The craft known by French term papier- mache (literally paper pulp), is locally known as kar-e-kalamkari, pen case work, after its traditional Iranian name. Papier-mache was practiced as a form of decocation executed on the wooden panels of walls and wooden furniture and was eventually adapted to paper moulds as well. Trays, small boxes and book covers were made for royal patrons and members of their courts. The two major processes involved in the craft are sakthsazi (mould making) and naqquashi (painting). The naqqash renders the surface in intricate floral patterns or highly stylized scenes of hunts and battles. In the case of floral motifs, the painting may be executed entire in gold or silver. The local term for gold or silver work is son tehreer. The motifs are derived from the profusion of local flora; some of the frequently used images are the bumtchuthposh (apple blossoms), dainposh (pomegranate), kongposh (saffron flowers) and yambarzal (narcissus).

 

craftsman making papier mace pots