During a hundred year period between the mid-eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, a major industry succeeded in India: that of Orissa Paper Mache. This industry had its origins in both art and craft as well as Indian traditional ware. The development of Paper Mache led to an unparalleled trade that resulted in the manufacture of these masks rapidly. The Paper Mache, a term that has been applied to vast three-dimensional objects having a paper core. It is spelled in many ways, ranging from the French papier-mâché to the Anglicized Paper Mache, etc. The original term “Paper Mache” literally means crunched paper, but it is also used to describe objects made of very different types of paper constructions, including Paper pulp, cast or extruded into a molded form, Paper strips adhered together over a molded form and pressed between the molds.
The origin of Paper Mache is at least as ancient as the creation of paper itself. Paper was developed in the world during the 202 B.C. - 220 A.D., and it is therefore not surprising that the original use of paper to make three-dimensional objects occurred there. Artifacts, such as helmets and pot lids, attributed to this dynasty, were made of what has been described as Paper Mache. In the late 18th century developed a suitable paper support by using a method of making hand-pressed or hand-smoothed paper panels which were heat resistant. Ten sheets of unseized rag paper were pasted on both sides with a mixture of cooked glue and flour. They were then pressed into a metal mold and smoothed to remove air bubbles. The edges were trimmed and the sheets were drenched with linseed oil for waterproofing and the ensemble was dried. The result was a rigid material that could be worked like wood. The use of paper panels came to be known as the "best" Paper Mache as opposed to the common Paper Mache made from pulp.
This opacity of usage can cause misrepresentations in identification and dating of an object; it reflects little understanding of the technology, the specialty of papers, it could be harmful to the preservation treatment and subsequent care of a piece. The misperception is aggravated by various synonyms and diverse methods for “Paper Mache”. The historical overview serves to clarify terms sometimes used inter changeable. It also traces the technological development of Paper Mache from a composite of simple components created in the ancient Orient, to an extremely hard and sun-resistant material, workable enough to be used roughly.
Few firms across the country made thicker panels by layering 120 sheets together at a time, enabling production of larger and stronger items, such as the shelter sheets, chair, boxes etc. However, these panels could take days to dry, or require even more natural heat to be dried. Few of the researchers developed a method whereby dry panels could be softened with steam to enable operation into a heated metal mold. A counter mold was then attached into position and the steam-molded panels were dried by heat. The result was a hard, pre-shaped product of even thickness. By reducing the number of steps and amount of time required to mold furniture, India transformed the process and opened the door to Paper Mache.
Due to the size of the loss, its position in a vulnerable spot, and the nature of the surrounding paper, it was decided to use a system of paper sheets to fill the same. By inserting sheets into the partially delaminated panel core, a strong but completely compatible and readily reversible fill could be made. Further, it was decided to make the insert by duplicating as much as possible the original process of hand-smoothing sheets into a mold. This would assure the appropriate thickness, edge shape, and compression surface characteristics for finishing. A mold was made of the most similar edge, and sheets of high quality oriental tissue were coated with dilute reagent grade wheat starch paste until dry.
Papier Mache is a material that can be used for direct modelling and for casting. It is prepared by using pieces of paper and glue. It takes a very long time to dry when used in the execution of works, so it is better to build it up in layers. The use of paper for sculpture directly can also be explored by using glue and laminated paper, which will rest on the construction of a strong armature made from cardboard. When it is dry, it is extremely hard with sun resistant and can be sanded by smoothening. Coloring in mask serves as a compositional element, which can be used purely for functional reasons. It can also be used to form part of an integral part of the technique employed. It may also be used to cover up mistakes and some shortcomings.