Thanks to all of you for that. I really mean it. First of all, I didn't know one thing about soap when I started writing this blog. In fact, I was just a person who thought that handmade soap was cool and found there to be no platform for the people who made it...no vehicle to get the soap into the front light. The connection I found within the soaping community was greater and more sincere than I ever thought possible. It is for those reasons that I started to make soap. I had undying support from so many of you that I tried it, loved it and haven't looked back once. Not ONCE. Years later, it's all I want to do.
I never imagined that I'd be happily married to my job. I love making soap, designing soap, smelling it, cutting it, using it. I received a beautiful letter from a friend who had had a great experience when she opened a box of soaps I mailed to her. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy, knowing that something I am passionate about, something I made with my own hands, brought pleasure to my dear friend. I think that's part of what makes handmade soap so precious. Handmaking soap from scratch is truly a spiritual process for me.
I have begun throwing clay and as frustrating as this is for me, it is also centering me in, a sense. I remember the mantra, "It's the process, not the product that is the gift". As a new mother back then (ahem), I never rushed my daughter to finish her artwork, or gave her suggestions.... her playing in finger paints or mud, glitter, glue, homemade play dough, whatever... it was HER process, not mine, and I think it really stuck. She is extremely talented in so many ways: she is a beautiful French Horn musician and a talented photographer. She also makes all of the gifts she gives me; she has made some of the most beautiful things that I will cherish until my dying day. She loves art and the process of it. I love that.
Since the beginning of my class, I have been focusing on the clay, only. Centering it....this can take time, but once it is centered, a feeling of relief is present. My teacher is amazing and he has given me tips that help my mind wrap around the clay and manipulate it to where I want it to go. The process. The focus, the conquering of a squishy blob, that, with an ever so tender touch, can change in one second, and so... and so.... patience, time, and energy. I gave in to it all after the first 30 minutes of the class. Yesterday we did trimming and I, again, focused and wasn't concerned with the final product, but to master the art of carving through leather hard clay to be smooth is inspirational. This is good therapy if you can lose yourself in it, and perhaps utter torture if you can't BE in the process. Working it.
I have learned a lot through my photography, pottery and soaping. It's all a learning process and involves such self awareness through the process. I just want to remind you that whatever it is that you are doing, stop, breathe deeply and take a step back. If your final product isn't what you intended and you are frustrated beyond recognition, then perhaps find the time to create it step by step instead of burling through it to get to the final product.
I think life is also like this. I have learned that, too, through parenting my two children and owning my own business. I must continue to remember to stop and smell the roses, just for the smell....
|My kids: Desmond and Nina|