Art sees no limitations of mind or space. An artist finds his solace in his wonderland of creation. The joy of learning is devoured in the details of techniques and imagination. I live in the UK but my love for my culture has always drawn me closer to art. I am privileged to be a native of India, a country that has a rich legacy of varied cultures. How could I miss out on experiencing the magnificence of Rajasthani arts with a trained expert? How could I not be excited to learn art from an artist right from his house or work studio! As an art connoisseur, you wouldn’t miss out on such an opportunity! I had a wonderful experience of learning the art of Paper Mache from the master artist- Rakesh Vyas Ji.
Twyla Tharp rightly quoted, ‘Art is the only way to run away without leaving home’. Rajasthan Studio is a platform that provides an opportunity to art lovers like me to learn traditional art forms with master artists right from their home or work studio.
The capital city of Rajasthan or the Pink City is the gift of royal patrons to us for it is not only an amalgamation of architecture, food, handicrafts but also the breeding place for talented artisans. For a travel enthusiast and a shopaholic, it literally is a paradise. One can easily get lost in the intricacy of the beautiful monumental walls and courtyards of the city.
To tantalize your tongues, try Pyaaz Kachori, Dal Baati, Hibiscus Tea. From Tapris to posh restaurants
Paper Mache Workshop With Rakesh Vyas Ji
I decided to take a personalized Paper Mache workshop with Rakesh Vyas Ji right at his home, where he creates amazing artworks regularly. I went to his house without knowing what to expect and was delighted at what I saw and experienced.
Rakesh Ji’s house, which is also his work studio, is very simple and alluring. Light pinkish walls with motifs of tree branches and leaves painted with white, blue and green instantly captured my eyes. When I saw the beautifully decorated idol of Lord Krishna along with pictures of Krishna and Radha Ji, it was evident that the vibe of devotion was instilled in the artist’s soul. The humble hospitality by Rakesh Ji and his family made me really happy and confident.
There was still much more to my amazement when I was taken to the open terrace painted with brick powder. I got lost in the motifs painted with white, which was similar to Aipan art in my opinion.
The Process Of Creating The Paper Mache Artwork
Rakesh Ji explained to me where the application of the art form. Firstly, he explained the raw materials required. But the real fun began when we started preparing a gooey mixture using Multani Mitti to paste on a pot. The earthen pot gave shape to the headgear that we were supposed to make. With Rakesh Ji’s illustrative technique, I became an expert at moulding. After completing the basic sculpting, the process of beautification started. The mirror work is something I will never forget. I can use it in other art forms too. Markedly! moulding, sculpting and mirror work- the variety of learning experience was worth it.
The crew of Rajasthan Studio, who were also present during the masterclass, were very particular and concerned about the quality of my learning experience.
Things I Carried Back
Rakesh Ji taught me everything in a methodical, step-by-step procedure. He didn’t miss out any details however minute it may have been. More than half the things I learnt during the experience were something I was never aware about before the session. The smell and also the coolness of Multani Mitti on my hands, combined with the amazing weather, was not less than a heavenly feel.
Rakesh Ji was quite interactive as well as soothing. We spoke about our lives, interests and everyday schedules. Above all, to learn art or have the best outcome from an experience, it is very important to connect.
The most important thing he told me was about the availability of materials in the UK and how I could substitute them.
I thoroughly enjoyed creating a Paper Mache souvenir with Rakesh Ji and could take it home. Overall, it was an amazing experience to not just learn about this unique art but also create something by my own hands. Lastly, I have kept the souvenir safe in my cupboard and it will forever remind me of the beautiful time I spent with Rakesh Ji and his family!
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