Papier Mache of Ujjain - Craft That Brings Artefacts to Life



Papier Mache of Ujjain

Papier Mache is an art that involves the use of paper pulp mixed with the adhesive to create an artefact or decorative article. It is a popular craft practiced around the world and in Ujjain city of Madhya Pradesh.


Regenerated from waste, transformed into attractive collectables, the eco-friendly art of papier mache truly reflects the green design. Local artists practicing in Ujjain find ways to create objects that can have the precision of machines with minimum use of energy and resources. This shows how seamlessly and magically craftsmen can capture impressions of wild creatures into beautiful objects of art.


The making of Papier Mache artefacts

 Scarp paper, glue and chalk powder constitute the main ingredients in the mixture that brings the best out of the waste. Papers are socked in the water for a few days and when they turn soft, mashed into a pulp which is later dried. The dry pulp is either used or stored for future use. When needed, the dry paper mash is socked in water again and mixed with glue and chalk powder to get the dough.


Craftsmen create moulds of Plaster of Paris to provide the desired structure. For that, the dough of papier-mache is flattened into thick sheets and placed in the moulds. After drying in the natural heat of the sun, the moulded pieces are smoothened with sandpaper, then painted with vibrant colours.


Involves great precision

The creation includes masks of animals, statues of gods but the main artefact that brings the life into this craft is the bird. Made in their actual sizes and painted in their true hues, no one can really tell a difference between these and real birds. The anatomical details, the pose, details of feathers, gradation of colours, and expressions are captured with great accuracy. One can buy these collectables from the local shops in Ujjain or by getting in touch with the artists.


Papier Mache articles are lightweight and travel-friendly thus, can be easily purchased and presented as souvenirs to family & friends