Some very fine folks have asked why I make soap. It’s a typical question many soapmakers have been asked and the responses vary though some have stated out of necessity. That’s my story. I’d bought a handcrafted soap from a soap maker back in the ’90s that made my skin feel absolutely fabulous! I could practically hear it sigh with relief every time I used it. My skin felt soft, smooth, moisturized right out of the shower. That was totally new for me. I’d always raced to the lotion right after a shower because my skin would feel so tight after it dried that it felt like it would crack if I moved. Finding her soaps was a genuine treat that was savored only for a few short years before she packed up and moved away, never to be seen again. *Sigh* I tried other soap makers products searching, in vain, for one that made my skin as happy as the original, but sadly, none measured up to that standard. So, the logical next step was to learn to do this myself. After a 1 1/2 years of study, observing videos in YouTube, reading every soap making book in our library, I leaped in. The first batch was awful. Let’s be honest here. It was. But it taught me what not to do the next time. Many batches later and branching out to new adventures to add alongside the bars, we’ve had a great journey learning to make a soap that truly makes my skin happy again.
What will we do next? What did we learn from this success/failure? Yes there will be failures, but by the same token, we also will have many successes. From each we learn something, take that lesson and run with it to correct the step that caused it to fail the previous time just as we learned things from our mistakes growing from childhood to adulthood. What we do next is coloured by what we did last time, so the next big thing is the real adventure.
When did you learn what worked? When will you try the next progression, the next type of creative production? When your curiosity gets the best of you and you simply must know how to do that, then the next new type of creative production can be attempted. That little voice in your head will whisper in your ear “Wonder what would happen if you try this?” Come on, you know you’ve heard it. Did you heed it? Did you try something new today? Why not? Once you’ve tried one type of soap making, say standard bars, you begin to realize there are other liquids out there that are dying to be used in a bar of soap and your creative imp within won’t leave you alone until you try replacing the water with one or more of them. Sure, it can be scary, strange things can happen when you used certain types of alternative liquids, but it’s worth that step taken to learn how to get it right and have a result that’s outstanding – bubbly, silky smooth, makes the skin do its happy dance,
How do you do that? How did you know what to use or not use? Make YouTube your friend. Make Facebook your friend and embrace those groups that make soaps of all kinds. Binge watch videos in youtube to see how it’s all done. When that voice or your curiosity is screaming at you to do this, then go for it. Have a spill kit nearby because they do happen even with the most experienced of us. (Uline sells these!) Get all your ingredients at hand. Have an accurate scale that reads to 0.00, wear gloves and goggles! Cover your work surface. Have all your needed tools nearby – bowls with high sides or a bucket (plastic works best, NO ALUMINUM), a stick blender, several spatulas and a mold. Once you’ve mastered the standard soap of one colour, add micas to parts of a batch and shoot the moon for a swirl design. It’s fun to play around with colours, designs and this will progress towards multiple colours, multiple ways to decorate your soaps – pipe thickened soap batter on the tops for a beautiful decorated cake look! So get up out of that chair, go for it and when you do, shoot me an email with a picture so I can be wowed by your success and offer hearty congratulations!