Thursday Challenge – Crafts

It’s a Crafty Thursday. Yes, the theme for this Thursday Challenge is Crafts as in Supplies, Knitting, Crocheting, Woodworking, Pottery, Painting,…

And I am sharing a wonderful and beautiful craft of Kashmir… the Papier Mache.
Papier mache is a delicate decorative art which shows the artistic zeal of a craftsman. This art was introduced in Kashmir in the 15th Century by a Kashmiri Prince who spent years in prison at Samarkand in Central Asia. The art born in the land of Persia was highly favored by Mughal Emperors of 15th and 16th Century.

The first step involved in making Papier-Mache objects, is to soak paper in water till it disintegrates. This paper is pounded and mixed with an adhesive solution. The resultant pulp is shaped over moulds and allowed to dry and set. Once the desired object is ready, artisans draw intricate designs on these objects. The golden color is widely used, usually as a base for other designs in vibrant colors. Once the design is drawn the entire object is varnished to give it a smooth finish. Finally these objects are coated with lacquer. This coating of lacquer protects them from water and gives them extra durability.

Papier Mache, today, has become highly stylized and appealing by using real gold and silver paint and by adding intricate decorations. The designs and decorations of the Kashmiri Papier Mache, usually in the form of flowers and birds, have a strong Persian flavor.

The Papier Mache objects produced in Kashmir today vary from Christmas ornaments to coasters and include boxes of every imaginable size and shape. These objects are not only beautifully decorated, but are surprisingly light and strong.

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