The Iranian Lighter

One of my graduate students – from Iran – brought a lighter back from a recent trip back home. The lighter, crafted by a street vendor, is covered by a mosaic of individually placed pieces of gold leaf, wood, paper, and flakes of glass or stone. See the image below – I’ve shown a detail of the design and two different sides:

It’s a strange mix of “high” and “low” – the lighter itself is obviously mass produced, but the hand-made feeling of the design seems really considered. It is interesting to have this device that produces light and heat share designs that are related to those that animate great structures such as the Sheik Lotfallah Mosque, seen here:

Muqarna in Sheikh Lotfallah Mosque

Do a google search for this Mosque – it’s really astoundingly beautiful. Thanks for the lighter, Zeinab!

Collage, by Zeinab Chaichi Raghimi

One of my grads has developed a booklet containing a number of her collage works from last year. Please go over to Lulu and check it out by clicking the image below (it’s one of my favorites of the ones she made last summer). The booklet is pretty cheap to purchase (you can download a full-color, 25 page version for a couple bucks) and has some excellent images as well as a statement in English and Farsi. I think Zeinab is doing some great work here at the University of Missouri and I hope a few people will support and encourage her by picking up a copy of the booklet. Just click on the image below to go to the Lulu page where it’s for sale.