KUTCHI MURAL WORK FROM GUJARAT- II
We had a talk about Mud-Mirror Work or Lipan kaam and Bhunga Mud House in our previous posts in detail. They contributes to the rich folk heritage of Gujarat. The art originates from the Rabari community of Gujarat but has now gained vast popularity and practiced elaborately by Modern artisans and art lovers.
Traditional work is done on walls and floors and doorways etc. But new concept of Mud- mirror work has been introduced in commercial markets. Lets see the modern twists in exclusive folk art of Lipan-
MODERN DAYS MUD-MIRROR WORKS:
With the passage of time, intricate work of Lipan is recreated by craftsmen to make them handy for Indian contemporary home décor. Now as the mud-mirror work is available in frames/wooden panels, this stunning art finds its way to the modern markets and online-stores and achieved its place in the form of a wall décor in homes and workplaces.
Replacing the pungent-smelling materials (dung) with new materials like chalk powder, sawdust and the plywood or hardboard used for base makes them durable, washable , waterproof and non-breakable. Modern mud mirror work offer vibrant colors in clay base and often customizable as per customer need.
PROCESS OF MUD MIRROR WORK/ LIPAN :
BINDING AGENT :
Locally available camel or donkey dung is mostly used with clay as a binding agent. Sometimes husk of millet is used as an alternative to the dung. The dung attracts termites, but husk does not.
MAKING DOUGH :
Fine clay is mixed with the dung in equal proportion and kneaded thoroughly to form a smooth dough for lipan. Clay is mixed with water to make it soft and pliable and then rolled into long cylindrical pieces.
PREPARING BOARD :
The canvas i.e. wooden board or panel or wall is first moistened with water. Artwork starts by creating a well define border by using the dough which marks the boundary of the artwork.
PREPARING MOTIFS :
Artist then start preparing different patterns and motifs. Mostly freehand, the clay mixture is shaped into beautiful patterns by using palm and fingers. Mirrors and other accessories are also incorporated at this point.
SUN DRYING :
The work is finally placed outside in sun, to make it dry for almost 4-5 days. Light moisture is applied time to time to the long pieces of clay to prevent them from crack while being applied on to the design .
THE FINAL OUTCOME :
Authentic Lipan is mostly all white or in shades of neutrals but occasionally bright colors like red and green are painted on the dried clay work.
FUNCTIONALITY OF LIPAN :
Lipan is not only decorative but functional. It serves other purposes like-
- INSULATOR– Lipan, when done on the outer walls of the homes acts as an insulator. It reflects heat, thus keep the interior of the home cool.
- IMPROVE LIGHT– Lipan inside the home, creates a beautiful light effect. A single lamp is enough to lighten the room because the glittering mirrors on lipan reflects good amount of light.
- EMPOWERING WOMEN: Lipan work is usually done by the women of the community. They work together, sing songs, and spend quality time with each other while creating amazing pieces of lipan. Some women even sell their artwork and open up new income souces for themselves.
SIMPLE DIY TUTORIAL :
So, do try this amazing DIY Lippan art at home. Take pride in celebrating the rich heritage of our country and encourage the local art and artisans by appreciating their work.
In every aspect Lipan is a perfect artwork to be cherished. This sense of community and heritage makes Lipan even more special. It is one of the finest examples of improvised creativity that make Lipan popular in both rural and urban platforms.
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IMAGE SOURCES: WIKIMEDIA, D’SOURCE, INDIAMART