As I dove deeper into the old and narrow alleys of the Coppersmith’s section of the Vakil – Bazaar, I learned that in this modern age, Kerman’s famous copper Ceēnies offered at the Bazaar are no longer entirely hand made due to its close proximity to the legendary Jame’e Mosque. The historical mosque is adorned with beautiful art work on tile, which date back to 1349-1350 CE, making it a monumental site.
Back in the day each copper Ceēnie was hand crafted right in the heart of the Bazaar as coppersmiths would lay their raw canvas of a Ceēnie on a shared tool similar to a hinge and would hammer them, perfecting each handmade Ceēnie to reach its design potentials. Today the loud noise of this process is a threat to the upkeep of the historic mosque and its fragile structure. As an alternative, machine-made Ceēnies are privately hammered in each individual store to add final touches and unique details in order to maintain the authenticity and originality of the copper treys.
Initially I was devastated to learn of the contrast between handmade and machine-made ceēnies. The making of those specialty items are no longer completed via their traditional process. The nostalgic and friendly experience of all the coppersmiths that shared one hinge are somewhat forgotten. However, with candor I must admit that after witnessing the beauty of the old Mosque I too understood the importance of preservation and now have respect for the evident changes of time and modification of culture.
So to end a story that was planned to be short and sweet, which ended up being more sweet than short: I felt the urge to share this unique first experience with you to explain how the concept of Ceēnie was born. After my day trip to the Vakil-Bazaar I decided to extend my stay for another day in order to source a few of the beautiful copper treys and re-introduce them to the West by sharing their original story and making them accessible to the homes of art lovers and unique decor enthusiasts.