SOFREHS CREATED AFTER THE PUBLICATION OF THE BOOK
Clematis & Ranunculi
This enchanting arrangement, which is inspired by a bouquet of clematis and ranunculi, alludes to a Persian marriage sofreh (sofreh-ye aqd). Lengths of exquisite antique Persian textile (termeh) in yellow tones, with intricate embroidery and borders, offer the perfect background and backdrop for this delightful sofreh.
Blue White Gold
This striking, yet serene and soft Persian marriage sofreh (sofreh-ye aqd), arranged in front of a fireplace with blue and white ceramic tiles, complements that colour scheme. The predominant element is a length of exquisite antique Persian brocade in blue, with antique-gold accents.
Echoes of Sofreh-ye aqd
Once again the wedding season is upon us. Throughout the month of May 2021 a variety of compact compositions were designed, echoing the Persian marriage sofreh (sofreh-ye aqd). In each case the sublime flowers, which take centre stage, have been the inspiration for creating the arrangements.
The humble garlic (sir, in Persian) is one of the symbolic elements included in the sofreh-ye Nowruz (haft sinn), which starts with the letter “s”. It is prized for its medicinal qualities, and is believed to have evil-averting powers. In the following compact arrangements, alluding to the sofreh-ye haft sinn, its aesthetic qualities have been wonderfully exploited.
Simple Ideas for Sofreh, 2021
The following two compact compositions, with two very different colour schemes, spirits and appearances, allude to a Persian marriage sofreh (sofreh-ye aqd) or Nowruz sofreh (sofreh-ye haft sinn).
Art Deco Box
This theatrical miniature sofreh is inspired by a silver art deco box which acts as a candleholder and supports the mirror mosaic. The bouquet of delicate roses, known as Chiffon, and fine asparagus ferns takes centre stage. A length of ivory and gold silk with a paisley (boteh) design is elegantly draped over the surface. Fragments of lace and antique-gold trim, tassels, leaves of ivy and sprigs of asparagus fern enhance the beauty of the composition. A few of the symbolic elements of the Persian marriage sofreh (sofreh-ye aqd), including sheaves of wheat, decorated eggs, sugared almonds, crystal sugar, gilded coins, rosewater and flames are imaginatively presented.
This is a colourful and ornate arrangement, including a few of the symbolic elements of the Persian marriage sofreh (sofreh-ye aqd). The creation was inspired by an impressive bouquet of Wave Classica, a variety of Japanese Lisianthus, and foliage. The mirror and the candelabra, which are part of the traditional Persian marriage sofreh, are antique and in the European style.
In anticipation of Nowruz, this delightful sofreh was created, incorporating some of the symbolic elements of the sofreh-ye haft sinn. This original three-level composition is illuminated with numerous tea lights. Germinated wheat (sabzeh), spring flowers (hyacinths and tulips), an apple, and ceramic and fresh pomegranates are elegantly displayed. Statuettes of fish substitute live goldfish. Variegated trailing ivy, an impressive antique, carved-wood bow, and several pieces of antique textiles and embroideries enhance the beauty of this enchanting sofreh.
SOFREH as a Gift
The following compositions were especially designed to introduce the book on social media as a gift for different occasions. The posts present the book as a two-volume, lavishly illustrated publication which makes an enduring gift for those interested in art, culture and design. They also add that SOFREH includes many decorating ideas in the Persian spirit, as well as images of exquisite textiles, rare manuscripts and imaginative floral designs. To order your copy, please go to THE BOOK page.
Christmas Versus Nowruz
December, 2019. This unconventional and original sofreh is inspired by Christmas ornaments such as pine cones, nuts, and holly and pine sprigs, as well as the symbolic elements of sofreh-ye Nowruz (haft sinn) such as germinated wheat (sabzeh), spring flowers (hyacinths and tulips), apples and pomegranates.
As the “Seven Steps” sofreh was well received, here the display has been presented on seven levels/steps. The first two images showcase the overall composition from two different views—from above and from below—which reveal a fascinating contrast.
Shab-e Yalda, Winter Solstice
December, 2019. Shab-e Yalda, or the winter solstice, is the longest night of the year. It is the eve of 1 Dey in the Persian calendar, corresponding to 21 December. The feast of Yalda originates in the pre-Islamic period and is associated with agriculture. Red fruits—watermelons and pomegranates—are important components of this celebration, heralding the crimson hues of sunrise after absolute darkness, and the promise of longer days ahead. In the Persian tradition people get together, tea, sweets, fruits and nuts are served, and stories and poetry are recited, to get through the darkest and longest night of the year, when it is believed that demons are most active.
October, 2019. Jashn-e Mehregan is an Iranian festival which is apparently dedicated to the god of Mithra (Mehr). To read more, please visit http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/mehragan. Very briefly, in the Persian culture, Mehregan is believed to have the same significance as Nowruz, with Nowruz signalling the beginning of spring and Mehregan marking the arrival of autumn. The celebrations, which have their origins in the pre-Islamic period and are associated with agriculture and harvest, are usually held between 16 and 21 Mehr in the Persian calendar, which correspond to 8 and 13 October. Presently, sofreh is not part of the Mehregan customs, though apparently in the past it was. To mark the occasion, here is a sofreh showcasing a contemporary interpretation of past practices.
Simple Ideas for Marriage Sofreh, 2019
The following arrangements, which allude to a marriage sofreh (sofreh-ye aqd), present some quite simple decorating ideas. They have been inspired by a variety of alluring flowers with distinct and different textures, colours and forms.
Secret Garden Rose
This dainty sofreh incorporates a single open rose, known as Secret Garden, and a few sprigs of asparagus fern. They are placed in a 19th-century Bohemian emerald green vase, with gold decoration and a medallion with hand-painted floral design. A pair of silver candle holders and a piece of antique lace are included in this natural and quiet arrangement.
Country Garden Roses
Here is another simple suggestion for decorating a marriage sofreh. It comprises only three stems of a new variety of rose, mixed with foliage. A draped crêpe-like, antique gold-coloured textile covers the vase and the surface. The arrangement is illuminated with a pair of antique gold-coloured candles and a flame, shimmering inside a lantern. Fabrics, flowers and flames are paramount in decorating a sofreh.
Hydrangeas & Lace
This is a simple suggestion, incorporating a low, rectangular, modern glass vase of hydrangeas and asparagus ferns, placed on a lavishly draped, light green raw silk. The arrangement is subtly illuminated with a pair of candelabra, and gracefully draped with a length of antique lace.
Juliet Roses & Lace
This composition is a variation on the sofreh with hydrangeas. The lavishly draped green silk forms the background. Here roses in a white, modern, upright vase have replaced the hydrangeas in a glass rectangular vase. The same candelabra illuminate the flowers, and the gracefully draped length of antique lace enhances the beauty of the arrangement. Again the importance of fabrics, flowers and flames is demonstrated in this simple arrangement.
Piano Garden Roses, Silver & Gold
These lovely garden roses, known as Piano, are at the heart of this original sofreh, which is arranged on an acrylic table, placed over a lavishly draped, crêpe-like silver textile. Several lengths of gold tulle adorn the arrangement and a fragment of lace partially covers the table. The sofreh is subtly illuminated by the flames of the tea lights in silver containers and in the “pocket” of the table. A silver bottle of rosewater perfumes the air.
New Ideas for the Wedding Season, 2019
Spring/Summer, 2019. The wedding season is upon us. A selection of new design ideas for the marriage sofreh (sofreh-ye aqd) have been added to this page. Here are two introductory images of decorated miniature sugarloaves (kalleh qand), presented on two different antique Persian textiles. Sugarloaves reflect an aspiration for a sweet and harmonious married life.
Lace & Pearl Diamond Rose
This soft compact marriage sofreh juxtaposes the beauty of European antique lace with the striking effect of the silk, satin and velvet handmade bonbonnières, in the Persian spirit. A silver box holds an arrangement of ivory spray roses and foliage. Two pairs of silver candelabra flank the flowers. Some other symbolic elements included are ceramic pomegranates, sugared almonds, bunches of wheat and gilded coins.