Hailing from Iran, Azadeh Zolfigol came to Australia in 2013. Now with a degree in political science and theology, Azadeh has continued to pursue her passion for the traditional form of marquetry she learnt in Tehran from master artisan Mehran Amir Inanlou. Azadeh was demonstrating her art at this year's Sydney wood show. It was incredible to watch the accuracy and delicacy of her technique using only a hand-powered coping saw.
Marquetry is known the art of ‘painting in wood’. Small pieces of veneer in natural and dyed tones are cut and pieced together before applying to wood or a substrate. Marquetry panels may be framed and hung as artworks, or incorporated into furniture and architectural fittings.
Whereas in Australia we are used to seeing thin veneers used for marquetry, the Persian technique (known as Moarraq) differs in the use of 3–4mm thick wood sheets. Other materials such as bone, ivory, turle shell, mother-of-pearl and even metals such as pewter and brass may incorporated.
One big advantage of using thicker material is that restoration or refurbishment of marquetry artworks may be much more safely carried out. Azadeh’s artworks feature a variety of themes, including landscapes, animals and birds as well as intricate Persian motifs.