I finally did the one thing I really wanted to do this summer; I got to make handmade soap! I was pretty psyched about going to this class because everyone who had taken it expressed how amazing it was.
A big thank you to Alan Trace from Purple Passion Soaps for teaching everyone. It was a full class and obviously very hands on. He supplied everything–everything! Other classes I was looking at would not even take you as a student unless you purchased your own set of protective gear. That was on top of registering for the class. Trace supplies the materials for the class so if you end the class feeling like this isn’t really for you, you don’t have to feel bummed out about all the riot gear you just purchased for one class.
It was a small class, which is good since handling lye mixed with water can be a potential disaster if you spill it on yourself. Trace was very safe and supplied mixing dishes that were deep enough where you would literally have to drop it all over yourself in order to get it on you. We did not have any issues with accidently flinging the lye solution as we mixed, everything stayed safely contained. Aprons, gloves, breathing masks, and safety goggles were supplied and everyone was taught how and when to use them.
I really enjoyed mixing all of the oils with the lye solution. Once I was able to add my essential oils and dried lavender buds I was really in heaven because it just smelled lovely. I chose frankincense and lavender as my essential oils, going a little heavier on the lavender side.
This is what we were able to take home to be cut the next day.
And here it is cut the next day. It is still on my counter on a cookie rack and should be good to go in four weeks.
I have decided that this is something I want to continue doing. I do want to invest in silicone molds because I’m horrible at cutting in uniform. It’s quite scary actually. Very embarrassing. I’m not sure how I passed kindergarten cutting the way I do as an adult; I can’t even cut in a straight line on paper.
I want to start off small since I’m limited in materials at the moment. I want to be able to provide soap for my family, but in the future I would really like to add this to goods we offer on our farm. I want to play with it and perfect it a bit first though.
If you want to purchase a good bar of soap, check Alan Trance out on Facebook. He does a much better job at it than I do.
If you want to learn from Alan Trance keep your eye on Maggie’s Herb Farm, owned by Dora Baker. Like and follow their Facebook because Alan Trance teaches his beginning soap making class there. He is a great teacher; he’s very knowledgeable and calm. Calm is a really big factor for soap making because if the teacher is having a panic attack every step of the way, it’s counterproductive. One can tell he wanted to teach people to safely make soap; not scare anyone away from it. And really, the more nervous you are (student or teacher) the more likely you are to make a mistake.
It was very safe and very fun. If you’re a DIY kind of person and you’re in Florida, I would contact him and see when his next available class is.
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