Rachel Goldman is an artist living in Cincinnati, Ohio. She first encountered henna in the markets of Marrakesh, while studying abroad in Morocco. Fascinated, she persuaded a friend to take her outside of the city to have her palms painted. Sitting in the tiny hut, drinking tea and watching the henna artist speedily cover her with beautiful designs was not an experience she would soon forget. Afterwards, with her hands and feet wrapped in plastic bags, she flagged down a taxi and headed back to her apartment, wondering where she could get her hands on her own henna. Soon after her return, she was given a bottle of henna paste and began to experiment. Her background in the fine arts allowed her to progress quickly and she enjoyed the challenge this new medium presented.
Fascinated by the mix of artistry and chemistry involved, as well as the social ritual, and intrigued by the geographical differences in henna design, she enjoyed learning about and then combining the different styles of henna found around the world in her own work, from tradition Indian designs to the geometric designs of Morocco, the resist techniques of the Sudanese, and the whimsical styles of the Gulf. She began to explore not only the application of the henna itself, but the science and tradition behind it; sourcing her own henna powder and making her own henna paste, practicing her designs and recipes on any bare skin or paper within reach, and perfecting her own recipe.
In October of 2012, Ms. Goldman's work was photographed by David Rafie (of David Rafie Photography Studios) and featured along with her name and phone number in Her Magazine in an article titled "The Art of Henna" by Elle Fitzmorris. The phone calls began pouring in, and BellaHenna was born. She ordered some business cards and began offering her henna art services at weddings, sangeets, salons and festivals, traveling in and around (and beyond) the Greater Cincinnati Tristate area. Since then she hasn't stopped, traveling nationwide to henna and teach.
When she's not traveling, Ms. Goldman does henna in and around Cincinnati, paints in her fine art studio downtown, and designs everything from custom tattoos to logos. She continues to explore and refine traditional mehndi designs and techniques, while bringing her own fine art flair to the process, pushing the envelope with her henna resist techniques, teaching, learning, and exploring. When not making art, she can often found be found rock climbing in Red River Gorge, Ky.
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