Technique: Papier Mache
THE TECHNIQUE : PAPIER MACHE
Papier mache is a French phrase meaning "mashed paper." The process begins with disintegrated newspaper, which is broken down and combined with straw and cloth to form a pulp. The pulp is molded into the desired shape, and several layers are applied to create the proper thickness. The pulp is allowed to dry, then coated with a thick glue to smooth and secure the surface of the papier mache. Finally, an artisan applies multiple layers of tissue paper, creating a smooth surface and securing against cracks.
After the papier mache has been formed, the painting process begins. An artisan first applies a base color, setting the backdrop for a beautiful decorative design. Talented painters create complex designs using non-toxic paint, without the use of stencils or decals. Traditional Indian designs typically feature natural motifs, such as birds, flowers, and animals. The beautiful motifs make each box a treasure that reflects the rich historical narrative of Indian papier mache.
The art of papier maché originated in Persia but made it's way to India centuries ago, becoming a mainstay in Indian culture and craft beginning in the 15th century. Matr Boomie employs artisans in Kashmir that rely on this craft to provide for themselves and their families.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ARTISAN
Matr Boomie, formally Handmade Expressions is a sourcing partner for socially and environmentally responsible products. They work with underprivileged and disadvantaged artisans in India and strive to improve their economic and social standing by creating self-sustainable employment following fair trade practices. They partner with grass-root level NGOs and artisan cooperatives and help them create high quality handmade goods. They empower the artisans with market and fashion information that allow them to create functional products. At the same time, they encourage them to use natural fibers and recycled material wherever possible.