Meenakari or enamelling is the art of colouring and ornamenting the surface of metals by fusing over it brilliant colours that are decorated in an intricate design.

Meena is the feminine form of Minoo in Persian, meaning heaven. Meena refers to the Azure colour of heaven. The Iranian craftsmen of Sasanied era invented this art and Mongols spread it to India and other countries.

Enamel is usually used to design vase, jewelry and candleholder in addition to doors and chandeliers of holy shrines. The central city of Isfahan is the most important Iranian hub of enamelling.

Enamel working and decorating metals with colourful and baked coats is one of the distinguished courses of art in Isfahan.

Meena, is defined as some sort of glasslike coloured coat which can be stabilized by heat on different metals particularly copper. Although this course is of abundant use industrially for producing metal and hygienic dishes, it has been used by painters, goldsmiths and metal engravers since long times ago.

The Meenakars engrave the surface of the metal with intricate designs using a metal stylus which is then filled in with colours. The Meena is then placed in a furnace where the colours are fused and hardened to become one with the surface. The piece is then gently rubbed with a file and cleaned with a mixture of lemon and tamarind that helps highlight the lustre of each colour.

Following you can find photos of Meenakari in Isfahan retrieved from IRNA:

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