Its shiny turquoise blue colour is mystical and has no equal in beauty: the Kharmohre ceramic is a 6000-year-old handicraft legacy from ancient Iran that has been kept alive at its birthplace, the city of Qom. It has remained among the few cities in the world where Kharmohre or fortune bead is still produced.
Come to see a family workshop which is the last presenters of this art, to learn about the wonders of this ceramic, also called the "Persian Blue seed", and "Iranian Blue Bead", that has become an integral part of Middle Eastern culture. Listen to the mystical story of this turquoise, believed to bring good luck and protection, while observing skilled craftspeople in action and crafting, with your own hands, the Kharmohre paste during an unforgettable workshop session.
Learning about the techniques, materials, production process and use of "kilns"
Being given a brief and comprehensive history of the Persian blue beads
Learning about the self glazing technique of Kharmohreh
Producing your blue beads to bring luck and fortune for yourself
Shopping unique antique souvenirs of Qom in the workshop market
Welcome to the city of Qom, with its astonishing blue shrine, its ancestral bazaar, and its unique production of Kharmohre. Since the 1960s, Qom is the only place in the world where this stunning turquoise ceramic is produced as industrial production. This National Cultural Heritage has been kept alive by the Saadatmands, where you are welcomed for a memorable workshop, an amazing journey for all your senses.
First, keep your eyes and ears wide open: in the workshop of the Saadatmand family, you are introduced to the production of Kharmohre and cementation glazing technique. Discover the materials and tools used to produce what is known as the "Qom technique". Touch and feel the paste of it, while listening to the story of its mysterious accidental discovery and the popular beliefs behind its intense colour, long perceived as supernatural.
Once being familiar with the materials and significance of the Kharmohre, have a walk in the production area, where employees are busy with their daily tasks. Talking with them, you can pierce the secrets and tips of this craftwork. Explore the two-storey building to observe the moulding process, before looking at the kiln, the firing pottery oven, the glaze, and finally, the Kharmohre beads produced.
With all these incredible techniques in minds, it's now time to join the workshop and pitch in. Seat with the tools, moulds, and paste to experience the making process of Kharmohre in first hands. With the wise and benevolent advice of skilled workers, you are about to learn the right way to work this exceptional paste and make up your own designs and creations. They will be later fired in the kiln and taking care of so that it can be sent to your home or offered as a transmission gift to future guests.
The experience starts around 9:30, at the Crafts Workshop, which is located 10 minutes from the city centre of Qom.
For about 30 minutes, you attend a video introduction; get familiar with Kharmohre, the production centre, the tools, and materials. For another half-hour, you can walk around the production area to get familiar with the whole process.
Then, you are invited to make your own Kharmohre beads in the workshop. During the experience, you are being treated with snacks and drinks, and at the end of the experience, you have the opportunity to purchase unique pieces in the shopping area.
The experience ends at 12:30.