Maria Angeles Galan Thayer
This Month's feature focuses on, Maria Angeles Galan Thayer & her passion for soapmaking, her love for her fellow soapmakers, & how soaping come to be a part of her life.
Maria Angeles Galan Thayer: I was born in Venezuela. Every year I made visits to the United States to vacation all over. I had the opportunity to study at Boston University, & fell in love with the country, during my time spent there. I eventually became an American, & am now living in the, beautiful, and natural state of Arkansas, where I met & married my wonderful Husband & proud of my decision to belong to this country.
I have been making crafts ALL of my life, & after my retirement, I chose to continue making crafts. My crafting skills range from Metal Embossing, Painting, Embroidery, Ceramics, Candles, Scrapbooking, & eventually Soapmaking, which turned out to be a success for me.
SS: How did you get started in soapmaking?
When I first started making soap, my friends & family, including my grandchildren, were among the first to try my creation. They loved them so much that they inspired me share them with others. After sharing my soaps with my friends, they started wanting to buy them from me & gave me the idea to open an Etsy shop. Aside from my Etsy shop I also have business in Australia & France, that I started with my sisters. When I was living in Costa Rica I was interviewed on TV, & I sold a lot of soaps to a group of sellers. And every month I send free soaps to children in Africa, which I am very greatful to be able to do.
SS: Do you CP or MP, & why?
I do only MP because I love to create new things, something different, original. With MP, I can make many designs. I love CP but I don't want to be making only swrils.
SS: What inspires you most?
MAGT: Anything I see in museums, and around the world, pictures, glass art, everything involved with art. It inpires me to create a new design, even seeing the pictures of other great soapmakers creations.
SS: Do you consider yourself an artist?
MAGT: Back in my country of Venezuela, I was an artist working with Clay (ceramic). I loved working with "Raku", & was able to make some pieces that I won challenges with. For me, an artist is a person who can do something totally different through working with their hands, showing what is in their mind and soul.
SS: How has soapmaking changed your life?
MAGT: I love people, and love talking to them, sharing mutual interests with them, & to learn from them. Like the other crafts that I have made, the best part of any project is having the opportunity to meet people with the same crafting interests that I have and being able to share those experiences with them.
SS: How would you describe your creative process?
It is something that comes from anything, or anywhere. It is something that you are born with, a blessing from God to have this "special" touch. Others are great at piano, some singing, or some can create a beautiful cake or dress.... And others can make a beautiful and unique soap.
SS: What do you benefit the most from other artists in your craft?
MAGT: I love to see all kinds of art, everything made by hand is great for me, I love to see everything from other artists that I can get inspiration from.... art is an inspiration.... it is magic.
SS: Now for a little bit of fun.
Most soap artists seem to be all about their FO's & EO's, which of course are an important part of soapmaking, & everyone knows that scent is the major trigger sensory known for people. If you could explain which, FO or EO, has triggered the biggest memory from childhood, or the most important time in your life, which would it be & why? (this is optional of course).
When I close my eyes and smell the "Ocean Breeze" FO, my mind transports me to the ocean like I have risen right in front of it. It is the same for when I smell the "Coconut", too. I can taste the coconuts when I smell this FO. I entered a contest (& won, yay!), & because of my love for the ocean, I decided to make a "palm tree" in black, because my idea was of the ocean in the sunset, & when I was making it, my husband thought I was making a spider. After I made the little coconuts for the palm tree, my husband thought they were the spider's eyes, lol. When I finished nobody could believe that all of the small pieces put together would look like a painting, made of soap. And of course the magic touch of the FO, was the Ocean! I had a great time making this soap.
But sometimes I have made a disaster mixing FO's, & sometimes I cut, & cut, & cut pieces that makes more of a disaster, but it always makes me laugh, & learn what NOT to do for the next time.
You can find more information on Maria Angeles Galan Thayer and her soaps at - Facebook:Kokolele Soaps
Etsy Shop: Kokolele
This interview was conducted & edited by Misty Raines Clapp, Super Soapers Creator & Admin. You can contact Misty @ firstname.lastname@example.org
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