Friday, October 23, 2009

ART OF PAPIER MACHE IN KASHMIR











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“I am here Dear. How nice to see you People out so early from the bank today

Said Sadiq Ali from Hassnabad Rainawari. We met him At Raina’s News agency near Poloview Srinagar . Raina News Agency was exactly near Mahhata’s Photoshop .Many residents of Srinagar used to go to this shop to buy English News papers . So did Sadiq Ali .He would subscribe to Times of India ( Bombay Edition ) .Sadiq Sahib always used a particular brand of Heavy perfume, which to our knowledge, no one used in Kashmir valley . That made us to sense his presence around. Sadiq Ali’s Father ( Jaffar Ali ) was a renowned Papier Mache artist of Kashmir . Some of us in the bank got attracted to his affable mannerism , Literary temper and in depth study of history and events that shaped the destiny of the subcontinent and more precisely Kashmir .Sadiq Sahib loved music , dressed well and read lot of books , magazines and Travalogues . He was an ace photographer . He had liberal outlook .He married a girl from south Africa .. He loved dogs . The notice board outside his Government accommodation in Gandhi Nagar Jammu still warns “ BEWARE OF DOGS ”. One fine morning Sadiq sahib was nominated as MLC. I know he deserved much more from powers that be . He was treated shabbily. He still does not have any grievance and malice.

Meri Zabaan Pe Shikwaa e Ahl e Sitam Nahin

Mujh Ko Jagaa Diyaa , Yehi Ahsaan Kam Nahin.

( Jigar Moradabaadi )

I happen to be privy to another facet of his personality .He literally fought to get a kashmiri Pandit boy from Rainawari appointed as a clerk in Legislative council . The boy had lost his mother to cancer. I also knew his younger brothers . Immediate younger one to Sadiq Ali ( I do not remember this name ) looked after the business .The youngest Manzoor was Jovial , affectionate and dashingly smart . The family had a white horse . Manzoor spoke fluent English and enjoyed horse rides.

It is only through this family that I got introduced to the art of Papier Mache. They ran their business under the name and style of JAFFER ALI ARTIST , Hassnabad Rainawari .

Kashmir Papier Mache is a traditional craft among Shiite Muslims of the valley. It was possibly introduced in Kashmir in 15th century by Artisans from Central Asia ( Samarkand ) .Pulp is made of paper soaked in water for about five weeks .This pulp is then made to dry in open sunshine . This dried paper is powdered and mixed with rice water so that it can easily coagulate . This mixture is then put in moulds .Papier mache objects are then released from these moulds once they get shaped ,and become dry.These objects are then given two rough coats of coloured paint . The objects are made smooth with pumice stones and again coated with Glue and fine tissue paper .a fine razor blade is then used to remove Bumps on the surface .Now joins a team of very skilled artist for finishing the objects. They again give a base coat with paint and the master artist beautifully sketches details on each object with a soft hair brush. Another artist colours the sketches with poster paints . This is followed by drying prior to which two coats of Varnish are also applied . Thereafter artists also add 22 Karat gold or silver outlines to the sketches . The object is again given a coat of Varnish to make it appear glossy. The inner surfaces are coated with black paint .The object is now ready with floral designs , Birds ,Maple leaves , animals almond eyed women , other motifs and Mughal period images .

. Objects made through this process represent beautiful Talcum Powder boxes , Jewelry boxes , Bangles , Table lamps , Decoration Material , Flower vases . Wall Hangings , Trays , Photo frames ,Bowls , Cups , Containers , Coasters , Letter Holders and pen boxes .

Papier Mache of Kashmir ( Having strong Persian flavor ) has good market in Europe , USA , Australia and some Asian countries . Lately the domestic market in INDIA is also expanding . Tourist coming to Kashmir necessarily shop for Talcum or jewelry boxes and bangles from Papier Mache shops .Enjoy views of some Papier Mache objects taken by me . As usual I need to spice the post with some poetry .

.

Mashvare ( Suggestions )

1 Pirii ( Old age )

Ye Aandhi Ye Tufaan ye tez Dhaare

Kadakate Tamaashe , Garajte Nazaare

Andheri Fazaa Saans Letaa Samandar

Na Humraah Mishaal Na Garduun Pe Taare

Musaafir Khadaa Reh Abhi Jee ko Maare

2 Shabaab ( Youth )

Usii Kaa Hai Saahil Usii Ke Kagaare

Talaatum Me Phuns kar Jo Do Haath Maare

Andheri Fazaa Saans Letaa Samandar

Yuun Hee sar Patakate Rahenge ye Dhaare

Kahaan Tak Chalegaa Kinaare Kinaare

( Kaifi Azmi )

( Fazaa means environment ,

Humraah means fellow traveler ,

Garduun means Sky ,

Talatum means Tumult or high Disturbance in sea

Mishaal or Mashaal means some source of light or visibility )

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CHINAR SHADE by Autarmota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.
Based on a work at http:\\autarmota.blogspot.com\.

5 comments:

  1. Mota sahib.
    I have for the first time seen a papermachie SAMAVAR from your photographs, all of which are capitivating.An excellent post.

    ReplyDelete
  2. How can you tell if a table lamp is an authentic jaffer ali hand crafted piece?

    ReplyDelete
  3. we are manufacturers of kashmiri papier machie items ..............very authentic designs and products

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for sharing a such wonderful Information. For more Paper Mache visit :- website www.GudIndia.com also offers a vast variety of exclusive goodies appeasing the men and women closets with cosy Cashmere Jackets, or entrancing Pashmina shawls, propounds for Home décor including the Paper Mache, Walnut Wood and other handicrafts and artefacts and adds opulence to the Gourmet sensualising the taste buds with Walnuts, Apricots, Saffron, and many more epicurean ingredients.

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