Lippan art is a clay art form from the state of Gujarat, India. Mud and Mirror Work is mainly done by the women of the Rabari community. They are nomadic pastoralists who moved to Kutch from Sindh 700-800 years ago. The women are so experienced in this art form that they usually don’t draw or trace a pattern before beginning work. Rabari is the pastoral community of Kutch, living in the outskirts of its villages.
It is mostly done by the village ladies from Kutch to decorate their homes. Traditionally lippan is made by adding mud and cow dung and done on the walls.
Lippan or mud-washing utilizing materials locally accessible in the area. It is combination of mud and camel dung. It keeps the insides of the houses cool. However the work is restricted principally to the inside walls, it tends to be tracked down on the external walls also. These shining wall paintings bring life, joy, and magnificence to the existence of individuals of Kutch.
If you are fan of Indian Bollywood movies you would recall Kareena Kapoor in movie “Refugee” taking this art form and decorating the walls of her home with a song on her lips while waiting Abhishek Bachchan in white salt desert. Surely audience loved those artistic walls.
Let’s learn a more contemporary way of lippan using 2 part polymer clay.
We will be using MDF board as the base. You can use 6mm boards of dimension 18inch x 18inch.
Also we will be using shilpkar clay which is a different version of m-seal. More white and nonstick.
Variety of glass pieces can be used for decoration and can be got from any art and craft store.
Also some acrylic paint to paint the creation.
Also used are some paint brushes and some cutting tools like ice cream sticks, toothpicks etc.
Take some lippan kaam images and draw onto your mdf board.
Developing the designs
Mix the 2 part clay by hand and start developing on the image drawn.
Roll it, press it, pinch it, tear it. Anything you want to do to make your art look great.
Now is the good time to embed the mirrors onto the clay. Mirrors of different shapes and designs can be used. design according to your creativity. You can glue them straight onto the mdf if required.
As the clay starts to solidify, use the glue to fix the clay in place, as the clay is non sticky.
When your art form has dried up properly go to the next step.
Use the white acrylic color to give a base coat onto the whole art form.
Actually you are done here. But we are making a contemporary lippan kaam, so we will make it more attractive.
Many of the unfinished lippan kaam panels when they are still in the drying phase. The base painting will be done as they dry.
Some of the art forms after they are painted white. Why just white? We are contemporary. Check out the next step for more fun.
Nowadays you also get these amazing lippan craft kits on amazon to start with. Do check this and start your creation today
Penkraft Lippan Art MDF DIY Kit
This is just one of the lippan kaam output after painting in vibrant colors. These things can not be found much outside Kutch, Gujarat. So go ahead make one too many. Frame and decorate your home.
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