Magdalene Inspired Maddsoapnyc by Madeline Rodriguez
Madeline Rodriguez is a soap artist whose name and dedication connect her to Mary Magdalene. Her use of scents and oils become an experience as you visit her little store in La Marqueta, East Harlem, NYC. As a guest artisan in the Mary Magdalene Celebration, Madeline shared with us her thoughts on her craft and process:
In 2022, I was invited to the celebration of Mary Magdalene held by Tanya Torres. The event was free spirited, liberating and brought on a sense of awareness and grounding for me. I was deeply touched. I had an overwhelming sense of exploration and interest. I was intrigued with the myths surrounding Mary Magdalene, the many stories of who she really is and her connection to Jesus.
In 2023, Tanya invited me to the following year's celebration of Mary Magdalene. I created soaps in representation of her image. I was inspired by the deep, rich colors of red, burgundy and vibrant colors of firey orange and yellow. I designed cupcake soaps with hearts surrounded by these colors symbolizing the “sacred heart” as Mary Magdalene is depicted.
I am constantly looking for new ideas that challenge my soapmaking creativity. Creating soaps is an emotional and mental escape for me. It’s like coloring and drawing with crayons but using soap.
What inspired me to make soap was pure curiosity. I was consumed. All of my free time was spent on gathering information and taking notes. I started researching the benefits of oils and butters such as coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, rosehip oil, grapeseed oil, shea butter and mango butter to name a few. They contained properties that not only moisturized the skin but also helped in skin cell regeneration and collagen production. Oils and butters that protected the skin and also help alleviate itch, irritation, repair damaged skin and even improve skin tone and elasticity.
Feeling confident enough that I understood the process of soapmaking, I began creating a recipe. I did not want to copy someone else’s recipe. I wanted to create a batch of soap from scratch. I continued exploring designs, natural, organic coloring and safe products to implement into my soaps.
As a Pisces sign, I love all things pertaining to water, sand, seashells and especially mermaids. Making scenic soaps that depict the ocean and a beautiful sunny day at the beach are the main theme of my soap creations.
You can find Madeline's pieces on her instagram page: Maddsoapnyc or simply #Reina Del Mar.
These beautiful soaps are is part of the mini crafts fair dedicated to Mary Magdalene in El Barrio Art Space Art Gallery, with a reception on July 22, 2023 at 3pm, during The Mary Magdalene Celebration.