Papier Mache is a delicate decorative art which reflects the artistic zeal of a craftsman. It is one of the most beautiful handicrafts of Kashmir. It was introduced in the valley in the fifteenth century.
The durability of paper overlaid with the luxury of lacquer makes a timeless centerpiece. It is made up of mashed paper and adhesive, which one cannot say by just looking at it. To make it one needs to soak paper in water for days till it falls to pieces.
Once done, this paper is crushed and mixed with an adhesive solution, which is then given different shapes over moulds. It is left in moulds for 2-3 days. Once, it takes shape, another layer is applied fresh either sculpted or embossed by hand. Later, this final product is dried and passed to another artisan who beautifully paints it with different designs. Occasionally with the use of clay artists raise certain design giving it 3D look. On completion, it is polished and varnished.
After passing through the hands of several artists and craftsmen, each specializing in a specific layer of the process, an object of exquisite beauty comes to life.
This richly decorated, colorful crafts comes in varied designs, colors and artwork - generally in the form of vases, bowls, or cups (with and without metal rims), boxes, trays, bases of lamps, and many other small objects.