Henna artist extraordinaire Ravie Kattaura shared some of the secrets of her unique and beautiful handmade henna candles with us.
What makes your work unique?
I have often been on the cutting edge of henna design. I was creating henna designs on cakes many years ago. I was also one of the first to create henna designs on candles. Even many years ago, eve household objects like vases or small trays would have my designs on them. I was looking around one day and noticed some candles and started decorating them. Since then, I have never stopped.
At Keyuri’s, we have taken this ancient tradition of henna and transformed the ordinary candle into a work of art. The candle is the canvas and henna is the medium, and the artist’s imagination the inspiration.
Now I work with the candle makers to create the candles themselves. The outer shell is made from paraffin wax, but the tea light that is actually lit is made with soy and natural products. The henna designs will last a long time and are of high quality. Each candle can be personalized and comes with special care instructions.
How far in advance do people need to order the candles?
These candles are labor intensive and I start making them when I receive the order. It is always better to place the order as early as possible. Since each order is custom-made, some people even order the candles up to a year in advance. In addition to the candles, the boxes, and even the labels are made for you. The prices range from $20 to $500 per candle, depending upon the size, intricacy of the design, and the materials used.
You also have your choice of styles from Jhumar (more traditional styles) to Kashmiri-inspired designs. Kashmiri-inspired designs make a very lavish use of the Swarovski crystals, as compared to the jhumar style, and take a lot longer to make. If you choose designs with crystals, they may take some extra customization.
Why do the candles make good gifts?
The henna candles are memorable, forever gifts. They can be used for centerpieces, gift baskets, and wedding favors. They can also be given during the sangeet or mehndi, as you might imagine.
These unique, one-of-a-kind candles hold a place of pride in many a home. Your guests will admire the delicacy and beauty of the detailed design, the crystals and mirrors, and the glittering reflections dancing off of them. They come in special custom packaging, so you have many options for creating lasting memories for you and your guests.
Keyuri’s, Ravie Kattaura
Photos by American Photobank