Iranian grasp tilers make conventional blue tiles for Islamic structure

(5 Jun 2009)
Isfahan – 3 May 2009
1. Wide dome and minarets of Emam Mosque covered with blue and turquoise tiles and arabesque
2. Zoom out of Emam Mosque’s minarets (fish eyed lens effect)
3. Close-up of intricate flower-shaped tiles
4. Tilt-up from tiles to artist painting on tiles in workplace
5. Close-up of Hossein Mosadegh Zadeh
6. Close-up of Mosadegh Zadeh’s hand drawing arabesque on tiles
7. SOUNDBITE (Farsi) Hossein Mosadegh Zadeh, experienced Iranian tiler:
“The art of tiling is nearly exclusive to Isfahan. My ancestors were also artists and all of them were from Isfahan. This art has found way in other cities too but its birthplace is Isfahan. Most of the buildings and structures that we tile have Quranic verses written on them.”
8. Various shots of tile workshop and completed tiles.
9. SOUNDBITE (Farsi) Hossein Mosadegh Zadeh, experienced Iranian tiler:
“Because the blue colour strengthens the eyesight. It gives you brightness, beauty and makes you joyful. Blue makes you lively and happy. By blue, we mean turquoise of course.”
10. Close-up of tiles and Mosadegh Zadeh’s hand drawing arabesque on tiles
11. Mid of Mosadegh Zadeh in his workplace
12. Pan right to left, close shot of intricate patterns painted on tiles
13. Tilt-up, interior of Isfahan’s traditional bazaar
14. Various shots, Mosadegh Zadeh chiselling in workshop
15. Wide pan of tile artworks in the workshop
16. Close-up of Mosadegh Zadeh’s hand polishing a turquoise-coloured tile
17. SOUNDBITE (Farsi) Hossein Mosadegh Zadeh, experienced Iranian tiler:
“The sound of the chisel hitting the tile gives me a sense of happiness and I really enjoy it. It is like a musician playing a piece for you and making you happy. I really enjoy working with the chisel, creating inlaid works on tile and pasting them onto historic buildings.”
18. Wide of a mosque dome under tiling (fish eye lens)
19. Various shots of workers on scaffolding repairing a mosque dome
20. SOUNDBITE (Farsi) Ahmed Mosadegh Zadeh, tiler and son of Hossein Mosadegh Zadeh:
“This traditional and original art has been bequeathed to us from our ancestors and we will continue it. Tiling thirty meters of a dome will take us 6 months to tile.”
21. Close-up of workers’ hand pasting a piece of tile on dome
22. Wide shot of mosque’s dome and minarets’ covered with turquoise tiles
23. Tilt-up of detailed patterns on walls of mosque
24. Zoom out of geometrical patterns formed with small tiles
25. Wide of pedestrians walking past the mosque’s entrance (fish eye lens)
26. Pan of mosque’s ceiling decorated with tiles
The city of Isfahan in central Iran is perhaps best known for its Uranium Conversion Facility, part of Iran’s controversial nuclear programme.
Isfahan is also a centre of Islamic art in the country, and home to a magnificent complex of buildings.
The bright blue domes and towering minarets of Isfahan in central Iran date back as far as the 11th century.
The towers are covered in detailed tiles, which are carefully crafted.
Mosadegh Zadeh’s ancestors were master tilers and now he continues the family tradition.
He says that although the craft is now common in other Iranian cities, Isfahan tilers were the first to use this style.
The ceramics are fashioned into many designs and a great variety of shapes.
Zadeh says the most popular colour is a turquoise blue which “gives you brightness, beauty and makes you joyful.”
The creation of a tile begins with raw sketches and ends with multi coloured intricate designs as lively and vibrant as the traditional Isfahan bazaar.
After the tiles are painted the tiler sets to work with his chisel and hammer.
The final stage of the process is best left to younger men.

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