Henna Candles


Henna comes from a natural leaf that is made into a paste. It’s applied to hands, arms, and feet of the bride. This application has its own separate ceremony during traditional Indian weddings. Over the years, henna design and uses are more modernized. The paste is now applied to everyday household items, such as candles, vases, lamp shades, furniture… etc. Now instead of piping the cone with the natural paste, acrylic paint is piped in, and can be used on these items as well as paintings. Design wise, instead of creating patterns and various shadings using one color, multiple colors and hues are using. These are also used to replace a solid shades of color in modern day designs. The need for this technique and design has become a large business and is spreading to other cultures. Traditional uses for items are now used for more decorative purposes.

The objects of this image sit on a flat surface, which is brown and sleek with textured streaks that run across it while the subjects  reflect across the top. The design is primarily based off of square shaped structures that are placed in the foreground and background. The object is white and slightly transparent and becomes richer and darker in color as you look towards the middle. There is a string that extends out from the center of the structure. Floral designs are randomly placed on the cubic form and the patterns are outlined in black and shaded in with gold lines. Yellow and red dots are placed in circles towards the center of the flower surrounding a diamond gem is in the very center.

These are amongst the common designs and objects found at weddings and parties used for decoration purposes. They are often made with paint however, because the paste with chip off the sleek surface of the candle. Various candle types are typically placed around an idol, or on a large round plate, that is also decorated with these designs. This enhances the natural elegance that candles bring to an environment. Not only can they attract our sense of smell if scented, but also are visually appealing.




This image is of a design/pattern using henna. Henna, in general, can be found in a lot of Asian cultures and due to this, the styles vary. Styles such as Indian, Arabic and Pakistani, to name a few. Aside from body art, these designs/patterns adorn clothing, accessories, and decorative home pieces. The design in this image is one I hand drew and is a recreation of a design I came across while browsing google images.

In this image, Henna is applied to my hands, which is hovering over a grayish-blue carpet. Starting at my wrist, there is a thick line where the two different parts of the design branch from. The wrist design is outlined and is filled with a circular motif. The edge of this outline is asymmetrical and mimic movement of a wave. The area opposite of this design is a heavily detailed quarter of a flower. This flower consists of four layers, the first layer being the base of the flower. The next three layer are petals that alternate in quantity and size. The first and third layers of flower petals are tight and narrow, contrasting, the second petal layer are larger petals. From this flower, two spiral designs branch off into opposite directions, leaving enough space at the top for another floral design. Unlike the previous flower, this one is simpler and emphasizes the large petals by the thickness of the outline and is located before my index finger. Decorating the rest of my index finger, is the same curved spiral pattern used before on my hand. My other fingers are designed differently because the design is facing the opposite direction. It is a continuous pattern with a mixture of waved and curved lines and directly below, are dots. These dots start off with a heavier weight and get smaller as they go down.

This design/pattern relates back to the topics discussed in class about typography. Similar to typography, Henna designs/patterns vary in line weights, style, size, placement and the styles differ by region and culture. For example, Indian henna designs are highly complex with their use of flowers, peacocks, and detailed heavy motifs. There is also little to no spacing in between the patterns which gives their henna a “fuller” look. In contrast, Arabic designs are simpler and mainly use leaves, flowers, paisley, and vines. The use of thicker lines to create an outline brings more emphasis on the shape itself. Pakistani design is a mixture of the previous two styles because it combines the detailed heavy nature of Indian design, the emphasis of outlines and use of flowers and paisley patterns of the Arabic design.

Comparable to other art mediums, design students can interpret the meaning of henna design because each specific design has its own meaning. Peacocks symbolize beauty, Paisley designs represent fertility and luck. Flowers and petals are associated with happiness and joy and because of this reason, are most prominent in henna done for celebrations. Vines and leaves are perfect for weddings because it symbolizes longevity and devotion. Henna designs/patterns were originally applied on the hands and feet but over the years, people started using henna anywhere on their body and the designs themselves has become more simple and less meaningful. The henna trend still continues today and the designs are becoming more versatile, and modern.