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Published in 2012 by: Banasthali University, Banasthali Institute of Design Printed by: Conceived by: Graphic Design Students | V Semester | 2012 Banasthali Institute of Design Banasthali University, Rajasthan Editor and Project Mentor: Kanupriya Taneja Designed by: Alka Rani Anita Yadav Gargi Singh Texts, Photographs and Graphics: Students of Banasthali Institute of Design All rights reserved under international copyright conventions. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any other information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from Banasthali Institute of Design, Banasthali University, Newai, Rajasthan.


Chewed Paper Craftt


Acknowledgement About Banasthali University Foreword

Introduction |10

History |16

Raw Material | 20

Process | 22

Mural Work | 26

Final Products | 32

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT We would like to express our gratitude to Banasthali Institute of Design for giving us a platform to showcase our talent. We take immense pleasure in thanking Dr. Himadri Ghosh-Director of Banasthali Institute of Design, Prof. K.D. Joshi-Head of the Department BID for giving us many opportunitites to learn and grow. Further, we would also like to thank our mentor for the book design project, Ms. Kanupriya Taneja- Associate Professor (Communication Design) and mentor for this project for her constant support, effort and guidance throughout this project. Special thanks to Mr. Amit KharsaniGraphic Designer and Guest Faculty at many prestegious institutes for his feedback and support. We would like to extend our thanks to all the students who have contributed their photographs in this book. Our deepest thanks to the mentor of the papier-mâchÊ workshop - Mr. Virendra Sharma, who motivated and guided us that led to the successful completion of the tasks.


ABOUT BANASATHALI UNIVERSITY Banasthali University was founded on October 6, 1935 by Smt. Ratan Shastri and Pandit Hiralal Shastri. Banasthali is one of the five universities in India meant exclusively for women having 11,000 students studying various courses on a campus spread over 850 acres of land. Banasthali’s educational programme aims at the all-round develoment of the student’s personality. To achieve its objective of ‘synthesis of spiritual values and scientific achievements of the east and the west,’ it has evolved Five-Fold Educational Programme (Panchmukhi Shiksha) consisting of the following aspects: (i) Physical (ii) Practical (iii) Aesthetic (iv) Moral (v) Intellectual. This way the students develop an integrated and balanced personality. Banasthali has been accredited by National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) with ‘A’ Grade (Five Star Rating). Banasthali is a recipient of SANTBAL award in the year 2000 for the services in the field of all round education of women. Banasthali Institute of Design is a unique institution that addresses the needs of design education. Banasthali Institute of Design formally commenced on 6th July, 2011.The former department of Textile Designing which

existed since 1980 as a part of Faculty of Fine Arts was later merged into Banasthali Institute of Design. Apart from the existing BA & MA courses in Textile Designing, other courses being offered are B.Des (Fashion & Lifestyle Design and Communication Design). Field trips and study tours are also organized to give maximum exposure to students in the area of study. Apart from the regular programmes, the institute in its endeavour for the holistic development of its students organizes different types of workshops on regular basis. During the academic years 2010-2012, BID conducted various workshops, guided by some of the eminent designers from around the country. The main objective of the workshops was to enhance the skills of students further and give them the required exposure. Workshops were not a part of the regular course but introduced for the rounded development of the students of BID. In this book we are showcasing the workshop on papier-mâché which was organised by the institute which resulted in some very beautiful creations by the students.

FOREWORD Virtually everyone has worked on papiermâché at one time or another, but very few people know how to make the most of this craft. Papier-mâché has tremendous scope for creativity. With its wide variety of sculptural treatments and finishing techniques, it satisfies the scluptor, the painter and the craftsman. This book projects the papier-mâché craft. It showcases the products made with papiermâché ranging from the simple to the complex products. There are coloured images of decorative and functional articles in this book. The objetcive of creating this book is to document the craft as well as the workshop in which students learnt about the papier-mâché craft.

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rt of papier-mâché is appreciated all over the world for its painstaking craftsmanship and unique sense of beauty. Papier-mâché (French term for ‘chewed paper’), alternatively papier-mâché is a composite material consisting of paper pieces or pulp, sometimes reinforced with textiles, bound with an adhesive; such as glue, fevicol, starch, or wallpaper paste. Papier-mâché paste is the substance that holds the paper together. Traditional method of making papier-mâché paste is to use a mixture of water and flour or other starch. While any adhesive can be used if thinned to a similar texture, such as polyvinyl acetate based glues (wood glue, PVA glue or white Elmer’s glue), the flour and water mixture is the most economical. The paper is cut or torn into strips, and soaked in the paste until saturated. The saturated pieces are then placed onto the flat surface and allowed to dry slowly.

The strips may be placed on an armature, or skeleton, often of wire mesh over a structural frame, or they can be placed on an object to create a cast. Oil, grease or vasaline can be used as a release agent if needed. Once dried, the resulting material can be cut, sanded and/ or painted and waterproofed by painting with a suitable water repelling paint. On large scale papier-mâché toys are made during festival seasons to be sold at craft fairs. Masks of deities, demons and animals are made for local folk and classical dance. In the present world, market is full of plastics and composites, they are taking over the decorative and structural roles that papier-mâché used to play in the past and papier-mâché has become less of a commercial product. Still papier-mâché products are charming precisely for the reason that they have a raw, earthy and natural appeal.

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The pulp version is mostly used for modelling, while the torn paper is used to make layered papier-mâché products. Variations for special purposes incorporate other materials, such as sawdust, glue and oil. Papier-mâché is often shaped over something. Often it is placed over an underlying structure called armature that may or may not remain within the finished product. Armature is also constructed of materials such as wire, wood, or cardboard. Papier-mâché can also be constructed over balloons and properly prepared bowls and plates. Bowls and plates require coating with a release agent so that the papier-mâché can be easily separated from them. Some of the materials used for this purpose are plastic wrap, vaseline and cooking oil. Papier-mâché is an attractive medium for a number of reasons. It is lightweight, but can be formed into a sturdy product. It can be added to other constructions. It is inexpensive to make, and it can be decorated in a variety of ways.

Flower pot and bowl made by students.



apier-mâché is a delicate decorative art. This art of papier-mâché was born in Persia, a country known for bringing such a rich culture and heritage to the world. The influence of this Persian art was favoured greatly by Mughal emperors that came from Samarkand, Uzbekistan in Central Asia in the 15th and 16th century and ruled India for nearly 200-300 years. In Persia and Kashmir, papier-mâché has also been used to manufacture small painted boxes, trays, bowls and cases. In Japan and India, papier-mâché was used to add some decorative elements to armour and shields. In ancient Egypt, coffins and death masks were often made from cartonnage-layers of papyrus or linen covered with plaster. Though a lot can be written about the Mughal period in India, but one of their greatest contributions to Indian art and history was to introduce this delicate art of papier-mâché to Indian craftsmen.

India backed with 1000 years of its own rich art and culture which was just the oozing ground of talent and natural born artisans that these Mughal emperors could ever find. Intermingling this foreign art and talent and blending it with the creative and exotic styles of Indian art, a new form of art was born-the Indian art of papier-mâché. The Mughal emperors travelled to Kashmir, a serene, beautiful valley with lakes, meadows and pastures surrounded by these majestic snow clad mountain range - the Himalayas. Kashmir seemed the ideal place to cultivate this new art of papier-mâché. The surroundings harnessed the creativity and romance for this art and finally papier-mâché took its roots in the simple homes of these gentle people and thus - a new art form was born. Papier-mâché became the folk art of Kashmir. Passed down from generation to generation, son taking the place of his father and father taking place of his father this art has been handed down from family to family.

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Kashmiri craftsman have tried to maintain the culture of papier-mâché and to this day it is still being made by hand in these small home shops where families gather together and work on it and bring these beautiful creations to the world. But with the age of technology and fast paced economies, the art of papier-mâché has shown signs of decline. The new generation of Kashmiri’s are as worldy and knowledgeable as the rest of their peers and have not shown the inclination to preserve this art. However, as with anything else there is new awareness among the Kashmiri’s that this art needs to be preserved and brought out to the world to see and admire.

Some ancient articels made with Papeir Mache

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Raw Material and Tools


aw material used to create papier-mâché is easily available. The traditonal paper used for papier-mâché is newspaper but softer papers, like paper towels and even tissue paper can also be used. To make a great papier-mâché project firstly a base is needed to cover. Any existing base can be taken like a plate or bowl, or a base can be created using recycled materials such cardboard, balloons or empty packaging. Wet pulp is moulded freehand with glue. Sandpaper is used to give a finish. Most products are hand painted and decorated using decorative material which are readily available.




Newspaper and fuller’s earth

Khal Musal (stone) Wooden hammer Brushes Mixing bowl Sand Paper

Newspapers or waste papers Fuller’s earth Methi Powder (for fragrance and protection from insects), Fevicol or another adhesive

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apier-mâché is one of the most versatile yet under-used crafting material. It can be used to create various products by following a step by step process that is quite simple and inexpensive. But the process requires patience at each step.

Preparation of the Pulp The papier-mâché pulp is what gives all those fantastic projects their detail and dimension. To prepare papier-mâché pulp, tear (don’t cut) narrow strips of newspaper. Newspaper is cheap and it is a soft paper that is easy to bend and mold. The dry torn paper is soaked in water for about one or two days. After it has fragmented in the water, excess water is squeezed out. Then it is crushed in Khal musal, or beaten with a hammer, to make it into a paste. The finer the paper pulp, the smoother the finish. After this fuller’s earth is soaked in water for at least 24 hours. The paper, fuller’s earth, Methi powder and fevicol are mixed together and the papier-mâché pulp is ready to be moulded into beautiful articles.

Preapring the pulp

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Shaping the Objects Firstly the object to be made is decided and a mould is made accordingly which is used as a base. If the shape needs to be removed from the mould after drying, it must be covered with petroleum jelly to make it easier to remove. The basic method opted for making the papiermâchÊ objects is layering. The layering method involves pasting layers of paper pieces over a basic shape. The strips need to be overlapped slightly and slowly the torn edges will blend together and final product will have a smoother finish. The objects that is covered with strips of saturated paper is either smoothened over the surface for a smooth look or left wrinkled for a textured look. After adding the strips, the paper is smoothened to remove any air bubbles. While sticking paper it is important to criss-cross and overlap the paper strips so that each piece sticks to another. A balloon for many projects can also be used to create a hollow interior. Such technique is used to make objects like containers and masks. Using this technique studnts created variety of products which were both functional and aesthetic.

Some Products created by students

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uring the workshop, students also made two large murals of papier-mâché using a simple process which was also very cost effective. These murals were made under the guidance of Mr. Virendra Sharma and have been put up on the entrance wall of Shilp Mandir. These murals are charming precisely for the reason that they have a raw and earthy appeal.

Preparation of the Pulp for Mural Work To prepare papier-mâché pulp for mural work, the newspapers were ripped into pieces, covered with water, and kept undisturbed for a day. The wet newspapers and water was then put into a container and mashed. Some fuller’s earth was also mixed into the mash. All these ingredients were properly mashed with hands to produce the pulp. This pulp was used for preparing the mural base as well as for relief work.

Pulp being prepared

Mixing paper and Fuller’s earth

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Preparation of the Base For starting the mural work, initially a base had to be prepared using the pulp. For this, firstly, a cloth was taken and it was covered with newspaper and jute sheets. Then pulp was evenly spread over it to create a firm base for relief work.

Students preaping the base of mural under the guidance of mentor.

Relief Work After preparing the base, the relief work with papier-mâchÊ was started. An outline of the design was made using pencil and stencils for accuracy in creating motifs.

Creating motifs in relief

Painting and Decorating the Mural After the mural was thoroughly dry, it was decorated. It was made sure that all the layers were completely dry. As for applying paint or any other finish it is important that there is no dampness left inside otherwise the paint or other finish tends to rot. A papier mâchÊ product can be painted, sprayed with textured paint, decorated with any lightweight item from tissue paper to feathers, beads, rhinestones or stickers. The surface is very easy to paint, to which different patterns, bright colors and interesting designs can be added to make it look more attractive. It is important to keep in mind to paint the lighter colours first. That way you won’t go over edges with dark paint where it should be light. The participants of this workshop used small cut pieces of mirrors for the mural and pasted on the areas designated for such ornamentation. Sandpaper was used to give a finish. Thus using a simple and inexpensive process, anyone can make any product which is both attractive and cost effective.

Painted Products

Final Products


oulded object was taken out, smoothened, polished and coloured. All products were hand painted. Natural colours were used to colour the objects.These Objects had natural earthy look and colours were used to highlight the motifs. Masks of deities, demons and animals were made. The final result was both beautiful and cost effective.

Pen Holder


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Pen Stand

Tea Pot




Pen stand


Flower Vase

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Bibliography Websites: Books: Handmade in India-crafts of India Editors: Aditi Ranjan | M P Ranjan

Papier Mache Book  

I designed the book - Papier-Mâché during Publication Design course. The book documents the Papier-Mâché craft as well as the workshop held...