In India, you will find a variety of art and crafts, and every art has its own unique story. Every art has its own culture and style of creation just like Paper Mache. But the most interesting thing about this art is how it is made. From waste paper to a beautiful wonder of décor, the journey has its own story.
How it started…
Kashmir is the hub of first paper mache industry. The very first market was seeded by Sultan Zain-ul-Abedin in 1417-67 AD. When he was imprisoned in the land of Samarkand, the first time he saw this art and when he returned, he brings back artisans to develop crafts and introduce new trades in India. These artisans were highly skilled in calligraphy, which made the work of this art more intricate and fine.
These artisans later become famous and the art reached to the doors of King Akbar. Akbar appraised the art and honored one of the artisans with the title ‘Golden Pen’. The paper was the main demand of in the creation of this art.
Making of Paper Mache
The creation of this beautiful art is divided into two groups of people. First ones are Sakhtasaz, who makes the object with paper pulp. The second ones are the Naqqash, one who creates the ornamentation of the surface with colors.
The first group prepares a paper pulp by manually pounding a mixture of discarded paper and later are mixed with the straw of rice plant, copper sulfate. And then whatever shape is required this thick solution is poured into the mold and then are left for drying. After that, it is carefully detached and rejoined using strong gum.
For sturdiness layers of gums and mixtures are applied and in end rubbed with hands for a smooth texture. And later it is hand painted by the artisans. Highly skilled artisans paint the artifacts with beautiful colors. In most of the artifacts, you will see the classy royal Mughlai touch.
You can find it at…
Nowadays there is a huge market for this exclusive art. Still, the main hub of this art is Kashmir. You will find different- different artifacts like bangle box, mukhwas box, jewelry box, table lamps, and many more décor items. These products are still exclusive because they are made from hands and are painted with extreme fineness. Exploring the local market is the best option for buying.