Richa Creates

Pottery Decorated with Arabic and Indian Henna Designs

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The Artist:

Richa Gupta

My journey into the world of ceramics has been fairly new. It started in 2016 when kids left home for college. The process of creating items from stoneware or porcelain has been thrilling, exciting, therapeutic and refreshing. Clay is not only a great teacher but also a stress buster. 

Most of my work is influenced by my Indian roots.  I enjoy adding Henna designs to my ceramic pieces.

Besides pottery, I am a co-founder of the charity, Knit Crochet with Love (KCWL) that crochets and knits chemo caps and lap blankets for cancer patients. When not playing with clay or managing KCWL, I can be seen working at the local community college.

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Using Henna Designs in Pottery

Porcelain or stoneware pieces thrown or hand built are decorated with colored clay or slip before they are leather hard. Slip is applied with a cone or a bottle with a thin nozzle similar to decorating a cake. Once the pieces are dry and leather hard, they go through two sets of firing, namely, Bisque and Glaze.  These firing processes not only help fuse the henna designs to the pottery pieces but also add color and shine. Functional pieces created are food, microwave and dishwasher safe.

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Henna or Mehendi

Henna/Mehndi is an age-old tradition of body art and temporary skin decoration. To get orange to dark red stain, Henna paste, made from powdered dry leaves of the Henna plant (Lawsonia inermis), is applied to hands or legs using a plastic cone, or a stick. Once henna mud dries, a mixture of lemon juice and white sugar is applied over the henna design to remoisten. This helps to obtain a darker henna stain which can last anywhere between 7 to 10 days. 

Henna is used in many countries like India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Morocco, Algeria and many other countries.

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Slip Trailing

Indian and Arabic Henna Designs

Colored Engobe/slip is applied to greenware pieces.  Once dried it goes through bisque and glaze firing. In the current video yellow engobe is used on a porcelain teacup.