Archive for the moor, the book Category

Le Moor c’est L’amour – Moroccan henna class in Montreal!

Posted in algeria, amazigh, art, classes, culture, design, henna, history, moor, the book, morocco, traditions, women, workshop on May 21, 2012 by kenzilisa

Lumanessence Henna Body Art is proud to host MOOR Henna Master Class, with renowned henna-artist and author Lisa Butterworth — aka Kenzi — who will be coming to Montreal at the end of July to teach this exclusive class on Moroccan henna art.

During the workshop, you will learn about the history and culture of Moroccan henna, as well as an in depth look at how to break down designs, construct patterns, combine elements, and more.
• Jamila henna cones will be made available, but if you prefer working with your own, please feel free to bring them.
• In keeping with our Northern African theme, there will also be succulent Moroccan delicacies that will be served during the workshop.

You will also have the opportunity to purchase the book Moor: a Henna Atlas of Morocco (which Kenzi co-authored with another accomplished henna-artist, Nic Tharpa Cartier), and have it autographed. Please let us know if you would prefer the book in hardcover or soft cover so that we can plan in the advance the exact amount of copies needed.

Places are limited so to confirm your reservation, a non-refundable deposit of $30 is required before Thursday, June 28th.
Below you will find a button that will lead you directly to Kenzi’s Paypal account where you can make your secure online payment.
The balance amount is to be paid in cash the day of the class.

Hard to believe but this is my first Moroccan bridal!

Posted in amazigh, art, culture, design, henna, moor, the book, morocco, traditions, weddings, women on June 2, 2011 by kenzilisa

I do a lot of bridal henna and especially now that it’s spring-going-on-summer.  Most of my brides are S. Asian women or women marrying S. Asian men and they all want Indian-style designs.  I get to the point where I don’t even bother showing them Moroccan designs because they skip right over them and I get sad thinking about how underappreciated Moroccan designs are.   I had a bride meet me for a consult a few weeks ago and I handed her all my Indian bridal books; as I was turning away from her to hang up her coat I caught the tiniest glimmer of disappointment in her face which confused me, so when we started talking I tried to observe her and see what that disappointed look meant.

Moroccan bridal henna….at last!!

As we talked it dawned on me that she didn’t want Indian-style designs but had come to me specifically for Moroccan designs.  I chucked all my Indian books and proudly pulled out Moor, and her face brightened immediately.  As we got talking she told me about the time she spent living and studying in Morocco as well as Egypt and it was fun reminiscing.  I finally met her again yesterday for her bridal henna.  I had a moment of panic because I haven’t ever done full Moroccan bridal henna and I feared that I wouldn’t be able to do it.  After a few deep breaths it all came to me and I was able to just go with the flow.  I kept thanking her for requesting Moroccan and I think she started to think she had a nutcase on her hands.  I will nag her in a few weeks for some photos from her photographer at her wedding but here is my quick snapshot of her hands.

Moor on the Spot…a new book from Nic and Kenzi

Posted in amazigh, art, design, henna, moor, the book, morocco on February 17, 2011 by kenzilisa

Hey all you Moroccan hennaheads, lovers of all things Moroccan and henna, we have a new book out! Nic and I have been trapped under snow drifts for the past few months but fortunately we both had pen and paper and the will to live.  The end result of our entrapment is this lovely little book of Moroccan spot designs, 80 little treasures that will delight you and your clients.  We had a blast drawing these and we hope that you enjoy them just as much.

The book is 20 pages of designs at the low, low price  of just $7, and since it’s an e-book you get instant gratification.  Download here.

Sample page from Moor on the Spot

If you have a hankering for more Moroccan designs, you can also download the original Moor book, “Moor: A Henna Atlas of Morocco”, at the same link above.  And if that still isn’t enough, you can get more books at our henna site,  Here is the book page. You can pick up a copy of HennaTribe’s Hot 100 which is great for parties and festivals and Nic’s Rajasthan book is also there for a bargain price of $7.  Nic will also be releasing a truly gorgeous collection of henna designs based on Hmong batiks which he will announce on HennaTribe and possibly here.

I think that pretty much covers all your henna book needs.  As the weather warms up and the drifts melt into slush the henna season is taking off.  Enough hibernating, let’s get hennaing!

Mini-Lesson: La Chaine

Posted in art, classes, critique, design, moor, the book, morocco, workshop on January 9, 2011 by nictharpa

For those of you have had the chance to pick up a copy of Moor, you know the importance we ascribe to this simple motif. Its name, in French, means “the chain.” The chaine is the most important linear element in Moroccan design, and is drawn in a few different ways, the most common being with a simple zigzag sandwiched between two sets of parallel lines. When the chaine is drawn by Moroccan naqashat, it has a distinctive messy look. This is important because as a motif, the chaine does two things- it creates a boundary, but also recedes into the visual background- it gives just enough interest to move the eye, but not enough to distract from the other, larger motifs or the design as a whole.

So, when creating chaine motifs in your own work, remember to leave it a little bit messy. When the triangles of the zigzag become too defined, it begins to creep up visually, and changes the effect of the design as a whole.  It helps to think of the chaine as three parts, in order: one set of parallel lines, one zigzag, and another set of parallel lines. Create the zigzag quickly, in one smooth motion, without pausing, and you should have the right effect.

Some chaine examples for you, from our work:

Happy Moor Year!

Posted in algeria, art, classes, culture, design, henna, history, moor, the book, morocco, traditions, workshop on January 3, 2011 by kenzilisa

Winter is a time of hibernation, of stocking away provisions for the long haul, working on indoor projects and planning for the spring planting.  The same is true for henna and henna artists.  While we wait around for the Moroccan spring crop of henna to be harvested, Nic and I are taking stock, planning projects and looking forward to what will bloom once the weather warms up.

Our baby–our book–was born in June and unlike parents of human babies, our sleepless nights were before the birth, not after.  We have been chilling since the book came out but always discussing where to go next in our devious plan for world domination via Moroccan henna.  In August we taught the first Moor Moroccan Henna Master Class, in Seattle which was a lot of fun for us.  People say that they like it, so I guess it would count as a success!  Our next workshop was in NYC; it was great to teach close to home and share henna and NYC with our students.  We get to meet a lot of new people through our workshop and expand the henna community.

This fall/winter I went for a whirlwind tour of Southeast Asia.  One of my stops was in Singapore to meet my longtime, online friend and fellow henna artist, Jewel.  She organized another Moor workshop for the Singapore artists.  I loved meeting all of them and I think they enjoyed the class.  Meanwhile Nic was in LA teaching his own workshop to the henna peeps there.  Technically speaking we can now say that we are teaching classes worldwide.  We hope to spread our passion for Moroccan henna even more widely in the world. Right now we have some classes coming up in various venues in the US.  We are hoping that we can do classes in Europe and maybe even father afield in the future.  If you and the henna artists in your area would like a workshop taught by me and Nic, please email us or leave a comment.  We’ll let you know how to make that happen.

After every workshop we usually get several participants making roughly the same comment as the following from Katy DeBra, who attended Nic’s lecture in LA:

It’s so clear now, so demystified. I used to painstakingly copy Moroccan designs and now I feel I can create them or alter them on the spot to suit my henna-ee, which is how I usually work, creating something custom on-the-spot.

I experienced the same revelation when I read Nic’s design manual in the book; I thought I knew Moroccan henna and how to do it, but learning how to create them according to certain guidelines was so helpful and, eventually, creatively liberating.  We hope to spread this experience to as many people as possible so that we can all share the joy of doing Moroccan henna.

Nic and I are still researching Moroccan henna and collecting designs wherever we can find them.  We hope that those of you who have joined us on this path are getting lots of practice and hennaing clients with Moroccan designs.  Stay tuned here for future plans and all our new discoveries in the field of Moroccan henna.

Happy moor year to all!

Moor NYC Workshop debrief

Posted in amazigh, art, classes, culture, design, henna, history, moor, the book, morocco, traditions, workshop on October 17, 2010 by kenzilisa

Sitting here on a Sunday afternoon with a workshop hangover, but the kind of hangover where you smile a lot and hope that others are suffering similarly.  What’s on my mind today is something that Nic and I talked about over drinks last night, long after the workshop.  We both noticed that the most common reaction from our workshop participants is a big, flashing lightbulb.  We keep hearing comments along the lines of “oh I get it now!”, “I see how Moroccan designs are created and I feel like I can do it now!”  and “I always thought these designs were impossible but something clicked and I understand them now.”

Yes, this is exactly what a teacher hopes for but it’s rare that one gets this kind of clear feedback. We heard that a lot after our Seattle workshop and we saw evidence that this was true when the workshop participants started playing around with designs and posting them.  Yes, hot damn, they DID get it!  The same comments came out of our NYC workshop as well and we’re waiting with bated breath to see the designs that these lovely people are going to churn out.

We’re totally thrilled to have succeeded, with the few people we have taught so far, in infecting them with our passion for Moroccan henna designs and culture, but also with the confidence and the knowledge that they can whip out awesome Moroccan henna designs without fear.  Nic’s design manual in the book, and also his section of the workshop is worth the price of admission; even though I have sat through it several times and read that section of the book hundreds of times, I would pay to go through it again. Each time I listen I make new discoveries about Moroccan henna that positively impact my work as an artist.

Thanks to all the workshop participants who came yesterday.  Your energy, passion and inquisitiveness really amped up the quality for everyone there.  I hope that you will post your photos and let us know how you are progressing.  Also, please keep us posted on your efforts to spread the good word about Moroccan henna to clients and friends and students.

Moor in NYC

Posted in algeria, amazigh, art, classes, critique, culture, design, henna, history, moor, the book, morocco, traditions, women, workshop on October 11, 2010 by kenzilisa

Nic and I are currently prepping for the NYC Moor workshop and we are very excited to be teaching so close to home.  After our great workshop in Seattle we both realized how important it is to work directly with henna artists and infect them with our passion for Moroccan henna art.  Plus we both really enjoy teaching and meeting artists from all over.  In Seattle it was great to meet old friends but also to meet people we only knew online.  We hope they benefitted from the experience at least half as much as we did.


Consistently we find that experiencing Moroccan henna in person, with demos and practice sessions as well as an extensive question and answer period really opens everyone up to learning.  There seems to be nothing like watching someone henna Moroccan designs to really cement the lessons from the book and the workshop.  In this NYC class we added some time to the class to allow for more demonstration and practice.

We hope everyone who signed up is ready for a Moroccan onslaught, prepared to catch the Moroccan bug for which there is no cure!

For more info or to register please go here.  If you would like to host a Moroccan henna workshop where you live, please contact us for more information.