Button Soap

Project HEAL Natchez Art_Soap 5 (1).jpg
Project HEAL Natchez Art_Soap 5 (1).jpg

Button Soap

10.00

Proceeds from the sales of Button Soap will support the renovation and programming at the historic Angelety House, which houses the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc., Southwest Mississippi Chapter and programming for the “Girls’n Pearls” (girls ages 8 to 18 mentored by the Chapter).

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Proceeds from the sales of Button Soap will support the renovation and programming at the historic Angelety House, which houses the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc., Southwest Mississippi Chapter and programming for the “Girls’n Pearls” (girls ages 8 to 18 mentored by the Chapter).

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Button Soap is handmade and packaged in Natchez, MS.

Button Soap is handmade and packaged in Natchez, MS.

Left: Brazilian artist CADU creates bars of magnolia scented Button Soap with Natchez Mayor Darryl Grennell and Natchez artist and entrepreneur Ann Grennell of Scent From Natchez. Right: Natchez artist Johnnie Griffin and his grandson Daniel J. Hartwell carve the wood buttons from magnolia branches to be inserted into soap bars.

Left: Brazilian artist CADU creates bars of magnolia scented Button Soap with Natchez Mayor Darryl Grennell and Natchez artist and entrepreneur Ann Grennell of Scent From Natchez. Right: Natchez artist Johnnie Griffin and his grandson Daniel J. Hartwell carve the wood buttons from magnolia branches to be inserted into soap bars.

About Button Soap:

In collaboration with the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc., Southwest Mississippi Chapter, their 12 “Girls’n Pearls” (girls ages 8 to 18 mentored by the Chapter), and Natchez-based artists and small business owners – Brazilian artist Cadu created the Equity PlatformGirls’n Pearls Soap Sculpture, and Button Soap.

Equity Platform is made from over 750 pounds of magnolia scented hand-made soap was poured into 36 square slabs.  The slabs are stacked to form a platform based on the heights of the members of the Coalition of 100 Black Women - Girls’n Pearls,  who range  from 4'11" to 5'7". The girls become equal in height when they step onto the Equity Platform symbolizing Liberation and equality.

The magnolia is the state flower of Mississippi and represents joy, dignity, and nobility to echo the values of the girls.

After being exhibited, the Equity Platform will be cut into more than 2,000 bars of Button Soap and proceeds from the sales will support the renovation and programming of the Angelety House.

Button Soap is inspired by “Forks of the Road,” Mississippi’s most active slave market operating for 30 years (c. 1830-1860) on what is now St. Catherine Street only a few blocks away from the Angelety House. The only artifacts found on the site of the “Forks of the Road” were buttons from enslaved people’s clothing. In their honor, wooden buttons crafted by local Natchez artists have been carved from magnolia branches.

A single wooden button has been inserted into each bar of soap.  “After using the soap, the button can be extracted and attached to a piece of clothing, restoring its utilitarian use but also recognizing a camaraderie of consciousness,” says artist Cadu. 

After you use your bar of Button Soap, sew the button onto a shirt, jacket, hat, bag, etc. Use this as an opportunity to commemorate the lives forever changed at the Forks of the Road, and to expand people's understanding of history as it relates to slavery in America. Share an image of how you are making Button Soap visible with #ButtonSoap

After you use your bar of Button Soap, sew the button onto a shirt, jacket, hat, bag, etc. Use this as an opportunity to commemorate the lives forever changed at the Forks of the Road, and to expand people's understanding of history as it relates to slavery in America. Share an image of how you are making Button Soap visible with #ButtonSoap

A limited edition of 500 bars of Button Soap will be available starting September 14, 2017 with the launch of Project HEAL Natchez Art Exhibit and Cultural Performance Series.

Artists who collaborated to make Button Soap include:

  • Brazilian artist CADU,
  • Natchez artist and entrepreneur Ann Grennell of Scent From Natchez who produced the magnolia scented soap,
  • Natchez artists Johnnie Griffin and his grandson Daniel J. Hartwell who carved the wood buttons from magnolia branches,
  • Natchez artists Johnnie and Loraine Griffin created the soap molds for the platform and individual hand sculptures.

Click here to learn more.