The Criteria of the World Crafts Council Award of Excellence for Handicrafts and the Wooden Works of Abdol- Rahim Foroutan: A Comparative Case-Study

Document Type : Research Article


1 M.A in Research Art, Faculty of Art, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Ahvaz, Iran.

2 Assistant Prof, Faculty of Art, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Ahvaz, Iran.


Statement of the problem: Handicrafts are particularly important in terms of symbolic meaning they convey. This symbolic meaning, however, is in turn rooted in their authenticity. In the present study, first the criteria for measuring authenticity of handicrafts are addressed and then the extent to which these criteria, as set by the World Craft Council, have been respected in the wooden works of Abdol -Rahim Foroutan is examined. Foroutan is an artist craftsman in Dezful who makes wooden works by woodturning and is the holder of World Crafts Council Award of Excellence for Handicrafts. The main questions of the study include 1) what are the criteria of authenticity for handicrafts as set forth by the World Crafts Council? and 2) to what extent such criteria have been respected in Foroutan’s works?
Hypothesis: This study is to inform handicraft makers and all those who are interested in handicrafts of such criteria set forth by the World Craft Council so that they are encouraged to raise the authenticity of their works. The final result is expected to remain the special place of handicrafts and the economic benefit is created for the handicraft makers.
Research objective: This study is qualitative in nature and has been conducted comparatively. First, the criteria for measuring authenticity of a handicraft, set forth by the World Craft Council, have been addressed and then the extent to which the intended criteria have been satisfied in the works of artist Foroutan has been examined. Then, the results were analyzed descriptively. The data were gathered from library sources, accredited databases as well as field studies.
Results: The results indicated that nearly all criteria set forth by the World Craft Council for an authentic handicraft have been present in Foroutan’s works. These criteria included respecting copyright, originality of the initial concept, social rights (such as commitment to considering the workers’ rights by the employer and working safety), training the volunteers to learn the art of woodturning, high quality of the materials used, taking into account cultural identity and aesthetic concerns, respecting environmental concerns (for example using one-piece wood without using chemicals like wood adhesive and the likes), management of waste, creating competitive potential in international markets (marketing) and planting Indian rosewood trees in the region.


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