By Ali Asghar Pahlavan
TEHRAN, Sept. 11 (Mehr News Agency) -- The city of Lalejin in Hamedan Province, with a
population of 55,000, lies 20 kilometers northwest of the provincial city of
Hamedan and is considered one of the leading ceramic centers of Iran.
According to archaeologists and historians, this ceramic producing city has a
long historical record dating back 7500 years to ancient Persia, as revealed by
excavations in recent years at Ecbatana Hill, Gyan in Nahavand and Nushijan in
Malayer in Hamedan Province.
During the invasion of Mongols, only seven craftsmen survived the barbaric
onslaught and these artisans managed to revive the ceramics industry once again.
As you stroll through the ancient city, you see how people from all walks of
life are heavily involved in their ancestors' tradition of creating works of
The majority of local residents earn their bread and butter from this craft
ranging from utensils to decorative items.
The Khoshuei Brothers are among the outstanding artisans of Lalejin who have
created the most significant works of art over the last half a century.
These craftsmen not only have preserved the traditional Persian arts but also
have introduced a number of innovations themselves.
Most foreign and domestic tourists are enthusiastic to purchase local
handicrafts such as ceramics, leather products, traditional Iranian glasses,
kilims, wooden crafts and a variety of other traditional items.
Deputy Director of the Hamedan Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts
Organization, Behjat Abbasi said, "With 900 workshops and 3900 employees,
Lalejin is the capital city of ceramics in Iran."
According to the official, pottery production in recent years has undergone a
process of major change, including changes in coloring compounds both in
traditional and industrial paintings, and the introduction of modern furnaces to
replace the traditional ones."
"Due to the abundance of raw materials and skilled Lalejini craftsmen, it would
seem that in the future, we will witness significant positive developments in
the craft, in terms of both quality and quantity," she pointed out.
She expressed regret that innovations in pottery production has not taken place
and workshops continue to produce using traditional techniques and styles, with
the exception of a few workshops that have introduced new methods while
continuing the traditional, which has actually created a unique mastery of
ceramics that is unparalleled.
She expressed optimism that in recent years, ceramics exported to the
Netherlands, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Oman, Iraq, Britain and the United States
have shown a 500 percent increase. The guild of Lalejini exporters has been
formed and UNIDO has supported it.
To preserve this national cultural heritage, training courses have been
established every year in various fields in all cities and hamlets of the
province to upgrade the quality of the pottery produced by the industry.
According to Abbasi, both long and short term higher education for those
students of the arts interested in acquiring a B.A. or associate of arts have
Mrs. Abbasi said that we have participated in foreign exhibitions in China,
Kuwait, Japan and Georgia in order to familiarize our craftsmen in diverse areas
including, ceramics, graphics, architecture, product line of ceramics,
advertising and marketing, leather production and other related crafts.
Foreign and domestic tourists are enthusiastically inclined toward Lalejini
ceramic products and most of them show interest in purchasing pottery.
She said upgrading the handicrafts industry has a direct correlation with
overall economic development in terms of permanent employment, trade progress,
the expansion of non-oil products, and the preservation of our cultural heritage
plus the added benefit of introducing the true identity of Iranian civilization
to the world.
... Payvand News - 09/12/09 ... --