Tell us about your work and what we can expect to see at Handmade Hamilton.
I’m a soapmaker, mostly. I have a range of vegan soap, felted soap (technically vegetarian), and laundry butter. I’ll have some other fun, non-soap stuff… I love to create products that I want to use – cleaners and skincare products that include sustainable, clean ingredients.
What does your creative process look like?
Most of what I do – creatively or no – can best be described as a series of “happy accidents” (thanks, Bob Ross!) I generally have an aesthetic goal in mind when I start working; but, one of the things I’m always sharing with my soapmaking students is that soap does what it wants, sometimes. Soapmaking is about envisioning a process and a result… and then accepting the outcome, and loving it because, if nothing else, it’s soap J
I do a lot of soapmaking demonstrations, and I love walking into those with a loose plan, and letting the group sort of drive the process. We’re bound by the rules of chemistry… but there is also an opportunity for a huge “what happens if we….” element in the process. That’s the best part.
What inspires you?
My daughter. This project was actually her idea – a social purpose business, whose purpose is to funnel resources to community/charitable projects. She never ceases to inspire me with her unwavering belief that all it takes to change the world is the decision to change the world.
What do you think is the next big trend in craft?
I *hope* it’s a continuation in the development of maker spaces where skill transfer happens. I love sharing those creative skills with people. It increases accessibility of craft and fine art forms in a way that doesn’t ever devalue them. There is so much goodness and value in coming back to a place where we use our hands, hearts and brains to see the world differently, and to engage with other people in direct, concrete, micro ways.
Fave local makers?
Oh my gosh… all of them, for different reasons… Some of my faves…I love Laura Konyndyk’s watercolours, because they never fail to make me smile; I love Dear Edna aprons, Charlotte & Stewart dolls; Jim Poling’s gorgeous woodcraft; Batavia by Sil’s bags are great... I’m continually blown away by the wealth of creative talent in Hamilton. It sounds trite, but there really is something to make everyone happy being made in this community.