Friday, October 15, 2010

We Felt You....

 Okay, so by now, you know from seeing my kitchen table that I am fairly divergent in my lifestyle, thought processes and even creativity.   How fractured a picture this must present to the world:

Wikipedia had this to say about divergent:

Divergent thinking is a thought process or method used to generate creative ideas by exploring many possible solutions. It is often used in conjunction with convergent thinking, which follows a particular set of logical steps to arrive at one "correct" solution. Divergent thinking typically occurs in a spontaneous, free-flowing manner, such that many ideas are generated in a random, unorganized fashion. Many possible solutions are explored in a short amount of time, and unexpected connections are drawn. Following divergent thinking, ideas and information are organized and structured using convergent thinking.[1]
Psychologists have found that a high IQ alone does not guarantee creativity. Instead, personality traits that promote divergent thinking are more important. Divergent thinking is found among people with personalities which have traits such as nonconformity, curiosity, willingness to take risks, and persistence.[2] Additionally, researchers at Vanderbilt University found that musicians are more adept at utilizing both hemispheres and more likely to use divergent thinking in their thought processes.[3]
Activities which promote divergent thinking include creating lists of questions, setting aside time for thinking and meditation, brainstorming, subject mapping / "bubble mapping", keeping a journal, creating artwork, and free writing.[1] In free writing, a person will focus on one particular topic and write non-stop about it for a short period of time, in a stream of consciousness fashion.[1]

Anyways, to CONVERGE back to the post at hand:  there is this trendy little micro niche out there in the soap 
universe:  felt.   Yep, felt.   We have felt taking many forms and not just for children's cheap thrills or crafts anymore.   I have found felt bracelets, felt earrings, felt necklaces; those make me jump out of my skin in a flurry of itchy thoughts.  But in SOAP circles, there is also the phenomenon of felted soap.

Apparently, sheep's wool is very easily formed into felt by a process of wet or dry felting.  Today we will only lightly examine that of wet felting.   

On Etsy  where I have a shop the felt frenzy has reached full force; and here is an example of felted soap:  Cute, colorful, cozy, contemporary.
if you dare to purchase this, please do not tell  me lest I cry.   But here is the link anyways.
Then on the opposite end of the spectrum you have the posh, the hip, the OhSoTrendy and SoughtAfter 
Anthropologie   (Oh, to one day have product in there, eh?)   Something to certainly reach for anyway.

Here is are pictures of their pricey little soaps:

Aren't they adorable?   Yeah, I know, not for everyone.

I  read every single on of their customer's reviews.  Brutal, honest, on the full range of spectrum between delight and total disgust.  

But the romance remained about something new.  Something different; at least to me.   Something visceral; as though my life were lacking somehow in the visceral tendencies.  Ha Ha. 

Anyways, a new search on Etsy revealed that there was, indeed a little wool shop down the road a pace.  Here in Texas, that would be about 25 miles or so.  We found this delightful shop, WC Mercantile, so my daughter and I planned a trip down yonder to explore, find colorful wool, and just dig through scads of Antique Stores in their old downtown district.  You know, the ones with the diagonal parking, right?   Heartland of America!

So after speaking with Stephanie who is herself an Etsy seller, we got a mini education on sheep, wool, roving, spinning, batts, Corriedale, Merino, Tops. Milk, and this sharp little tool called a felter.   $58 dollars later, we emerged with a bag full of rovings and went home.

Here are pictures of my daughter making a scarf with bubble wrap later that night:

And then, here is my very first felted soap:

My final analysis of this $58 dollar divergent journey?   Eh....not sure.   Not sure it fits the targeted Modus Apparendi of Cassia Aromatics.   I already have a few orders, and for sure there will be people who think it's cool.   And sure, the benefits are many:   Soaps last longer, you don't have to use a wash cloth, and wool has natural anti fungal qualities to it that keep the whole item free of pathogens.   And yes, it is mildly exfoliating.   But I don't think I will spend a whole lot of time or money on this.   
The cool thing is that it has it's own "packaging" if you will.   As long as I have been in this business, packaging has been a main hurtle/challenge/goal/quandary for me.   So. there.  

Divergence.  Delight.  Different Ways of Doing It.  Definitely Worth a Try.

Okay, the meatloaf is almost burning, so I must be off.   What are YOUR thoughts on felted soap?

Comment, if you dare!

Toodles, dear reader!

1 comment:

Anne-Marie said...

Congrats on your first felted soap! They're such a fun project. There are a lot of creative twists you can do if you keep up the craft :)

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