A high-ranking Iranian handicrafts official says initiated by the Islamic Republic of Iran, the World Craft Council (WCC) in Asia Pacific Region has decided to designate each year to a handicraft product.
“Based on this initiative the year 2018 is named the year of woodcrafts. The decision was made at the board meeting of WCC’s Asia Pacific Region which was held in Kuwait late September,” said Bahman Namvar Motlaq, the deputy head of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization.
“We had a good experience in dedicating each year to a handicraft in Iran, and in this way we tried to pay more attention to a special craft alongside others,” IRNA quoted him as saying in a Farsi report.
He added that since the launch of this initiative, the recent years were named as “Year of Precious Stones”, “Year of Textile” and “Year of Rush Matting” in Iran.
“For example, this year, we assured the producers that we purchase their rush matting products, and we got help from domestic creative artists to design their products,” said Namvar Motlaq.
“A large number of our craftsmen in the villages and deprived areas weave rush mats, but because they do not have the experience and knowledge to design their products, they prefer to work in a traditional manner, and as a result their products are not that much beautiful, receiving less attention these days.”
He went on to say that for that reason artists from India and China, who were more skilled in the field of rush mat designing, have been invited to train Iranian craftsmen so as to enable them to use the global knowledge to push ahead.
He emphasized that with this naming process, Iran made good progress in the sales as well as in the designing and aesthetics areas of the rush matting craft.
“When the evaluators and managers of Asia Pacific Region came to Iran, they welcomed our naming scheme and, in light of the positive feedback we received, we set this idea forth at the recent WCC Asia Pacific Region meeting in Kuwait and it was approved,” explained this Iranian official.
He further mentioned that as the meeting of Asia Pacific Region 2018 will be held in Nepal, India and Nepal requested that this year be named as “Year of Woodcrafts” and it was unanimously approved.
“Although we rank lower than Central and South Asian countries such as Pakistan, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and China in terms of the volume of woodwork, in terms of quality, sometimes we ranked second as the Iranian artists have been successful in producing high-quality products.”
“Considering that the countries around us such as Turkmenistan, Iraq and Afghanistan are the customers of woodworks made by Iran, there is good potential for a serious activity in this field, which I hope will help to expand this important field of crafts in the country,” he concluded.