Kashmir is home to some of the most popular and Luxurious handicrafts around the world and a significant source of Income to many God-gifted Kashmiri artisan Hands. One of the famous artworks from Kashmir is called Kashmiri Papier-mâché which is a rich and luxurious ornament with rich and long cultural lineage.
These works date back to the 14th century when Islam first arrived in Kashmir. The descendants of the Prophet who went with Syed Ali Hamdani from different parts of the world like Persia, Iraq etc. They brought with them a group of artisans and craftspeople who breathed new life into the declining art of Kashmir.
Papier-mâché is one such art that has remained in the hands of artisans through the generations.
What is a Papier-mâché also written as paper mache?
Also called Papier Mâché in the French language, the papier is a word for ‘Chewed paper Mâché is used to describe materials that are mainly made from paper or pulp mixed with glue or other materials. Examples of these materials include bowls, puppets, and more.
It is a Kashmiri recipe process where paper pulp is made by soaking it in water for several days. The paper pulp is then crushed in a mortar to create a uniform texture. After that, the pulp is mixed with a mixture of rice and water. The artist then moulds the pulp while it is slightly wet.
The finished product goes through a smoothing process and is polished with a stone or clay. Finally, the object is Lacquered with lacquer.
The subsequent stage Naqashi is when a lot of layering and detailing is completed. Painting the Paper Mache object with a base coat is the first stage. After that the artist meticulously uses his hands to make designs, considering the intricacy of the required patterns. Traditionally, the designers use dyes from organic minerals. Also, additional procedures are used, which add the lengths and time required for the full Paper Mache production process.
These pieces painstakingly illustrate a few recurrent themes and patterns. They include intricate calligraphic motifs as well as floral and naturalistic designs.
Honestlop provides a variety of authentic Kashmiri Papier-mâché collection you can browse and buy here.