Lippai Kaam Collection!!
Lippan Kaam is a traditional mural craft of Kutch, Gujarat. Lippan or mud-washing using materials locally available in the region like mixture of clay and camel dung keeps the interiors of the houses cool.
The beautiful Mud and Mirror art is an integral part of rural Kutchi life style. Traditionally, this art work is done on the inner walls of the circular houses called Bhunga, which are seen in the desert region of the Kutch. Women of the house make mud and mirror murals to decorate it. This technique beyond decorative purposes had a great function in architecture and sustainable living. The outer surface of the homes had plenty of mirrors to acts as an insulator by reflecting heat. It for centuries helped keeping interior cool. Inside mud and mirror creates a symmetry so that enough lighting can be created using reflection technique. These murals have various patterns and designs. Mirrors on Lippan art glitter and glimmer with change in light. This art allows one to feel earth in their hands.
The dung used is that of a camel or wild ass and acts as a binding agent as it is rich in fibres. The clay used is mud which has been passed through a sieve to obtain fine particles that mix more easily. Equal proportion of dung and clay are mixed and kneaded to form the dough used for lipan kaam. (In conversations with those who practice lipan kaam, some have mentioned the use of husk of Bajri i.e. millet as an alternative to the dung. While the dung attracts termites, the husk does not.) Watch how an old lady makes lipan come to life and talks about life in the land of lipan kaam. This is seven or so minutes of beautifully handmade in India. Small portions of the dough are taken and shaped into cylinders of varying thickness by rolling between the palms or on the floor. This is then pasted on to the moist surface i.e. the wall or wooden panel on which the decorative artwork is to be done. Each artwork usually starts by using the dough to first create lines that define the boundary of the artwork. Motifs are then created in bas-relief (sculpture in which the figures project slightly from the background) mostly freehand by memory by using palms and fingers pinching and shaping the mud mixture. The motifs are inspired from the rich and famous embroidery patterns and once the walls are done they look stunning with mirrors embedded in the mud work, much like the embroideries itself. The mirrors used are called aabhla and come in various shapes – round, diamond & triangular. After the clay dries off in about 4-5 days, a layer of white clay is painted over the artwork. The white comes from the sand of this marshland that is rich in salt content. Though the authenticity of Lipan Kaam lies in a completed piece that is all white or in shades of neutrals; bright colors like red and green are sometimes painted on the dried clay work. The lipan on the walls, partitions, doorways, lintels, niches, and the floors of the bhunga sport elaborate bas relief decorations that consist of okli-textures created by the impressions of fingers and palms-and sculpted forms that are inlaid with mirrors.
These artworks are made by Kumbhar Bhilal Ibrahim (40 yrs)- a state awardee (2002 & 2006) lippai kaam artist who hails from the village Khavda of Kutch and learnt the art of lippai kaam from his grandmother at the age of 8 yrs. Using the soft silt of the river his grand mother worked on surfaces of their home and then embellished the patterns with mirrors while the mud was still damp. Bhilal Bhai learnt the process from her and has taken this traditional art to the next level giving it his personal expression. He has participated in the technology mela (2007) organised by National Institute of Rural Development, Hyderabad, training programs of Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya- IGRMS (2005), Aadirang Mahotsav - 2015 - a three-day national tribal festival of theatre, music, dance and craft by National School of Drama, exhibition (2000) by Crafts Council of India and other multiple exhibitions across the country. His artistry was well appreciated by the Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust during the birth anniversary of Smt. Indira Gandhi in 1993. His family practices the lippai kaam and khavda pottery. He is one of the artisans who primarily are scientist to bring grass root innovation for better living and creates a glorious culture.