This week in The Soul Sessions, we sit down with ceramic artist and founder of The Sanctuary, Rachel Saunders. We talk about exploring creativity, seeking inspiration and her new internet retreat.
Tell us about you and what you do?
My name is Rachel and, for the most part these days, I do a lot of writing, travelling, designing and dreaming.
When did you start your ceramics business and why? Have you always been interested in the world of ceramics?
I started Rachel Saunders Ceramics about 8 or 9 years ago now. It blossomed from an intention of wanting to work for myself, and with my hands. I had no formal business training or plan and somehow managed to scrape together a pretty sizeable production company running an all-woman ceramics studio on Vancouver Island, Canada. This past spring, however, I decided to close the production element of my business to realign with my updated intentions which centre around being able to rest, explore creativity outside the confines of a stationary studio, and open myself up to more means of connection and purpose that I felt limited by in strictly focusing on physical output.
Tell us more about ‘The Sanctuary by Rachel’
The Sanctuary is my cyber palace. My internet retreat space. My cozy online community centre. It encompasses all the things I love to share— from the esoteric to the tools that help me survive and thrive, and all the things that keep my cup full and inspired. I teach monthly classes on topics such as how I deal with ADHD as a creative, how to hand-build your own candle holders, Human Design, and whatever else is authentically piquing my interest and can be beneficial to others. I created it last year when I was feeling like I had outgrown my business as I knew it, and needed a new outlet to connect with my amazing community. I’ve also found social media as we know it to become more and more like a fluorescently lit shopping mall, and was craving the warmth and excitement of more intimate online spaces.
It’s essentially a Patreon but aesthetically curated by me to feel like a beautiful home to welcome you into. There's the Cafe where I share my favourite recipes, the Journal where I share my ramblings and creative projects, the Spa where I share healing modalities and tools, and the Library where I have all my catalogued references, playlists and recommendations.
Have you always leaned towards a more holistic way of life? What is it about holistic living that you feel especially drawn to?
I remember being very young and coming to the realisation that everything is interconnected – nature definitely helped me realize that. And to this day I would say I look at just about everything through a holistic lens— whether it's global issues, running a business, or what’s on my plate. I think in Western society we tend to react to and treat the surface level symptoms of life, and I’m most interested in sticking my hands deep into the earth to go straight to the roots. I think what I’m most interested in is the overall idea of deep global healing, tending to the soil of our own gardens and also growing a beautiful abundant communal harvest together.
Where do you look for your inspiration?
I find it in movement— whether it's a change in my scenery, my outfit, or finding a new perspective I couldn't see before. I’m very inspired by people who can remain curious and unjaded in this world. I love the simplest forms of beauty and keeping myself open to needing nothing extravagant to feel inspired. I want to always be able to open my eyes in the morning or just walk down the street and have that be enough.
What’s coming next for you?
For the past year I’ve been working on a book which I’m elated to be sharing, as well as new design projects, and IRL events to get our hands dirty together. I’ll be continuing to explore how I can contribute to this world in the most impactful ways and also stay rested and hydrated along the way. Lots to learn.
You can shop Rachel's edit here.
Discover The Sanctuary by Rachel here.