Mudra 2: Threepathaka

The literal translation of this mudra is three parts of a flag. As I reflect on this I am reminded of many things with three parts; a story or sonata, an atom, our government, the brain. My favorite uses of this mudra are to show the tree of life, the crown of Lord Vishnu (who is also part of a trinity with Lord Bramha and Lord Shiva), and flames rising from a ritual fire. Image

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Handmade Henna Paste: Small fresh batches are the best!

So I am super happy and having fun making small fresh batches of henna for the Madison Eastside Farmers Market and other wonderful events where I am able to share my henna designs and art. Making henna can be a little messy, but smells great and is not too hard to accomplish if you have the right desires to do so.

I pick a perfect bowl to do my mixing, a mixing utensil (for some reason metal is not recommended), and got my creative juices going to figure out a recipe to mix up. There are many tea options that people use to hydrate their henna powders (organic and body art quality powders finely sifted are all that I will use). Some people like coffee, others a tea, maybe cloves or other secret ingredients. You also need a nice acid to break up the henna fibers so they will release dye, I like to use lemon juice. It can take 24-48 hours to break down the henna plant to release dye. Each powder is slightly different so making henna a few days in advanced of when you will use it is best. A nice essential oil to assist in that process and to invigorate wonderful smells into your henna is also a plus. Some of the oils I have seen recommended are cajeput, tee tree, and lavender. Lastly a sugar helps the henna in the drying process to have a nice “crust”. I like to use maple syrup cause nature made it perfectly already. Add a bit of liquids and then stir, stir ,stir… continuing the process till you have the consistency you like to work with, the set it aside so the mixture can make its magic.

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I have been hand rolling cones of a mylar like consistency for using with my henna. It keeps me using my henna in a few weeks also as the acids can potentially break down the cone or any dyes on the mylar, so less dyes the better here also. Filling the cones is probably the messiest part of the job, but so worth it. I usually use a make shift pastry bag to fill the cones. Make sure to push the initial dollop all the way down to the tip of the cone before filling it completely. Then enjoy!

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Henna at the Madison’s Eastside Farmers Market

I am starting a wonderful new adventure inspired by my favorite online henna artist Maple Mehndi. I will be promoting and sharing my henna and henna art work at the Madison Eastside Farmers market every Tuesday from 4-7pm. This wonderful neighborhood market will be a place where my clients can receive henna treatments and buy the henna I am making in fresh small batches weekly. I am keeping my henna simple using only lemon juice, maple syrup, and cajeput essential oil to mix with organic and body art quality henna powder. Clients need not worry about chemical dyes and other undisclosed ingredients that can be found in many henna products. I will also be promoting classes and other henna services, as well as my ceramics and artwork that are inspired by Indian design.

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when treble met base

On this beautiful and chilly white winter’s night I was invited for crafts at my sweet sister Phoebe’s home. A delicious warm red stew of tortilla soup, garnished with avocado, homemade tortilla strips, and roast chicken was shared by Adam while needles knit, beads were weaved, and friends teased and laughed and spoke their dreams. As maybe some of you guessed, I set lines of henna across a few of my friends gathered there.

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“when treble met base”

I love seeing how henna forms on the different hands and other body parts of my models and clients. I will often see a symbol or ask if people have an idea that they would like me to incorporate. I am constantly amazed at what happens when my creative energy mixes with each individual’s energy in the final design. It was also cool to see my recent collection of ceramic bowls on display in Phoebe’s beautiful place.

I am finding beautiful people everywhere to share with and be inspired by for my future works. It’s wonderful.

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Opened up shop!

Super excited to announce that I have opened my shop karmicflower on Etsy. I posted photographs and descriptions of my first collection of handmade ceramics. Here is some more information if you are interested!

https://www.etsy.com/shop/karmicflowerImage

Collection: Berry and Bird Egg – Inner Flower Bowls

All the ceramic bowls in this collection were handmade by Raka Bandyo at the MSCR Warner Ceramics Studio in Madison, WI. Each bowl was wheel thrown using a mid-range oxidation clay body with granular manganese from Continental Clay and fired in an electric kiln. The decorations for these pieces were inspired by the Indian art of henna and each contains an inner flower. The glazes I choose to work with are bold and rich colors inspired by nature along with black for additional contrast. All pieces in this collection are food safe. Approximate dimension and additional descriptions listed below:

1. The Red Raspberries
Each of the bowls in this set has an exterior glaze of rich red raspberry red and an interior glaze of black around the inner flower.
a. Large Deep Coneflower Bowl – Diameter 8 in, Height 4 in
b. Medium Deep Zinnia Bowl – Diameter 6 in, Height 2.5 in
c. Medium Shallow Sunflower Bowl – Diameter 6 in, Height 2 in

2. The Black Berries
Each of the bowls in this set has an exterior glaze of rich deep black berry purple and an interior glaze of black around the inner flower.
a. Large Shallow Lotus Bowl – Diameter 8 in, Height 2.5 in – imperfections in interior black glaze
b. Large Shallow Sunflower Bowl – Diameter 7.5 in, Height 2.5 in
c. Medium Shallow Sunflower Bowl – Diameter 6.5 in, Height 2.5 in

3. The Finch Eggs
Each of the bowls in this set has an exterior glaze of turquoise blue and brown speckles, and an interior glaze is black around the inner flower.
a. Large Deep Dahlia Bowl – Diameter 8 in, Height 3.5 in
b. Large Shallow Rose Bowl – Diameter 8 in, Height 3 in
c. Medium Shallow Zinnia Bowl – Diameter 6 in, Height 2.25 in

4. The Sparrow Eggs
Each of the bowls in this set has an exterior glaze of satin white and brown speckles, and an interior glaze is black around the inner flower.
a. Medium Deep Zinnia Bowl – Diameter 6.5 in, Height 2 in
b. Medium Shallow Sunflower Bowl – Diameter 6.5 in, Height 2 in
c. Medium Shallow Morning Glory Bowl – Diameter 6 in, Height 2.5 in

5. The Eastern Bluebird Eggs
Each of the bowls in this set has an exterior glaze of mint green and brown speckles, and an interior glaze is black around the inner flower. I also added an additional runny icy blue rim dip onto these bowls.
a. Large Deep Dahlia – Diameter 8 inches and Height 3 inches
b. Medium Deep Daisy – Diameter 6 inches and Height 2.5 inches
c. Medium Shallow Zinnia – Diameter 6 inches and Height 2.25 inches

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Mudra 1: Pathaka

This very first mudra that I learned. It represents a flag. An important symbol joining together nations and people all over this Earth. It is reminding us how we are all connected. Of course, for dancers this mudra is used in many different ways, as you can see in this profile picture. Here I am using Pathaka to represent a mirror through which I explore myself and adorn my third eye.

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Mudras: Seals of the Hands

As life energy flows out from our heart, through our arms and to the tips of our hands one generates the potential to create and heal. Writing, cooking, painting, touching, holding…

In Sanskrit the root of this word mud means “to delight in”. The word mudra also means “seal”, and in a yogic sense is used to seal and strengthen the body’s vital energies. Mudras are an integral part of Classical Indian Dance, unlike other forms of dance. Every movement has distinct mudras, mostly used to express emotion and experience, but also to extend the dancers physical energy and spiritual consciousness through to the very tips of our body and the minds of our audience.

It is with my deep love and appreciation for my guru and gurus from the past and present, inspiring inquisition from my students, and quest for greater understanding that I am beginning a new journey of reinvesting and sharing these ancient seals. May they bring you joy, strength, and mysticism.

With love,
Raka Bandyo

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