A model of London Bridge made out of waste paper by Dhanbad’s Ashish Vishwakarma. Picture by Gautam Dey
A 21-year-old from Dhanbad has proved creativity can thrive even in the most mundane of environments.
Meet Ashish Vishwakarma, who does justice to his surname by conjuring up iconic monuments such as London Bridge, Taj Mahal and Eiffel Tower from humble waste paper.
Vishwakarma gets the paper from the card printing store where he works.
“I didn’t receive any formal training for creating models. I started making them on my own by using waste paper generated at my workplace,” the youth told The Telegraph.
Son of a labourer, Vishwakarma had to quit his studies after completing an intermediate course in commerce. His family couldn’t afford his education any more.
Sometime in January last year, the idea of making a mobile tower from waste paper struck him. “I carefully studied a tower while returning home. It took me three days to make the mobile tower from hard paper,” Vishwakarma said, adding that the work was highly appreciated by his friends.
Vishwakarma said he also lighted up the tower by using spare copper wires and an unused night bulb. He added the mobile tower weighed less than 500 grams and is 1.5ft high.
“Motivated by the success of my maiden venture, I started working on other models. I studied a photograph of Taj Mahal on my cellphone and created the mausoleum from paper,” he said.
The Taj was one foot high, but weighed nearly 2kg.
Asked if he had a personal favourite among the paper models, Vishwakarma replied: “The London Bridge.”
He also explains why he chose the bridge over the Thames.
“For the model of London Bridge, I also used toy cars commuting on the link,” said Vishwakarma gleefully. He added that it was his heaviest model, weighing 3kg.
“The weight increased because I used hard paper in large quantities to create pillars for the bridge,” said the paper artisan.
Vishwakarma works on his paper models for two hours daily after returning from his workplace.
“The few things I need to buy are colours and adhesive. Other things such as toy cars are used items lying around,” he said.
Does he sell his works of art? “Well, it’s my passion, not something I do to make money. However, if someone requests me to sell a model, I won’t deny him,” he said. “I did sell a mobile tower model for Rs 300.”
Asked what other structures would come to life with his magic fingers, Vishwakarma replied: “I have plans to create miniature models of Hotel Taj Mahal in Mumbai, a cricket stadium and a helicopter.”