Sunday, April 13, 2014
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.