My first experience with soap making was with my grandmother as a child. As I grew older I wanted to explore this unique process that combines color, form and chemistry.
When I make a batch of soap, I use the cold process method. With this method, the soap must cure before you may use the batch.
The process has been a valuable teacher to me. I liken it to the other forms of art in which I create.
- You learn observation. Through the saponification process, you come to understand how the oils interact with the lye.
- You learn simplicity of function. Using the fewest ingredients from sources you know, you see how they come together to make the batch.
- You learn interaction. You come to understand how various ingredients, such as colorants and fragrances, interact to form the soap.
- You learn patience. With the cold process method, you must let the batch cure before it can be given away or sold.
And like any art form, the end result is often not what was intended. However, the exercise is always rewarding.