Caught Red-Handed Podcast

Caught Red-Handed Podcast


Henna artists talking about henna


Chatting with Caryl, a hardcore traveller about her Mektoub experience

Today's guest is Caryl Cunningham (@carylcunningham on Instagram) who is a tattooer but started out as a henna artist. She was one of our guests at the Mektoub Marrakesh Henna Journey in March 2022. I was excited to talk to someone who is a hardcore traveller and learn about her perspective on the event. If you are interested in the Mektoub events please follow us on instagram (@mektoubhenna) or visit us at If you have suggestions of people you would like us to interview email us at 
15/07/2256m 6s

Connie tells it like it is! Get your teacup, listeners

If you have ever met Connie, online or in person, you know she has many thoughts and feelings. She joined our Mektoub Marrakesh Henna Journey in March 2022 and we were really happy to have her there because we knew her and liked having some friendly faces at our first ever event. Listen in to hear her perspectives on our Moroccan  event and her transformative experience. 
29/06/221h 44m

A very Mektoub Episode with Monique and CV

This is the first in a short series of inteviews with attendees at the recent Mektoub Marrakesh Henna Journey. It features Monique of Alchemy Henna (@alchemyhenna) chatting with attendee CV from Art of the Zodiac (@art_of_the_zodiac) about her experience at the workshop. For more info visit us at 
19/06/2237m 13s

Episode 28: Monique, Jen and Kenzi talk about the Mektoub Marrakesh Henna Journey

We talk about our journeys as fans of Moroccan henna, from geeking out over photos of Moroccan henna in the early days of the internet, to deciding to host this Moroccan henna workshop featuring Moroccan henna artists, and a whole lot more. The event will be October 8-15, 2021 in Marrakesh, and registration opens on March 28, 2021. Click here for more information. A few others things we mention in this episode: Our featured henna artists' IG accounts: Khadija @galerie_henna Nadia @marrakechhennaartcafe Fatima @tamolayt.henna Mektoub Henna: @MektoubHenna     
22/03/211h 5m

Gnawa voyage with Samir Langus

Samir is a Moroccan musician and friend of ours. He took us on a wonderful journey through his career as a musician, discovering gnawa music and making it his life. You'll hear his story and also get to listen to some amazing music. We hope you will be as charmed by him as we were. Enjoy!
07/01/211h 2m

Jen's Marrakesh Memories with Monique and Kenzi

In this episode Monique and Kenzi chatted with Jen about his several trips to Morocco and learned about his henna encounters in Marrakesh, the city of art and artists. Come join us on this virtual audio tour and fill that void that misses traveling!
29/12/201h 12m

Rebooted and back with Jen and Monique

Monique, Jen and I have been chatting throughout the pandemic, trying to find ways to keep creative and support each other, but always coming back to the same topics of henna, Morocco, and Moroccan henna. We had talked about getting the podcast back in service but we were stumped about what we could talk about. Finally after months of waiting for the muse to arrive we decided to just invite you sit  in on our chats about Moroccan henna. We will be interviewing various people who grew up in Morocco, went there for summers, or those who have lived or travelled there...with an emphasis on henna. To get our feet wet we are interviewing each other, starting with Monique in this episode. We hope you will enjoy this little trip to Morocco with all its sights, smells, sounds and sighs. Is there someone you'd like us to talk with...share it in the comments!
17/12/2052m 41s

Episode 24 - Talkin' Tech and Money with Sowmya

I’m going to break an old taboo about talking about money with other people; I’m going to break it hard by talking to Sowmya Ranganathan about money AND broadcasting it to anyone who will listen. I personally think this rule is kind of stupid because it keeps people ignorant about money which causes us to make poor decisions about our money. This is especially problematic for small business owners who deal with money more directly than those who work for someone else. For many reasons, I have wanted to cover this issue in the podcast for a long time. One of the minor reasons is to talk here about my own issues and journey regarding money. Growing up poor-ish and always pinching pennies I learned a lot about money, but I also absorbed some bad money habits, like buying something ONLY based on price…only later realizing that when you skimp on quality you end up spending more in the long run on a replacement or repair. I also always had a hard time spending money on on intangibles whose value I couldn’t quantify, like a weekend away to recharge the batteries and come back stronger.  I know from conversations online that a lot of you have questions and outright fear regarding money. I also wanted to cover this issue as part of my not-so-secret feminist agenda. Let’s face it, most henna artists are women and we exist in a world where the power and the pursestrings are not always in our command. Most of us grow up without the skills to ask for what we are worth (financially, but also physically, emotionally and intellectually). When I first started doing henna professionally I used to state my prices with a question mark at the end and a look of begging for approval on my face. I have learned to put a period at the end of my sentences, but there are days when I feel guilty for asking for what I am worth. I’m nearly 50 and I recently asked for a raise for the first time in my life! I’m embarrassed to admit this. My boss agreed I deserved a raise, but when it came time there just wasn’t the budget for it. That sucks but it’s beyond the scope of this podcast! Kenzi tries to multitask but fails. Focus.This podcast may not be able to address our issues of low self-worth (I’ll see if I can find a guest who can), but I think that we can get valuable information out there to empower us all to take our finances to a new level. My guest, Sowmya, is a henna artist (JoyofHenna on IG) but also works in accounting at an internet startup in San Francisco. As you may or may not know, I also have an alter-ego as a software trainer. We talk about accounting concepts and tools, but also the soft science of how to set prices. We are both fans of Square, Sowmya because she is an employee AND a user of Square products, and me because I am a user. We refer to Square a lot because we both use it, but what we say applies to similar products from other companies. We have also talked about doing a google hangout where we demo some of the concepts we talk about in the podcast, showing you how to work with spreadsheets and formulas, and also to give you tours of some of the products we discuss. I promised that I would list the products we discuss in the episode which I will do soon.  Feel free to mention in the comments any tools that help you with your henna business.
01/10/152h 5m

Episode 23 - More Moor with Nic, Nev and Noam

Perhaps you heard that a bunch of us Moroccan henna fans are doing a full weekend workshop in NYC at the end of February. Maybe you are interested but haven't made up your mind yet.  If that is the case, I hope that these conversations with three of the instructors--Nic, Nev and Noam--will help make the decision to sign up even easier!  You can hear in their own words what the three Ns are bringing to the workshop and why they think it's going to be amazing.  Rebecca and I will also be teaching at the workshop but we decided that our voices have been heard too much on this podcast already.  Below you'll find more information about the workshop and what to expect, as well as links to the Facebook event page and to the registration page. See you in February!
15/01/151h 3m

Episode 22 - Live from HennaCon 2014 with Kim, Jessica and Kiran

Welcome to Episode 22 of the Caught Red-Handed Podcast which is the first ever live podcast and therefore most of the intro is about my experience at HennaCon.  It was my first time, and one of my rare appearances at a conference.  If you’ve never been to a henna conference and aren’t sure if you’re ready, believe me you are.  The only prerequisites are a passion for henna, a desire to learn and grow, and a minimum of a few weeks of doing henna.  I was surprised to see that HennaCon offers so much to newbies and seasoned old pros. I’ve been doing henna for 16 years and walked away from this experience with my brain and heart full of so much new stuff, most of which I am still digesting a month later.  I met so many newbies who were all bright eyed and bushy tailed, soaking up as much information as they could , hennaing each other and getting hennaed.  The week after I saw their work on Instagram and noticed leaps in quality and creativity.  For me, HennaCon came at a good time for me benefit from it.  If you have listened to just 1 or 2 episodes of this podcast you’ll know that I have been on a journey to improve my skills (learning to roll and use cones, and also tampering with my paste) as well as finding ways to more deeply tap into my creativity.  My state of mind is very curious and receptive so HennaCon felt like a perfect match for my sponge-like state.  I absorbed a lot from classes, but also from talking to other artists, watching how they work, answering their questions which really made me think about how I work, hennaing and getting hennaed. Back in Brooklyn one month after HennaCon here is what I’m thinking/doing/learning/planning. Starting with the podcast, i got a surge of ideas of different kinds of podcasts and people to interview.  Watch this space for these developments.  I’ve started practicing more on my own (it helps that it’s the slow season here).  In my practice time I am working on things that I picked up at HennaCon like Kiran’s shading, Neeta’s fills, Rebecca’s leaves, Joey’s dots and then putting them all together.  From the Moroccan henna class that I co-taught with Noam I realized that there is a huge interest in Moroccan henna. Before that I was despairing that no one cared about it and what’s the point of pushing it out there.  Thanks to all your support (especially those of you who asked me to henna you with Moroccan designs) I feel a renewed passion for it.  Nic and Noam and I are cooking up some projects in the realm of Moroccan henna.  Again, watch this space. As for this episode of the podcast, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kim Brennan, Jessica McQueen and Kiran Sahib on the subject of the creative process.  I hope the sound issues aren’t too disruptive; it was my first time recording in a live environment. After the conversation with these three awesome women and artists I put in a few woman-on-the-street interviews with HennaCon attendees recorded on my iPhone.  The sound quality on these is pretty terrible tho with all the background noise you may feel as if you were there, listening in person. Remember to subscribe to this podcast via iTunes to always be the first on your block to get the newest episode. This helps me know how the podcast is doing and will also help me attract sponsors to help finance the podcast down the road. Please also rate the podcast on iTunes just so I know how I'm doing . Thanks!
17/11/141h 28m

Episode 21 - Mixmaster Mixtape - Part 4 (Kendra, Antoinette and Kenzi)

Listen to this Episode Subscribe to this podcast via iTunes I interviewed 13 people (myself included) and got 13 different recipes. Imagine that! Incontrovertible proof that there is no secret recipe for henna paste, no perfect one-size-fits-all recipe. Who would have ever guessed that! All my guests are pro artists with years and years of experience and most of them are still working on their perfect recipe. Almost everyone agrees that you have you change the recipe according to a variety of factors: the weather, what kind of gig it is, what tool you are using, where your gig will be held, what kind of designs you are going to be doing, and possibly even the phase of the moon. This is the last of the series on mixing henna. If you haven't found a recipe or a technique that you like after all these conversations there is no hope for you. Of course, I am sure you--whether wet-behind-the-ears newbie or season ole pro who has seen everything--will have learned something that will take your henna career to the next level. Go put some henna powder in your favorite bowl, find a spoon or a spatula and get ready to fill your ear holes with wise words from the henna pros! Remember to subscribe to this podcast via iTunes to always be the first on your block to get the newest episode. This helps me know how the podcast is doing and will also help me attract sponsors to help finance the podcast down the road. Please also rate the podcast on iTunes just so I know how I'm doing . Thanks!
21/09/141h 12m

Episode 20 - Mixmaster Mixtape - Part 3 (Sarah, Deb and Rebecca)

Subscribe to this podcast via iTunes Sarah Mixing - Jared M. Burns PhotographyThis episode of the mixtape mixology series is a classic East Coast-West Coast battle with Middle America officiating.  We have Sarah Walter in the West, representing Seattle (pictured above).  Deborah Brommer takes up the middle position, representing the flyover states from her home in Ohio. She's the perfect person to middle because she is very tolerant of all types of henna, mixes, essential oils and even tools.  She can roll with whatever is at hand which I found impressive.  Representing my East Coast peeps is Rebecca Freedner, based in Vermont.  No she does NOT mix her henna with maple syrup.  Don't listen to the haters! The more I listen to all these mixes the more confused I am about what is best for me.  I'm making small changes in how I mix henna, nothing too drastic because I need to be sure I have a good and consistent batch for working on clients.  I think this winter I will have time to do some experimenting outside my comfort zone. What have you changed since you started listening to this mixtape series? Share in the comments.  After this episode, there is one more in the series in which I am interviewed by our very own Nev. I mention this in the podcast, but just a reminder to register for HennaCon if you haven't already. I'll be there teaching an Advanced Moroccan workshop with Noam Sienna, and also doing a live podcast with a bunch of awesomely creative people.  Go to to register and see you there in October! Remember to subscribe to this podcast via iTunes to always be the first on your block to get the newest episode. This helps me know how the podcast is doing and will also help me attract sponsors to help finance the podcast down the road.  Please also rate the podcast on iTunes just so I know how I'm doing . Thanks!
24/08/141h 25m

Episode 19 - Mixmaster Mixtape - Part 2 (Kanchan, Darcy and Hiral)

[gallery ids="340,336,339"]  Download this episode (right click and save)" style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); text-decoration: none; -webkit-transition: all 0.4s ease-in-out; transition: all 0.4s ease-in-out;">Listen to this Episode Subscribe to this podcast via iTunes I can hear you all out there banging your spoons against your henna bowls in anticipation of the next Mixtape episode.  Clang no more, put those bowls to good use.  This episode will give so many new ideas for mixing henna that you'll want to run to your kitchen right away. The first episode ranged across the US, but this one narrows its focus to just the Bay Area.  Even though all my guests are in the same area they each have their own way of dealing with the climate and their own unique recipes.  All three are very active in the bridal scene, offering up some great ideas for making special paste for bridal henna.  We even have a minor controversy brewing over whether there is such a thing as dye release (possibly a subject for a future episode). Interestingly all three of these women have very no-nonsense approaches to mixing henna.  Maybe there is something about doing bridal henna in an environment with a lot of henna artists  and a lot of gigs that makes a person become more focused on what works and what doesn't.  It sounds like there really isn't time to play around with different powders and oils and teas etc. but instead they have all strived to get the very best paste in the easiest and quickest way possible.  That said, they all arrived at their current mix through a lot of experimentation which is the core lesson from all of these interviews. Remember to subscribe to this podcast via iTunes to always be the first on your block to get the newest episode. This helps me know how the podcast is doing and will also help me attract sponsors to help finance the podcast down the road.  Please also rate the podcast on iTunes just so I know how I'm doing. Thanks!

Episode 18 - Mixmaster Mixtape - Part 1 (Sowmya, Wardah, Victoria and Nev)

Listen to this episode" style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); text-decoration: none; -webkit-transition: all 0.4s ease-in-out; transition: all 0.4s ease-in-out;">Listen to this Episode Subscribe to this podcast via iTunes Photo by Wardah HalimPhoto by Manpreet SokhiPhoto by Sowmya RanganathanHenna recipes are like two are the same.  Or maybe a better metaphor is that henna artists are grannies with their own special recipe, made with love and no measurements, or maybe carefully measured but always with a little pinch of something you never thought of. I floated this episode idea of a collection of interviews about henna recipes with a bunch of seasoned pro henna artists in my inner circle.  I thought maybe there would be a few interested in talking to me and maybe I'd get 5 minutes of tape from each. It turned out to be way more than that. One of my pro buddies wondered aloud how many recipes there could possibly and how would that make an interesting episode.  I hope she's listening! My cattle call got so many takers and each call was a full conversation so I had to split them up into several episodes.  Here is the first batch ready for your hungry ear holes.  My guests were Sowmya from San Francisco, Wardah of San Diego, Victoria in Minneapolis and beyond, and Nev way up in Portland, ME. Remember to subscribe to this podcast via iTunes to always be the first on your block to get the newest episode. This helps me know how the podcast is doing and will also help me attract sponsors to help finance the podcast down the road.  Please also rate the podcast on iTunes just so I know how I'm doing . Thanks!
08/06/141h 35m

Episode 17 – Donia Christine, Business Consultant

Subscribe to this podcast via iTunes Disclaimer: It's hasn't yet happened that this podcast requires a disclaimer so I hope I am doing this right.  In this episode the existence of sex and sexuality is acknowledged.  If you are under 18, please ask your parents if you can listen to this episode. If  you are an adult and don't want to know that these things exist, that there is an industry devoted to it, and people who work in it, I suggest you close this browser window and walk away. For the rest of you still reading, this episode is a treat, and an unusual one at that.  Donia is a business consultant to sexuality professionals.  Somehow I got it into my head that there are a lot of parallels between the work of a professional henna artist and that of a sexuality professional.  You will have to listen to the episode to see exactly what those parallels are, and I am sure you can think of a lot more than those we talked about.  The episode isn't all just sexy stuff--it's not sexy at all--but it's chock full of great business advice that we can all benefit from, at whatever stage our career are. Donia was generous enough to share some great links, some of which she talks about on the podcast, and others that she thought would be useful to you all. Donia offers a free 30 minute consult to any one who fills out the form on her website: Remember to subscribe to this podcast via iTunes to always be the first on your block to get the newest episode. This helps me know how the podcast is doing and will also help me attract sponsors to help finance the podcast down the road.  Please also rate the podcast on iTunes just so I know how I'm doing . Thanks!
15/03/142h 14m

Episode 16 - Bridal Panel: Darcy Vasudev

Subscribe to this podcast via iTunes Perhaps you remember Darcy from the inaugural episode of this podcast, or maybe you have seen her work online...either way, she is hard to forget.  A bridal panel just wouldn't be complete without talking to Darcy.  In my years of friendship with her, Darcy has shared with me so much of her bridal henna knowledge.  Her advice---based on personal experience---was very important to the growth of my own bridal henna business.  I hope that you listeners will benefit from her advice as much as I did. Upon listening back to the three (so far!) bridal panel episodes I am amazed at how many ways there are to run a henna business, not to mention all the different ways to do henna, from making paste to wrapping up a bride.  I was able to glean such a variety by choosing artists with different backgrounds, located in different areas of the US (working on some interviews with overseas artists so stay tuned), unique approaches to their art and even different art.  As you listen to this series of episodes I think you will see some common themes like the need to change up your marketing regularly, and keep trying different things until you find that sweet spot, and the need for a high level of professionalism both in your business activities as well as your art.  What were the biggest takeaways from these interviews that influenced your career in henna? Darcy can be found at as well as; she has a huge presence on all the social media that you have heard of, and even some you haven't! Remember to subscribe to this podcast via iTunes. This helps me know how the podcast is doing and will also help me attract sponsors to help finance the podcast down the road.  Please also rate the podcast on iTunes just so I know how I'm doing . Thanks!
05/03/1441m 2s

Episode 15 - Sarah Walters

Sarah, of, is not only a fellow henna artist but is also an IT person by day, like myself.  Talking with her for the podcast felt very familiar because of our similarly split personalities.  I've long admired Sarah's work, especially her bridal work, because it embodies so much of what I am always striving to achieve, especially clean lines and original designs.  Wandering around her Flickr galleries is such a pleasure and also an inspiration.   I learned a lot from my conversation with Sarah and our conversation continued on Facebook where she has been really helpful--along with a lot of other pros--at helping me with my cone challenges.  It was interesting to hear the practical matters of bridal henna and compare and contrast it with the information gleaned from other bridal artists.  I think a lot of us henna artists strive to find the one perfect way to do henna, but these conversations have shown me that not only are there a lot of different approaches to the art form, but also that individual artists often change their methods from bride to bride, or evolve over time.  I think that I can give myself a break for finding myself in beginner's mode at times, now that I know that great artists who I admire are also still learning.  I hope you enjoy the podcast and discover that you are also growing!

Episode 14 - Fatima Oulad Thami

Subscribe to this podcast via iTunes My interview with Fatima was so fun. After we hung up I was exhausted and energized and kinda teary.  It was such a joy to talk to someone who is so passionate about her art and especially about Moroccan henna.  I often feel like I'm the tree in the forest which no one is there to hear when I talk about Moroccan henna. The henna world is all Indian, all the time and there doesn't seem to be space for Moroccan henna in that world which makes me very sad.  That's why talking with Fatima, whose passion for Moroccan henna far surpasses mine, was such a treat. Collecting images of her work for this blog post was another pleasure.  You can see from the photos above that she seriously rocks the Moroccan Fessi style in a way that I rarely see outside of Morocco.  I get misty-eyed looking at these designs of hers...nostalgic for Morocco but blown away by someone who conveys the best of Moroccan henna through her work. What is also incredible are her non-Moroccan designs which are also executed with a syringe. Having tried to do henna with a syringe I can barely imagine doing Moroccan designs with them let alone the floral and viney work that Fatima creates.  I really love the pieces where she fuses the Moroccan with the Indian in a way that few artists can do.  In this sense she is a true Moroccan artist, personifying the crossroads nature of Morocco, picking up influences from all over the world and expertly melding them into a creation that is greater than the sum of its parts.
29/12/131h 47m

Episode 13 - Bridal Panel: Sumeyya Hussain (nee Rahman)

I have always loved Sumeyya's work and have stalked her and her photos for years, but after "meeting" her on Skype for the podcast I learned that we are both Michiganders and fellow fast-talkers.  As always, this episode was all about what I could get out of it for my own personal use, as a bridal henna artist.  I gleaned some great marketing tips from Sumeyya as well as new ways to think about the layout of bridal designs.  I have a page of notes of things I want to work on and I owe it all to Sumeyya!  Even though this podcast is increasingly for my own benefit I hope that you, my faithful listeners, will find something of interest in it for you, like crumbs that fall off the table where the feast is happening. Talking to Sumeyya was a blast; she's very smart and quick, but also opinionated, funny and grounded.  Being around someone who is so dedicated to the business side of things while having a high level of passion for the art of henna is really infectious, and a great reminder about what we are all here for, in this little henna world of ours. You can see more from Sumeyya at her website:  Prepare to drool!
22/12/131h 43m

Episode 12 - Bridgette Bartlett of Maple Mehndi

I'm in a rush to get this out so I'll just post Bridgette's bio here and add to this post later, if time permits. I am native to Vermont, growing up surrounded by mountains and forrest. I have always been artistic,  mostly a photographer before discovering henna in 2011. The soothing flow of henna quickly became the focus of my artistic energy. Instead of trying to capture a moment in time, henna allows me to be present. A quiet creation to celebrate and adorn in any culture or country. I feel blessed to bring this art form to people all over the world.
12/12/1352m 31s

Episode 11 - Neeta Sharma aka Mehndi Designer

Listen to this Episode Listen to this episode"> Subscribe to this podcast via iTunes Listen to this episode"> What a surprising pleasure it was talking to Neeta Sharma for this episode. It really shouldn't be such a surprise because everyone told me how sweet and generous and knowledgeable she is, and she did not disappoint. I don't know if Neeta could hear it but I was smiling on the other end of the line. As always, the interview taught me so much; I continue to think of these interviews as my own private therapy sessions which I decide to share with all of you.   You're most welcome! I've been keeping an eye on Neeta over the years as I worked to hone my bridal henna skills.  She seems a bit shy about sharing her work and so I kind of lost touch with her.  Then I saw a bunch of her new work as part of a mehndi artist competition and I was blown away all over again by her level of detail, the fineness of her lines and the originality of her layout.  I kind of feel like I discovered a new henna artist but it's just Neeta being excellent!  If you haven't seen her work in a while you're in for a treat. Knowing Neeta only through her work and her reputation I didn't know how the conversation would go so I had a lot of questions just in case I needed to fill time. Fortunately she is a fount not only of information about henna, but also very interesting insights into creativity and attitude making my job that much easier. I have a sneaking suspicion that I will have more questions for her which will require another Neeta episode.
22/11/131h 24m

Episode 8 - Hiral Shah aka Hiral Henna

Hiral and I are fellow wolverines from Michigan..though Hiral’s birth country is India.  I met her about 6 years ago when I was visiting Michigan.  She still saw herself as an inexperienced henna artist.  Fast-forward a few years and Hiral had rocketed to new heights in her henna skills.  She is a model for engaged effort to master an art form and the results were amazingly apparent.  Her path to super-pro included attendance at too many henna conferences to count (I exaggerate only slightly), constant learning and practice, and a trip to India to study with a mehndi master.  She even packed up and moved out West where she could find more mentors, as well as a lot more clients.  I think we can all learn from Hiral and her concerted effort to get from point A to point B, and beyond. I really admire her courage to go to India to study with a master as well as relocate for her art. I’ve kept in touch with Hiral over the year through social media but we never really talked about the specifics of what she was up to. I was really thrilled that she agreed to let me interview her so I could learn more about her journey and share it all with you.  I hope you enjoy the conversation at least half as much as I did! Hiral Shah has loved mehndi all her life. She spent the first decade of her life getting henna done every chance possible by her Mom, Bani. At the age of 11, she started taking matters, or mehndi cones rather, in her own hands and doodling over herself. This hobby has stayed with her over the years until she began her undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan. While she was studying for her B.S. in Psychology, she founded Hiral Henna, and the rest is history. Hiral had a knack for mehndi so initially, she did not pursue any formal training for this skill. Once she decided to become a professional henna artist though, she began attending henna conferences in the U.S. and Canada since 2009. At these conferences, she learned how to do different styles of Indian, Arabic, Moroccan, Polynesian, festival, contemporary, and tribal henna. In early 2012, she also trained with Harin Dalal, and as a result, she specializes in dulha-dulhan and Radha-Krishna designs. She also taught at Henna Gathering in 2010, at the Spring Fling in 2011 and 2013, and at the Windy City Mehndi Meetup in 2012.
23/09/131h 30m

Episode 5 - Nic Cartier Part 2

At long last here is part 2 of my interview with Nic.  Part 1 finished with us discussing how to learn a new tool and this episode starts off with Nic’s advice on how to learn a new style.  Thanks for patiently waiting for each episode. I am trying to get them out regularly and often but it’s hard with a full-time job and my henna work.  I finished editing part 1 right before my trip to Australia so you would have something to tide you over, and then as soon as I returned I started editing part 2. Antoinette’s x-wing fighter belly! All my listeners have been really kind with compliments and also with constructive criticism; the latter has been really important because you all alerted me to some technical issues which allowed me to fix them for future episodes. I recently received a really wonderful email from a listener in the Seattle area, Anoinette Hippe, who said that I could post her message wherever I wanted.  I was so happy to receive this message because what she describes feeling while listening to the podcast is exactly what I had intended. I am so gratified that, at the very least, one person got it!  Here is her message (and also a photo of the design of hers I mention in this episode.): Dear Lisa, My journey with henna has been a long and generally convoluted one (whose isn’t?) but one thing that has remained a constant is my general underlying desire to make henna more meaningful, both to me and my clients. When I first started henna, I was given Loretta Roome’s book to read, and my favorite chapter was the one at the back, the one that talks about what it means to be a henna artist. Throughout the years, first as a student of a woman to whom henna is simply a means to support herself and her family, then as my drive to make this art form a viable source of income for myself, I would find myself pulled from the “meaning” of what it means to be a henna artist. When I would sense my disconnect, my lack of interest in doing one more stupid design, I would pull out that book and read the last chapter. And then wonderful things would happen in my soul, and I would want to be…”more.” Tonight as I was driving home, I had a full hour to listen to the most recent podcast. It was hard, sometimes, to listen, because it was dark, and the tears that pricked at the back of my eyes threatened to blur my vision dangerously. I realized, while listening to Noam talk about his amazing experience in that Toronto festival, and again when he described his role as a ritual organizer, that I had found in audio form another source of inspiration, much like Roome’s book, to go to when I am feeling my least connected to my art form, to re-charge my “good juju” and to become “more.” Thank you so much for what you are giving to the community with these podcasts. The “storyteller” is a vital role human history, and with so much competition (TV, music, etc) in modern life, it is refreshing to find exactly what we need in something so basic as sitting around a cup of tea and talking. That we are allowed to listen in is a real gift. I thank you with all my heart, Antoinette
31/07/131h 9m

Episode 4 - Nic Cartier (Part 1)

We talk all the time, Nic and I. We've been talking non-stop for 15 years, a lot of it about henna.  When we talk about henna we cover the gamut of topics, from cone material to ingredients, from the meaning of art to the meaning of the khamsa.  Even though we live in different cities we end up having a lot of these conversations over coffee or idlis or red wine somewhere in NYC.  We cooked up our Moroccan book in a corner booth at the Culture espresso bar in midtown Manhattan.  We dreamed of our next book over an incredible beet salad in the Roebling Tea Room in Williamsburg.  Now we've actually recorded a snippet of this fifteen year long conversation for this podcast.  The conversation ran long--as it often does--so it's been split into two parts.  We're already planning future episodes with a different format so watch this space! I have been nagging Nic to send me his bio but then I realized that there is no point. You all know the origin myth of Boy Wonder (now Man Wonder) so why bother even cutting and pasting.  I'm sure you'd rather hear what he has to say and look at the pretty (did I just say that?!) pictures of his work.
10/07/1355m 51s

Episode 3 - Noam Sienna (Part 2)

If you listened to the last episode you know that my conversation with Noam went into overtime with the score tied. We had so much to talk about that I split the episode into two parts. This is the second part.  We finished part 1 talking about some of the common myths of henna and henna history, and the conversation picked up in that same stream.  We also talked a lot about Noam's work as a henna artist, especially how he uses henna as part of his role of Ritual Facilitator.  I knew nothing about this aspect of Noam's life so it was fascinating to just sit back and listen. Since starting this podcast I have heard from many people that they don't listen to podcasts or don't know how. I am such an avid consumer of podcasts that I didn't realize that not everyone was as obsessed by them as I.  Podcasts fill an entertainment niche for me.  They are great for times when I want entertainment but I can't watch a screen, maybe because I am biking, or lying on the beach, or drawing henna designs or am crammed into a subway car on my way to work.  Podcast fills those moments where I can't read or watch a movie, or when I want something more than music. It sounds like I hardly spend any time not consuming some form of entertainment but trust me, there are many hours of the day when I am alone with my thoughts. For those of you who want to delve into podcasts I have links on the sidebar here to some of my favorite podcasts.  If you are not sure how to find podcasts and subscribe to them, I have listed  some website to help get you started on the wonderful world of podcasts. How to Listen to Podcasts - 8 Great Apps for Listening to Podcasts for Android and iOS Happy listening!
01/07/131h 9m

Noam talks, I smile and nod

Noam's Moroccan henna work[/caption]The air was thick and moist on this first hot day in New York City.  Anticipation ran rampant as I spied those familiar flowing, caramel locks chilling at a sidewalk cafe. That was surely Noam Sienna, my most favorite henna historian ever!  We were on a tight time schedule and rushed to get the express train out to Brooklyn. Feeling the crunch of time we started the interview as we swiped our Metrocards and got on the A train.  The interview continued until we walked into my apartment.  Fearing that I wouldn't capture every word he uttered I got the mic set up, did some testing of the sound and we were off!  Two hours later and only a handful of subjects covered--along with a lot of really fascinating tangents--we wrapped up.  Quick hugs and then we were off to our other appointments, mine with my trainer, Noam's with the sun. Noam Sienna is a professional henna artist and has been practicing and researching henna for six years. Growing up in an Ashkenazi Jewish family, in college he discovered that Jewish communities had henna traditions as well. After a year in Israel researching Jewish henna ceremonies in contemporary Israeli culture, he analyzed the survival and revival of Jewish henna in his undergraduate thesis, "Old Patterns, New Skin: Jewish Henna Ceremonies and the Politics of Heritage", for which he received highest honours in Anthropology. He has presented about henna traditions across the world, and is continuing his research on Jewish henna in the Department for the Study of Religion at the University of Toronto. He describes himself as a Jewish henna artist, researcher, and ritual facilitator, and is thrilled to see how contemporary Jews are using henna, and henna traditions, to create meaningful rituals and ceremonies in their lives. You can find out more about Noam's work and get an excellent dose of henna history at his website  In the meantime stay tuned for future episodes with Noam; we promised each other that we would continue the conversation soon and in front of the mic.  Enjoy!
10/06/131h 3m
Heart UK