Sunday, April 13, 2014

Soap journey

  My friend, Mare, took a soap making class at a local store.  I thought it sounded interesting so the next time the class was offered I signed up.  It was me and one other woman learning to make soap in a small barn turned shop.  A hot plate was used to heat up the oils.  It was fun.  It made sense.  I would never buy soap again.
     I made soap on my own.  A batch would last a year.  Mare and I made soap together.  She bought wooden spoons for the occasion.  I still have them.  The first is retired and will be put in the fire as an offering to her memory.  She passed from this world leaving a mark on my heart.  She soon tired of the process.  I continued on.
     At first I followed the recipe exactly.  I tried very few scent variations.  And then, I started to make it my own.  I changed things up.  I played with scents, clays, milk and oils.  I had fun with it.  I still have fun with it.  I love making soap in the winter.  I would use the snow for an ice bath.  Setting the bowl of lye and water outside while I heated the oils enough to melt.  Now, I get big bags of ice and fill the sink.  It brings everything in close proximity which makes it easier.  I can get three batches made from a sink full of ice.
     The more I play the more I enjoy the process.  It has become meditative for me.  I have a huge basket I keep my supplies in.  I have transferred my lotion and lip balm supplies to another basket.  This simple act helped.  Now I just grab the basket and I'm ready to go.

     And the failures are almost as much pleasure as the successes.  The coffee soap foamed up and bubbled over the bowl.  I continued on.  As it dried it became bitter smelling and never really set.  The entire batch had to be tossed.  I will make modifications and try again.
     I take notes every time I make a batch.  It helps me remember what I did so I can duplicate the soap or make modifications.  It also gives me a record of what and when I made something.  This helps with creating labels and seeing how fast a certain soap sells.
     My latest experiment is bay scented soap. I can't wait to see if people love the outcome as much as I do.

1 comment:

  1. Nice post!

    I'm so grateful that you took that class, and ~ in turn ~ taught me to make my own soaps. I love trying your "new" blends and purchasing the occasional "standby" from you.

    You make some fine soaps, you do!


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