Anubha Karn,

Madhubani District, Bihar

About Anubha Karn,

"Anubha Karn is a third generation Papier Mache artist and Madhubani painter from Madhubani district of Bihar. She had the privilege to learn this craft from her grandmother, the legendary “Subhadra Devi”. Subhadra Devi is a living legend and is credited as the “mother” of this craft form. She was honored for this craft with a State award in 1980 and with national award in 1992. Anubha fondly remembers the early days of her training under the supervision of her grandmother. She started by learning to make the clay and paper pulp. Even though it was a tedious and labor intensive process, her grandmother made her do it for months till she became an expert. It was fascinating as a child for her to see her grandmother work and under her expert supervision and months of hard work; Anubha mastered the techniques of this craft form. Today she, along with her husband manages a small cluster of artisans where they make beautiful, high quality Papier Mache products.
Their primary markets are various Shilpa Bazar and trade fairs across the country."

"The rich culture and traditions of the state of Bihar have nurtured various crafts from times immemorial. Of the many interesting crafts of Bihar,
Madhubani Papier Mache holds a special place in the eyes and minds of art lovers Papier Mache, a French term for “chewing paper “ is an age
-old craft practiced in various regions of India like Kashmir, Odisha, Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar each having their own appeal and splendor.
However, the simplicity, rawness and folk appeal of Paper Mache from Bihar remains unmatched. The beauty of this craft lies in the ornamentation through the popular Madhubani Art. The Vibrant painting style and the alluring texture of this craft makes it unique and captivating. The process involves making paper pulp by soaking newspaper, Multani Mitti, Adhesive and Fenugreek powder for a few days in water. Products are created using this pulp and left to dry. Most of the objects are either hand molded or created using molds from everyday objects hence no two objects found can be similar. The object is then further layered 3- 4 times with
Multani mitti and paper mix to create a smooth and level base for painting. The last step involves decoration with the Madhubani style of Painting.
The craftsmen use bold black outlines ‘Kachni’ and vivid colours to fill in
between making the object vibrant and striking. The most common motifs are
derived from nature such as trees, flowers, birds, Gods and Goddesses etc.
Most of the motifs reflect the strong traditions and rich culture of the Mithila
region Of Bihar.
Traditionally, Paper Mache was used to create objects related to Mythology
and for Wedding Ceremonies. Lately, the technique has expanded to create
objects of utility like office stationeries, pen stand, holders and lamps etc."

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