Monday, June 30, 2014
Clay and Soap
I remember when I first started making pottery, I made so many bowls, so many cups. And I glazed and glazed. I read and read. I learned. There were so many heavy thick bowls all over the house it was crazy. We used them until I made better ones, then they got the hammer or got sent to the thrift store and a new batch took their place. I read everything I could find about ceramics and took as many workshops as I could afford. I was obsessed with clay.
Now I have soap all over the place, and notes and recipes and books. I have made a bunch of batches, all pretty "rustic" to put it kindly. None of them are particularly professional looking, but they smell incredible and they have taught me much. I'm learning what I like in a soap, the recipes I want to work with, the colors I want, the fragrance I want. It's all learning and so much fun. And in four weeks we will have so many soaps to choose from. Who knew?! SOAP!!
Above is a clay soap I tried. I got the essential oil amount wrong so the fragrance is very faint, and it mostly smells like clay, but I happen to like the smell of clay, so it works for me! I also do not know how much of a recipe will fill my molds and I got this one completely wrong, so I cut it up into a bunch of odd sizes to see how it would look. It looks pretty bad, but it is a great color and I learned from this batch that I want more to make more clay soaps. The feel of the soap is so great and I just love that red color. Reminds me of Highwater Clay's Orangestone. I want to try using bentonite and kaolin and there are several other colored clays I want to try. The clay soaps really interest me, wonder why?!
The little antique molds worked nicely. I used rooibos tea instead of water for the making and added the tea leaves to the batch at the end. Lesson learned, the tea leaves speckled the soap a lot, I didn't know it would do this. It's kinda cool. These smell of sweet orange and bergamot with a hint of the rooibos tea, you almost want to lick them :) They look like I added manganese, don't they? Funny how I am relating so much of soap making to clay making. It is all very similar and familiar to me.
Speckled hens, ha! Love this mold.
This one, however, was the best one yet, and it has a mixture of fragrance. I used a fragrance oil of juniper and sage, then added rosemary that I ground into a powder. I used hemp seed oil at the end for a super moisture boost and the color came out a really nice light green. It smells amazing!
If I am going to make these soaps, I want them to have beneficial qualities. The oils I am using are nourishing for the skin, moisturizing and full of vitamins. I would like the essential oils to be the same but I also want them to smell great and have the benefit of aromatherapy. I got a bunch of books at the library and I have been reading about the healing powers of essential oils. Again, who knew!?
Clearly, I like learning. I have no idea why I couldn't be this engaged when I was in school, haha! This soap making is fun! We are going to be so clean and soft...........