Thursday, June 3, 2010


Rocky terrain and humid air are distinguishing characteristics of Chabahar Beach located in southeastern Iran. With its proximity near the Oman Sea, the area is a great place for waterskiing, canoeing, and swimming. Iran is also home to featured jewelry designer Amir Hossein Delbari.

In ancient Iran (formerly known as Persia), the 6th or 7th century saw the cultivation of the handwritten script called Khat-e-Mikhi, a series of vertical, diagonal and horizontal nail-shaped letters.

In the centuries to follow, more curvaceous, fluid alphabet scripts like Avestaaee, and Pahlavi were developed.

However, over 700 years ago two scripts, Taliq and Naskh, were combined creating the beautifully lithe and popular--yet technically difficult--script Nas'taliq.

Calligraphy is a time-honored art in many Asian countries including Japan, China, Indonesia, and India. This precision oriented form of writing is one of Delbari's many aptitudes.

"When I was 9 years old, I took my first step towards the art world by attending a calligraphy course. I am left-handed and was very fortunate to have a left-handed teacher, Ali Toussi," he recalls.

"By the time I turned 13, I started learning pottery and creating ceramic art at the same time. By 18, I had reached the advanced level of the art form."

The 28-year-old artist would later add jewelry making to his forte studying jewelry design and associated techniques at the Parsian International Institute of Jewelry, and the Tala Fonoon Institute of Art.

Delbari would implement striking calligraphic symbols, such as the Siah Mashgh style, into jewelry pieces upon establishing his company Alef Dall.

In some instances, the complexity of the symbols' form is Delbari's interest rather than its meaning. In other instances, Delbari's Talisman Pendant explores characters associated with sorcery, as well as the lovely Eslimi motifs of Islamic architecture.

Most all of Delbari's work featured online is fashioned from sterling silver without gemstones. When viewing this commanding jewelry, I sense the ominous scope of history, culture, tradition, and heritage living within them.

Although the overall physical proportion of the items is simple, the characters are so dynamic they transcend the proportions.

I still find it amazing how jewelry can encompass the history of many lives, or one life, rendering pieces that become a jeweled microcosm of a country's history, glory, and mysteries.
Photo 1 (top right): 18-Karat Gold Eslimi Ring
Photo 2 (bottom left): Sterling Silver Siah Mashgh Pendant
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