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KASHMIR PAPIER MACHE

Borders (Haashiya)

Earlier, in borders of ‘hashiya tasweer’ painting with borders, specimens of ‘khushkhati’, calligraphy, were mounted. These are painted with colours and in gold in delightful designs, in which flowering plant motifs form the basis.
Usually taking one flower or motif makes borders, from ‘hazara’ and repeating it again and again. But ‘gondur’, ‘bangibarg’ and islim are the ones used only in borders.
In spite of the stylization of various designs one finds that flowers used in ‘hazara’ and gul-i-wilayat are separately used to make a new pattern. Mainly there are three types of patterns- all over designs, which has no beginning or end throughout the surface; repeatable and mosaic.

The initial patterns and motifs used in Kashmir for papier mache must have followed a pattern, which was prevalent in most of the Islamic world. Subsequently, the naqash taking cue from the rich physical beauty of his native land evolved a host designs and patterns replete with a colour palette tampered by his local setting. The naqash was in turn influenced by motifs employed in other crafts of Kashmir. Thus where as one finds a very realistic rendering of various flowers; one also finds highly stylized representation of certain other natural objects, like the almond (badam) which he inherited from sozani and shawl craft. In case where the artist had large panels to work; figurative themes depicting animals, humans, lakes etc were employed. In case of smaller objects the tendency was to use floral or geometrical patterns in a highly miniaturized manner so as to cover every inch with a motif. This included elaborate designs built up in spiral with a certain motif radiating from the centre or simply a profusion of flowers upon flowers. In contemporary papier mache work a host of new element and motifs are being employed.

 

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