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Designed by Mohammad Hussain Baba, this decorative box is crafted with the ancient art of papier mache. The Indian artisan hand carves the rectangular box from weeping willow wood and a layer of papier mache before hand painting the surface with two birds in a flowering tree. Finally, the box is coated in a glossy lacquer for shine and protection.
Artisan Organization: Mohammad Hussain Baba
"I was born in Kashmir in 1991. Those who know me well describe me as calm, hardworking, relaxed and caring.
"In Kashmir, papier mache is an ancestral art form and I've been attracted towards it since childhood. I realized that this craft is 450 years old and needs the attention of the young generation. My father taught me, and also my siblings and other artisans who came to collaborate with us.
"Learning anything needs practice and focus. Without practice and focusing, I don't believe it is possible to learn anything. I also believe there are no masters of a craft — we focus and learn new things every day.
"We use paper and wood. What I like best is working with colors, and I love creating new designs. I get inspiration from my father and grandfather, who both worked day and night to promote this ancestral art.
"More than 20 artisans — both men and women — now collaborate with us. The male members are the breadwinners of their families while the female artisans help support the household.
"There is an immense gratitude in doing something wonderful that not only helps yourself but also helps others. Together we want to promote our age-old art and infuse it with some new creativity.""