Mehrdad Kolagar writes about his decision to move from architecture to wire jewellery.
With the aim of promoting arts and handicrafts, I established an architecture company called “Art and Architecture” six years ago. The company began by ordering the production of those artworks and handicrafts which could be used in the architecture of the building in small sizes, to be presented for the clients and employers. I displayed them in my office so that when I make a suggestion about the architecture of the building to the clients, they can have an idea of the result.
After a while, feedback and interactions with people led me to conclude that handicrafts, as they have been practised so far, were not popular with most people, especially the youth, and needed to be updated. For this reason, I started designing for different types of handicrafts in a way to both preserve their originality and also up-to-date designs and raw and modern materials.
Relying on my skill and experience in designing, painting, volume, wood carving and calligraphy, I began to learn more techniques and methods of making handicrafts as well as learning how to use different tools, to strengthen my skills. I made fundamental changes to my craft techniques. Some of these were popular and led to sales. Although I did not register any of these activities in my name and other people took advantage of them.
Considering my personal interest in handmade jewellery and also examining what is currently being done in the manufacture of traditional Iranian jewellery, I came to the conclusion that the current jewellery has repetitive designs, most of which are copies and imitations of old traditional motifs that are not even properly designed and produced
Since the main part of my goal is entrepreneurship and support people who are interested in art, I was looking for a way to create artworks with the least materials and with a good level of art and not just at the industrial level. Researching how jewellery to be designed and created in different countries of the world, I found out that wire is one of the least expensive and most available raw materials. And also working with wire, without the use of chemical and thermal processes is one of the best and the most appropriate techniques to implement artistic ideas in creating eye-catching jewellery and decorative volumes.
Then, I started researching different techniques for making jewellery and shapes with copper wire. I tried to take a look at nature and to present my favourite subjects in the form of jewellery. I tried to inspire people by making unique works.
It should be mentioned that to my surprise, unfortunately, the Khorasan Razavi Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts, and Tourism Organization did not confirm my wire artworks as a handcraft; although all the procedures of making jewellery with copper wire is done only by hand, without any chemical and thermal processes such as soldering, welding, and glue, which is specific to industrial works.
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