I work mostly in my kitchen, and in my ceramic studio. I love to get out into the desert and learn the native plants. I am developing more products using wild crafted ingredients. In addition to making ceramic soap dishes, I also make ceramic tiles integrating plants, by making impressions in the clay, making what I call “fossil tiles”.
I spent a lot of time in the desert, growing up in Phoenix, near what was the edge of Phoenix back then, and when we got the summer monsoons, I remember the way the air smelled. I also remember the joy we felt when the rain came! I didn’t know what that smell was from until my mother gave me a jar with dried creosote in it. As soon as I smelled it, I knew.
When I began making soap , I wanted to make one that smelled like the creosote bush, but I couldn’t find an essential oil of that plant anywhere, so I did some research to figure out how to get that smell into my soap. It was a fun journey and has given me the knowledge and desire to make other products using wild crafted plant ingredients. I am fascinated by the scent and memory link, and I think that the smell of creosote brings joy to those of us who dwell here in the Sonoran desert because of that link to the powerful memory of rain in the desert. I enjoy the gathering (and smelling! ) of plants and resins, and hope to find more ways to use them in the future.
All my soaps are made from scratch, the old fashioned way, in small 60 bar batches and are 90% Organic. The palm oil I use comes from Columbia and it’s certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil and the Rainforest Alliance … This is important because so much of the palm oil comes from areas of orangutan habitat and the harvesting in those regions has contributed to a loss of their habitat.
My soaps are super-moisturizing, vegan, cruelty free, minimally packaged ,and are free of the harmful ingredients that are found in commercial skin care products. I never use synthetic fragrances, only pure essential oils or infuse wild harvested plants into the oils.
I began making soap in the early 1990’s, when my children were young. They had sensitive skin and I wanted to make soap they could use. I gave some to friends and got such good feedback so I expanded added more products. I started with a friend, and a few times a year, we would have soap parties and invite friends and neighbors to come have some wine and cheese, and buy soap! One of those neighbors was Jane Reddin, and when she opened Practical Art in Phoenix, she asked me to supply soap for her store. That’s when I technically went into business.
I aim to run my business in an eco friendly and socially responsible manner. This includes limiting the use of plastic packaging, with the goal of phasing it out completely by 2020 (With the exception of some special wholesale request orders) and the use of recyclable and/or reusable shipping and packaging materials. My padded mailing envelopes are reusable and recyclable. When possible, I will re-use boxes and packaging materials from items I have received by mail, so you may end up with some random re-used boxes with original names covered. I hope that you realize this small inconsistency , while it may not be as pleasing to the eye-is helping us all in ways far more important than looks! The paper I print the labels on is made of 50% recycled paper and I hope that you will recycle them as well.