EBSQ Live Studio – The Art of Applying Henna

This demonstration was originally presented by Wendy Lea Feldmann on 17 May 2010

Ken’s Green Man in Henna – Wendy L. Feldmann

Henna as Body Art – It’s Fun to Draw on Your Friends

I. Henna Through History

II. Henna Mixology

a. Acidic

b. Sugars

c. Oils / Terps

d. High Quality Henna

e. WendyMehndi’s Henna Recipe

III. Applying Henna

a. Body Art

b. Hair Dye

IV. Henna Safety

V. Henna Resources

I. Henna Through History

Henna has been found throughout history. The mummies of the ancient Pharaohs show traces of henna on their hair and nails. Henna is included in many ancient rituals and ceremonies: weddings, circumcisions, births, and other rites of passage and celebrations. Henna has enjoyed a resurgence as an art form in the west, thanks to prominent flashes of it among celebrities in the media.

Although henna has a rich past with many customs and traditions, it is also a contemporary art form. It’s fun and easy, and any wild mistakes will wear off in a couple of weeks, and you can start again. Henna can be used to “test-drive” an actual inked tattoo, or just as a temporary form of expression.

The plant, Lawsonia Inermis, is of the Myrtle family, and is found in arid areas including India, Pakistan, Yemen, Morocco, northern Africa, northern Australasia, and Egypt. It has traveled along the Silk Road, and spread all along the borders of the Black Sea.

II. Henna Mixology

There are as many many varieties of henna recipes. The secret to good henna application is having the right ingredients and the correct mix. It’s kind of like a science project.

Lemon Juice, essential oils, high quality henna, and sugar

Henna will stain keratin, a fibrous structural protein, found in hair, nails, hooves, horn, as well as skin and leather. Henna will also stain wood, wool, egg shells, silk, and turtle shell.

For body art, the ingredients are simple – something acidic, something sweet, and “terps”, which are essential oils with a high monoterpene alcohol content. This magic combination sets off the dye reaction, freeing the lawsone molecule from the henna leaf and allowing it to bind with keratin.

[read the rest  of The Art of Applying Henna at EBSQ]

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TONIGHT is EBSQ Live- Mehndi: The Art of Applying Henna with Wendy L. Feldmann

hosted by EBSQ Self-Representing Artists and Wendy L. Feldmann
Monday, August 23rd at 9pm Eastern (6pm Pacific)
EBSQ Chat Room

Ken’s Green Man in Henna – Wendy L. Feldmann

Come learn a little about the history of Henna arts, Henna Mixology (the secret is in the mixing!), and safe application of Henna, as well as how to avoid unsafe practices masquerading as “henna”.

“WendyMehndi” the Henna Faerie (of Waltzing Dog Studios) is a Henna Artist, Glitter Artist, and Face Painter (among many other artistic disciplines). Dressed outrageously, she can be found delightedly drawing unique freehand designs on people using natural henna, body paint, and glitter. When not decorating and enjoying people, Wendy works in fibre and other media. She lives in Orange County, North Carolina with her husband and children as well as their dogs and cats.

August’s EBSQ Live: Mehndi – The Art of Applying Henna with Wendy L. Feldmann

hosted by EBSQ Self-Representing Artists and Wendy L. Feldmann
Monday, August 23rd at 9pm Eastern (6pm Pacific)
EBSQ Chat Room

Ken's Green Man in Henna - Wendy L. Feldmann

Come learn a little about the history of Henna arts, Henna Mixology (the secret is in the mixing!), and safe application of Henna, as well as how to avoid unsafe practices masquerading as “henna”.

“WendyMehndi” the Henna Faerie (of Waltzing Dog Studios) is a Henna Artist, Glitter Artist, and Face Painter (among many other artistic disciplines). Dressed outrageously, she can be found delightedly drawing unique freehand designs on people using natural henna, body paint, and glitter. When not decorating and enjoying people, Wendy works in fibre and other media. She lives in Orange County, North Carolina with her husband and children as well as their dogs and cats.

EBSQ Spotlight on Fibre Art: Wendy L. Feldmann

This month’s featured gallery is Fibre Art. The fibre arts involve creating art with fibre. It sounds neat and simple, but the fibre arts are so varied that it is like saying that there are fish in the sea; it’s hardly an adequate description. Fibre art includes spinning and weaving. Also quilting and collage. It encompasses sculpture and apparel and felting and more. Fibre art is any piece of art made with fibre and it’s application is almost endless.

Wendy L. Feldmann

Quilted Guild ID Tag - Wendy L. Feldmann
Quilted Guild ID Tag - Wendy L. Feldmann

I’ve been interested in all sorts of fibre arts ever since I was a little kid. I remember making a whole collection of soft-sculpture critters that I played with for hours on end. Endlessly fascinated with crochet and my Mattel Knit Magic, I would save my allowance to purchase one more skein of yarn…

When I was rather young, my mom tried to teach me to sew on a sewing machine, maybe before I was ready. I remember her admonishing me that Things Needed To Be Hemmed, and the idea really bugged me. Maybe that really stuck with me – maybe that’s why I love the free-motion/collage-style quilting that I’ve developed. There are no edges to be turned under. It’s just layers of fabric, used to like paint, to create images.

Some of my earliest creations were crocheted outfits invented for my stuffed rabbit companion. Over the years I’ve found myself knitting with lots of colors (inspired by Kaffe Fassett in the late 80’s), weaving on a floor loom (my BFA focused on Weaving), batiking, embroidering, tie-dying, macrame-ing, designing and creating stuffed animals, dying fabrics and fibers, quilting, crocheting cat beds, and currently I’m needle-felting.

I’m a Color-and-Texture junkie. I heed my Inner Magpie. I love things that sparkle, and I dearly love color – lots of it. Some of my favorite moments are spent lost in a yarn store or a fabric store. Or wandering in a thrift store, entranced by the rows of color and texture.

Other art forms fascinate me. I love to create illustrations, to paint things with what I think of as my “Gypsy-Caravan Style”, and I am a professional Henna Artist. But I always seem to come back around to Fiber Arts.

The common thread…? (er, fiber?): I’m fascinated with transforming yarn or fabric. Usually into something brightly colored.  – Wendy L. Feldmann

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EBSQ Spotlight on Fibre Art: Tina Marie Ferguson

This month’s featured gallery is Fibre Art. The fibre arts involve creating art with fibre. It sounds neat and simple, but the fibre arts are so varied that it is like saying that there are fish in the sea; it’s hardly an adequate description. Fibre art includes spinning and weaving. Also quilting and collage. It encompasses sculpture and apparel and felting and more. Fibre art is any piece of art made with fibre and it’s application is almost endless.

Tina Marie Ferguson

Joey Roo - Tina Marie Ferguson
Joey Roo - Tina Marie Ferguson

As an artist, I enjoy experimenting with a multitude of various art forms and the means and methods of creating.  I remember my grandmother designing beautiful quilts from scraps of cloth and old clothing.  I always considered what she did to be a true art form.  Now, as a mature 44 year old, the art forms that I find most appealing are the ones in which I received no formal training.  I guess that makes fibre art a true form of folk art for me.  I find inspiration in the designs, patterns, and textures of fabric remnants, discarded clothing, and upholstery samples.  Socks and gloves especially fascinate me.  They speak to me.  They all want to be something else and I feel compelled to fulfill that desire.  Each piece is an original.  I believe that stuffies hold a mass appeal that other more traditional art forms do not.  People connect more literally with a piece of fibre art. – Tina Marie Ferguson

Like what you see here?  We hope you’ll consider leaving a comment or subscribing to one of our feeds. Never miss another cool post from EBSQ. Subscribe to EBSQ: Art Meets Blog v2.0 by Email today!

EBSQ Spotlight on Fibre Art: Lisa Monica Nelson

This month’s featured gallery is Fibre Art. The fibre arts involve creating art with fibre. It sounds neat and simple, but the fibre arts are so varied that it is like saying that there are fish in the sea; it’s hardly an adequate description. Fibre art includes spinning and weaving. Also quilting and collage. It encompasses sculpture and apparel and felting and more. Fibre art is any piece of art made with fibre and it’s application is almost endless.

Lisa Monica Nelson

Tuxedo Cat Art Quilt - Lisa Monica Nelson
Tuxedo Cat Art Quilt - Lisa Monica Nelson

Traditionally, I’m a painter, but I’ve always enjoyed painting fabric and enhancing with embroidery.  During the 70s, I painted a heck of a lot of denim jackets and jeans in high school for my peers and actually embroidered an entire pair of jeans for a boyfriend at the time.  What I would do to have them back today (the jeans, not the boyfriend).  A few years ago, I learned about this thing called “Art Quilts” – It was an epiphany to learn there was a real name and an art category for what I was doing!  Basically, I love to paint on unbleached muslin and take it from there with sewing, vintage buttons and perhaps a hand-dyed textile or two. There’s something about using fabric and stitches that adds another dimension to creating.  I love texture and color, so the use of textiles in my art is very natural.  I’m learning more about fibre art everyday thanks to the many blogs out there and the very generous quilters who share their vast fountain of knowledge.  I’ve also explored art dolls using fabric, dyes and paints and I must warn you, it’s very addicting.  Recently, I purchased a sewing machine which means you’ll be seeing more of my fibre art in the near future! – Lisa Monica Nelson

Like what you see here?  We hope you’ll consider leaving a comment or subscribing to one of our feeds. Never miss another cool post from EBSQ. Subscribe to EBSQ: Art Meets Blog v2.0 by Email today!

EBSQ Spotlight on Fibre Art: Cynthia Gaub

This month’s featured gallery is Fibre Art. The fibre arts involve creating art with fibre. It sounds neat and simple, but the fibre arts are so varied that it is like saying that there are fish in the sea; it’s hardly an adequate description. Fibre art includes spinning and weaving. Also quilting and collage. It encompases sculpture and apparel and felting and more. Fibre art is any piece of art made with fibre and it’s application is almost endless.

Ruffled Flowers - Cynthia Gaub
Ruffled Flowers - Cynthia Gaub

Cynthia Gaub

Texture has always been my favorite element of art. In my early paper collages, I was always trying to create texture in a piece by tearing and layering the papers. But then I would lock them away behind glass when they were framed for presentation. You couldn’t touch it! I think that is why I shifted to fabric as a medium. It is so much more tactile. The plush of a rich velvet, the scratch of a thick burlap, the slippery touch of silk. Add to that the layers of batting, the design of quilt stitching, the delicacy of vintage lace and the variety of the beads, buttons, baubles. Now the textures are literally so thick, so 3-dimensional they call out to be touched and you can NOT trap them behind glass.
Because fabric lends itself so easily to the 3-dimensional, I have found myself creating dolls and creatures as often as functional objects, like quilts and clothing, in addition to my art pieces. I feel I am still experimenting, trying to get a handle of the many techniques and materials of this medium that I haven’t really grasped the potential of my vision within it. But my latest series of alter shrines for the Beaded Journal Project are beginning to feel like success.
Interestingly, sharing this kind of work online, in a digital format, it contradictory to the tactile nature of the work. However, because of the strength of the camera, and the speed of our modern streaming, I can actually share the work in a level of magnification and detail that you can’t actually witness in the real world. So, as much as I enjoy touching my work and interacting with it on that level, I also love looking at it digitally and seeing the detail that shows in that format.
I still wish you could come over, sit on my couch and have some coffee, and touch my art! Because texture is my favorite element of art. – Cynthia Gaub

Like what you see here?  We hope you’ll consider leaving a comment or subscribing to one of our feeds. Never miss another cool post from EBSQ. Subscribe to EBSQ: Art Meets Blog v2.0 by Email today!