Thursday, July 23, 2009
Gettin'Goin' -- First the basics....
FairyDust Faces located in Sonoma County California supplies henna artists as well as airbrush tattoo arts, face painters, body painters and Glitter Tattoo artists to festivals, events, corporate and private parties though out Northern California.
Henna Examples can be found here: FairyDust Faces Gallery
Tha Basics according to Wikipedia
Henna body art is made by applying henna paste to the skin: the lawsone in the paste migrates into the outermost layer of the skin and makes a red-brown stain.
Whole, unbroken henna leaves will not stain the skin. Henna will not stain skin until the lawsone molecules are made available (released) from the henna leaf. Fresh henna leaves will stain the skin if they are smashed with a mildly acidic liquid. This will stain skin within moments, but it is difficult to form intricate patterns from coarse crushed leaves. Dried ground, sifted henna leaves are easily worked into a paste that can be used to make intricate body art. Commercially available henna powder is made by drying the henna leaves and milling them to powder, then the powder is sifted. This powder is mixed with lemon juice, strong tea, or other mildly acidic liquids. Essential oils with high levels of "terps", monoterpene alcohols such as tea tree, eucalyptus, cajeput, or lavender will improve skin stain characteristics. The henna mix must rest for 6 to 12 hours (or longer) so the leaf cellulose is dissolved, making the lawsone available to stain the skin. This is mixed to a toothpaste consistency and applied with a one of many traditional tools, including resist techniques, shading techniques, and thicker paste techniques, or the modern cellowrap cone.
Once applied to the skin, lawsone molecules gradually migrate from the henna paste into the outer layer of the skin. Though henna's lawsone will stain the skin within minutes, the longer the paste is left on the skin, the more lawsone will migrate. Henna paste will yield as much dye as the skin can easily absorb in less than eight hours. Henna tends to crack and fall off the skin during these hours, so it is often sealed down by dabbing a sugar/lemon mix over the dried paste, or simply adding some form of sugar to the paste. This also adds to the colour of the end result, increasing the intensity of the shade.
When the paste has fallen off the skin or been removed by scraping, the stain will be orange, but should darken over the following three days to a reddish brown. Soles and palms have the thickest layer of skin and so take up the most lawsone, and take it to the greatest depth, so that hands and feet will have the darkest and most long-lasting stains. Steaming or warming the henna pattern will darken the stain, either during the time the paste is still on the skin, or after the paste has been removed. Chlorinated water and soaps may spoil the darkening process: alkaline may hasten the darkening process. After the stain reaches its peak color it will appear to fade. The henna stain is not actually fading, the skin is exfoliating: the lower, less stained cells, rise to the surface, until all stained cells are shed.