Saturday, June 1, 2013

A&S Project: Henna from Plant to Paste

This year's A&S project dealt with growing my own henna plant (VERY special thanks to Sir Donas/Tommy Roberts who is really growing the plant as he has better space for it in his house) and creating paste from its leaves. I dried and ground the leaves, used ingredients (water and lemon juice) found in historical henna recipe references, and compared the stain from this paste to paste made from commercially produced henna powder.

Last year my goal was to qualify to go to Kingdom A&S (receive an 1st or 2nd at Regional... I received a 2nd at Regional and went on to receive a 1st at Kingdom). This year's goal was to do a little better, upping my scores in the creativity category as well as qualify for Kingdom and placing well. I received a 1st place at both Regional and Kingdom level A&S.

As great as it is to place well and receive high scores for my project, the most exciting part for me is getting to share my art and my knowledge, as well as learn something new in the process. This year at Regional I learned the I was using the wrong type of mortar and pestle to achieve as fine a grind as i was looking for. I was told I needed an unglazed porcelain mortar. I then ordered one on-line in order to update my documentation before Kingdom A&S. Unfortunately it was back-ordered and did not arrive in time.  However, while walking past the merchants on the way to the judges and entrants meeting at the event I found just type of mortar I needed (Much thanks to Duchess Rebekah!). I just happened to have some extra ground henna leaves and reground them in the porcelain mortar. I was so excited to find how easily the leaves ground to a very fine, lush green powder!

 Here is the link to the project documentation. Plant to Paste

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Branching out...

Though this blog was originally created to document my henna research and journey in the SCA, I have decided to add my research and projects in Persian studies as well. Along with research henna in the medieval period, I am working to develop my persona and garb from Safavid Iran.

While I have been working on creating garb appropriate to the period for several years, I feel I am just now really getting into the "good stuff"... creating a full outfit, using more appropriate fabrics, and adding the accessories such as head wear, jewelry, and footwear.

My next two projects will be dealing with head wear, specifically braid casings a veils, and creating a prototype of a period pouch.

More info and pictures to come...

Sunday, February 3, 2013

A&S Project: A Comparison of Modern and Historical Henna Application Techniques

Here is the link to my A&S project from 2012. This was the first project I had ever entered in a regional competition. My goal was to qualify for Kingdom A&S (receiving a 1st or 2nd at regional). I received a 2nd place at regional, and a 1st at the Middle Kingdom A&S faire! Not too shabby for my first try...

A&S 2012

More class notes...

Now that I have figured out how to use Google Drive, I am adding more of my class notes.
This link will open my notes on henna in 16c Safavid Persia. It is a large file with a lot of color pics, so please be patient opening it!

Henna in 16c Persia

The second link is a short handout from my mixology class.  It contains much of the same info from the intro class.
Henna 102 -Mixology