much have to win the lottery, though. I noticed that one of its routes runs through your backyard. Well, metaphorically, anyhow. But it does take the Garden Route.

    If you ever run across any tiles with poppies, I’d love to know about it. It would be fun to have a tile of any sort, actually. If you have something that just isn’t moving, let me know.

    I do have a question, born of Western ignorance. These are from Iran, which is a primarily Muslim country. I thought it was considered poor form (or worse) to show the human form. Or is that only in mosques? Or is it only Allah who can’t be represented? Inquiring minds want to know 😉

    • 4 Jeannine April 11, 2010 at 1:16 pm

      I had the exact same question regarding human form. The Iranian guy selling the tiles, which are from Isfahan, explained that all the figures in the tiles are from Persian mythology, which developed in what is now Iran after about 1500 BC. A long time before The Islamic conquest of Persia (637-651).

      The tiles, and the images of gods, godesses and heroes on them, have been produced for centuries. Like you, I suffer from Western ignorance on these issues, but it must be ok because Isfahan is the thriving art/craft centre of Iran, and these tiles continue to be made.

      You are right about no human form in any mosques though. When Gavin goes to Iran later in the year, he will do more research on this and satisfy our curiosity.

      Poppies would be gorgeous, maybe have to try Afghanistan for those 😉

      I did see Ian’s post, and the fabulous pic of the Egyptian tile he posted. Blue is the dominant colour on the Iranian tiles, and quite a lot of pink as well – the middle East does not share the Western ‘pink is for girls’ thing.

      The pics I posted were heavily weighted toward human images (my taste!), a lot of the tiles are of birds and flowers, and as you say very William Morris-ish.

      Lastly, you would love the blue train – our version of the Orient Express!

  4. 5 shoreacres April 11, 2010 at 4:11 am

    ps: the florals on those tiles look remarkably like William Morris!

  5. 7 Maryanne Pataki April 26, 2010 at 2:01 am

    Hey very nice blog!!….I’m an instant fan, I have bookmarked you and I’ll be checking back on a regular basis ….See ya

  6. 8 Lisa May 17, 2010 at 7:21 am

    OK, how’s this. Last night, I have this dream that (for some unidentified reason) I’m going back to university at Rhodes in Grahamstown, and find myself moving into an oversized house with two separate lounges and a massive conservatory and a TV room and .. you get the picture. And my main thought in the dream was: ‘Cool! now I can invite that blog chick from Sedgefield and we can have her Iranian Arts & Crafts Show and Sell.’
    You have infiltrated my subconscious!! (That or I really really want some pretty wall tiles.)

  7. 9 Jeannine May 17, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    Ha! My secret plan to rule the world is bearing fruit… BTW love the new pic of you and K – adorable!

  8. 10 shamaila October 24, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    my name is shamaila beautiful designs i love art and crafts im teacher in rawalpindi art and craft courses i like iran very much

    • 11 Jeannine October 26, 2011 at 6:45 am

      Hi Shamaila, Pakistan is a country with beautiful arts and crafts, I have some wonderful painted tin trunks that come from your part of the world. Gorgeous fabrics and jewellery too!


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