In the fall of 2012, I learned how to make lye soap. Since then, I have made soap a handful of times and feel reasonably comfortable with the process. Ready to go deeper, I was delighted to discover my favorite local shop, Mama, now offers intermediate and advanced level soap making classes. Last Saturday, I went for the advanced class.
Our instructor, Emilie Sennebogen (also the shop owner) was terrific. First, she shared in-depth information on scent blending techniques using essential oils, coloring and marbling techniques using natural flowers and herbs, and the properties of various oils and how they work in the soap making process. Then she guided each of us as we created our own unique batch of soap. I scented mine with a blend of rose geranium and lavender essential oils and colored it with alkanet root.
Finally, Emilie gave us an overview of how to create our own soap recipes using a lye calculator. All of this terrific information combined with the hands-on experience gave me a real boost of confidence. I am more inspired than ever to experiment with new recipes and techniques.
24 hours, my soap was ready to cut. I love the effect of the marbling. This bar almost looks good enough to eat, doesn't it? It smells lovely too. It will be all I can do to wait a couple of weeks to allow my bars to fully cure before I start using them.
If you live in the Atlanta area and have ever thought about trying your hand at soap making, Mama is a great place to start. And even if you're not the do-it-yourself type but appreciate high quality handmade soap, natural body products, and soy candles, Mama has a wonderful collection for sale.
What next? Ginger lemongrass? Lavender rosemary? Or maybe cedarwood tangerine? I'd better get busy. Because I want to try them all!