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Madhubani painting is a folk art from the Madhubani district of Bihar that has now become popular all over the country thanks to craft exhibitions and the Internet. Recently there was a workshop in the city done by a woman from Bihar as part of a Govt initiative. A lot of women had signed up thinking it was fabric painting class ( Madhubani saris are a rage and quite expensive). So it came as a huge disappointment to realize at the venue that the workshop was mostly about working with paper mache and less about painting. However I must admit that those of us who completed the five day course came out very content at having learned a new way to reuse old newspapers, at having learned this new art and also at having made new friends!

The raw materials needed are:

  • Old News papers soaked in water for 2 days.
  • fevicol
  • Multani Mitti ( A kind of fine powdered clay that is found in most beauty/hobby shops.

About a kilo of the soaked newspaper is is mixed with 50 gm of fevicol and 250 grams of the clay powder. This mixture is then kneaded and pounded till it is smooth and is devoid of lumps and can be rolled like a soft dough.

This dough can then be used to mould any shape and form. The whole process of shaping happens over 3-4 days of adding on the dough, smoothing and drying. the final product is then coated with a thin layer of clay mixed with water.


After the final drying the bowls are painted on. Traditionally the painting is done with natural colours but we used acrylic.


Here are 2 of my own creations ,


I made this bowl as part of the workshop
20140829_223031This pin cushion was made with paper mache bowl with Madhubani painting.