WORLD CRAFTS COUNCIL
(WCC AISBL) INTERNATIONAL
Located in southwestern Iran, Shiraz is the capital city of Fars Province. It has an area of 178,891 square kilometers, with an altitude of 1846 meters from the sea level. As a metropolis, with more than 1.5 million residents until 2016 Shiraz is one of the most crowded cities of Iran.
Its Municipality was established in 1917, after Tabriz and Tehran. Due to its central position in the Southern Zagros Region and as it is located in a fairly fertile region, it has always been a bustling center for commerce. It is also the gate to reach the southern provinces of Iran, including Booshehr. However, its attractions go far beyond its commercially and logistically strategic location and extend to history, art, culture, religion and science.
Shiraz is famous for poetry and its gardens. Gardens are pivotal in Iranian architecture and culture, and beautiful gardens have made Shiraz globally popular. Most of these gardens are located in the Northwest of Shiraz in Ghasrodasht, Koshan, Chamran and Maaliabad. Some of these gardens are historically significant, therefore, they are attractive to for tourists. These include Eram, Afifabad, Delgosha and Jahan Nama gardens. The Holy Shrine of Shahcheragh attracts many tourists from all over the country, and the tombs of Iranian poets including Hafez, Saadi and Khajoo Kermani are among its cultural attractions. The appendices provide further information on the number of tourists.
According to previous studies, the total handicrafts in the country is divided into 18 categories, 155 fields and 140 sub-fields. The handicrafts of Fars Province cover 80 fields and 55 sub-fields all of which are located in Shiraz and its details follow. This information is based on the statistics recorded through the production licenses and identification cards, and there are certainly more active artists in Shiraz. Since many arts and crafts are not considered as handicrafts, because they are not on the list of approved disciplines, they are not included in this statistics.
1. The textile category consists of 23 fields 8 of which are available in the province and only two fields are active.
2. Hand-woven artifacts are categorized into 7 fields and 21 sub-fields and they are all active while 5 fields and 4 fields are in danger of oblivion.
3. Traditional Cloths category consists of 3 fields and 28 sub-fields 8 of which are available in the province. Traditional shoes are among the most common industries in handicraft fields. Qashqai Local Garment Market is so plentiful that a large part of fabric market of Vakil Bazaar is dependent on this field.
4. Traditional Printing category consist of 2 fields that are being regenerated by young educated artisans and it is considered as one of the notable fields of Schools of Arts in Shiraz.
5. Traditional textile, ceramic and tiles category consist of 5 fields and 12 sub-fields. Pottery is forgotten and 20 workshops are active in traditional tile chipping and painting in the city.
6. Leather Handicraft category consists of 7 fields, and they are all active in Shiraz.
7. Traditional art category is affiliated with architecture and consists of 2 fields and 10 sub-fields. Most of artists are old and all fields are active in restoring old houses of Shiraz.
8. Metal handicraft group consist of 10 fields and 20 sub-fields. Four fields are active in Shiraz, 2 fields are forgotten or evolved so drastically that they cannot be identified as art any longer.
9. Wooden and wicker industries category consists of 21 fields and 16 sub-fields. Eighteen fields are active in Shiraz, and all are in the process of regeneration.
10. Stone masonry category consist of 8 fields four of which are active in Shiraz.
11.Bone Handicraft category, consist of 2 fields that are recently revitalized by a number of artisans.
12.Traditional Embroidery category consists of 40 fields eight of which are active in Shiraz.
13.Glassware Group consist of 8 fields five of which are active in the province and 4 are threatened by oblivion
14. Paper Based Handicrafts which includes 3 fields and all 3 fields are currently active in the province while 2 of them are deemed to be forgotten.
15. Traditional design and paint category which includes 7 fields, 5 of which are currently active in the province.
16. Traditional Musical Instruments which is among the active fields in the province.
17. The Enamels on metal is already forsaken.
18. Occupations related to these categories: From among the 16 fields in the 11 categories, only 5 fields remain to be active.
Shiraz has a remarkable amount of handicraft pioneers. With the average age of 70, some of these pioneers are still active at their workshops. The occupational records of about 100 pioneers are collected and are annually praised by the custodians of the General Office.
Most of fields and sub-fields of handicrafts are on the verge of oblivion; the average age of master's active in this field is 70 years and they are less than 5 members.