Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Year of Making : Soap Making
At the beginning of March my friend Andrea and I decided to take a soap making course- we are both a little "crunchy" OK maybe quite a bit and really wanted some control over what we use on our skin as well as on our children. Fuelled by the wish to learn more we both signed up for a one night workshop at a favourite local shop- The Soap Dispensary. Using all natural materials we would at the end of the evening walk away with a box of handmade soap.
While it is true that we could have just followed a recipe we both wanted to learn from someone well versed in soap making the why and the how. For me my desire to make soap has always hit a wall whenever lye was discussed- I always wondered could lye be avoided- it sounded like such a dangerous material. Our instructor was really straightforward in her explanation on lye and it's role in soap making- there is no such thing as a lye free soap- it's necessary. She showed us how to safely and properly handle the lye- completely dispelling any remaining worries I had about working with the material.
As promised at the end of the evening each student walked out the door with a Chinese take out container full of fresh soap- carefully wrapped in a towel to keep a consistent temperature as the soap worked it's magic over the next 48 hours. I waited patiently and finally unwrapped my new soap- carefully sliced it up into three even bars which now sit curing in my art room for another week.
I'm really happy I took this little workshop- it's one thing to read about something in theory online or in a book but I learn best by doing- seeing how the soap changes and comes together is only something that can be experienced in person. With my new found soap making knowledge tucked firmly away I am looking forward to making more soap this coming fall- for our family as to give away as gifts. All natural and made by me!