My name is Mary Schmaling Kearns I’ve been a henna artist for the past 20 years. I am a tattooist as well and enjoy creating tattoos. I use my knowledge from working drawing Freehand on the body and bring my skills creating patterns from many cultures in my designs. I have been a Reiki Master teacher for the past 10 years . I use the healing arts as I create for more of the ceremony connection to the person spiritually to their bodies. For me it feels authentic as a right of passage that the sitter is in a space of transformation & receiving healing whether it’s Mehndi or permanent tattoos .
I first was turned onto the beautiful art form of henna tattoos known as Mehndi when I was around 20 years old back in 1995. The Internet was just starting then and I had to go to libraries to research to find anything on the topic . I spent hours looking in National Geographic searching books for any information I could find on the artform. I was working on my fine art degree studying photography at the time and one thing that fascinated me was the temporary beauty that henna provided. They were not very many pictures of this art form because people were not photographing it so there has been years and years of patterns lost in history. The Henna plant has many healing qualities from the plants medicinal natural properties. You can heal cuts wounds, sores, dry skin & can help eczema it can be used as an antiseptic . Henna is cooling to the skin and very relaxing.
Related Read: How To Remove a Henna Tattoo
The History of Henna Tattoos
The rich history of Henna that dates back over 5000 years by the Egyptians made this incredible journey as this plant was brought across the continent into India and the Middle East. It was first used in India to create beautiful artwork on the hands and feet for women who couldn’t afford jewelry or gold for their wedding they could grow the plant in the backyard and it was accessible for them to adorn their bodies in a very sacred way. Distain takes about 24 hours to develop on the skin into a beautiful reddish earthy brown colored the stained and lasts for about two weeks and slowly fades from the skin. There are many reasons henna is used in rituals sacred ceremonies weddings religious holidays and rites of passage. It is also known to bring people together families .
Even though traditionally it is a woman’s art form when I traveled to India I noticed there were young men on the streets working in local markets as Henna artists and they were extremely talented. There is so much to learn about Henna as it continues to grow very popular in the past 20 years. There are many artists all of the globe using henna plant and creating new inspiring designs that cross cultures.
I am very fortunate to use this plant and tree on the body in a unique way whether it’s on a pregnant belly the hands of a bride or head or breasts of a cancer patient. I allow the plan to continue to teach me even after all these years loving the process and being a part of its new history blessings
Mary Kearns from
The Eye of Henna