Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Oil and Clay

Moroccan Red Clay, Rosemary, Lemongrass, Lavendar, Sweet Orange, Juniper, Sage, Grapefruit, Bergamot, Hemp Oil, Coconut Oil, Shea Butter....... you should smell my house!
My soap making supplies came yesterday and I am ready to start making soap now!

I found some antique sewing boxes that I want to use for my soap molds and I also got some small antique baking molds for smaller size guest soaps (or gifts for friends). A lot of my clay making tools will translate nicely to soap making, so I have plenty of stuff to get me going now!

 Gerry's brother brought me a Guinness every day when I was taking care of his mom, and I am now hooked on them. A great addition to the supply list, I might even give beer soap a go, I have seen lots of recipes for it, not sure if it's gimicky or if its really a good soap, may experiment and see....

This whole soap making thing started when Gerry was diagnosed with skin cancer on his face. I started looking for ways to help his skin. We began putting hemp oil and red cider vinegar on a month before his surgery, and unlike everyone else in the doc's office getting three or more layers removed, Gerry only had one layer removed, because his roots were shallow. I can't prove that what we did was effective, although we did notice a change in the  shape of the cancer, but I would like to believe that the natural ingredients were healing....

So I continued to read, I got books from the library, I took a class with a very good instructor, and I learned all I could about natural essential oils and natural ingredients for soaps and creams. Gerry's wound is healing nicely, although yesterday he was having some pain and the scar was puffy and tight. I have been waiting for my soap supplies to arrive so I could make him a serum to help heal the scar.

Yesterday I made a serum with all of the oils I believe to have healing properties. Most contain vitamin E, are fighters of free radicals, they are moisturizing, and all have characteristics that nurture and heal skin. I used hemp oil, coconut oil, cocoa butter, shea butter, olive oil, lavender, rosemary, grapefruit oil, and for a little aromatherapy, sweet orange, my favorite.

We put the serum on Gerry's scar yesterday, and the smell alone relieved his stress! Etta helped out in the laughter department, jumping up on his head, haha! Amazing what aroma and chickens can do for your mental state :)  We were getting bug bites working in the yard, so I looked up natural bug repellant and wouldn't you know, I happened to have lavender and rosemary, which are suggested to repel bugs. I made a quick oil with some coconut oil, added a few drops of each essential oil and rubbed it on. I didn't get one bite and I saw the mosquitoes buzzing over my arm. No more deet for me! Why has it taken me so long to find essential oils? Maybe because I have been so occupied reading all the food labels and trying to keep from getting poisoned internally! Now it's time to work on the external....

This morning Gerry got up and his scar was flatter, less pulled looking and less red. In twelve hours we have seen a significant change in appearance and all we did was add some wonderful healing oils to the wound! Why put a bunch of chemicals you can't pronounce on a wound when you can use what nature gives us? I am so excited to explore the healing properties in these oils and make some really great soaps for us. No more store soap for me!!!

I am also trying to purge myself of all the excess in my clay world. It gets out of hand so quickly, doesn't it? Buckets and plastic containers everywhere with various glazes and tests, broken pottery, test tiles, sponges, newspaper and sawdust for raku, bags of old chemicals, old wood for ware boards, just in case I don't have enough of them (I really do), brushes, the list goes on and on. I have had an area under my deck where I store a lot of these things. Yesterday, I tossed it ALL out. Most of the glazes had hardened or grown crystals, or the label had faded and I didn't know what it was. Boards were rotting. Time to get it all out of here. At the end of the day, it felt so good to have a nice clean area around my kiln. My studio is next....... and then I make soap..... and maybe some soap dishes.......


Lori Buff said...

As a potter I often have to use a lot of hand lotion in the winter, most of them have petroleum jelly and some unpronounceable stuff that I don't want to rub into my skin. Good for you for making the switch to natural products.

I've used hand crafted soaps that have beer/ale in them. They are nice but I haven't noticed much difference between it and any other. I do like soap made with coffee grounds, it smells great in the morning and does some exfoliating.

Dennis Allen said...

I like the sound of that insect repellant. I think Gerrys scar is looking pretty good. Of course walking around with a chicken on his head does give people something else to look at.

d2eclaylady said...

Love handmade soaps! Don't throw out your bentonite or kaolin, if you have any. They'll transition nicely from clay making to soap making. Enjoy your new path!

Michèle Hastings said...

I think I can smell your house through the computer... lemongrass and bergamot, two of my favorites.
I miss having handmade soap. In NH there was a goat farm near our studio that made soaps, lotions, etc with goat milk. It was very convenient.

Tracey Broome said...

Lori, until I started reading all about goodness for your skin, I had no idea petroleum products were used. Hence the name petroleum jelly I guess, haha! Sometimes I can be so dense! I like the idea of coffee grounds for a kitchen soap too.
Dennis, ya think? haha! the insect repellant was great and we smelled so good, instead of that nasty Off.
D2- I KNOW! I have been reading about clays in soap, how perfect that I have a BUNCH of it!
Michele, same goes for me on those aromas, so soothing, I'll make you some!

Vicki said...

Hooray for natural remedies, I say!
The mozzies and flies are so damn annoying here in summer, but a lavender oil mix does the trick for sure :)
Very glad Gerry's scar is healing well, under the ministrations of his wonderful wise woman healer.
And, chickens always put a smile on one's face. They have such great characters.
Being a veggo for nearly ten years, I'm so glad I don't eat them :)

I make textured slab soap dishes for markets, and they sell well. A nice soap dish always comes in handy.
The floral/herb scented soaps are always loved by women. Like the idea of beer soap - perfect gifts for guys :)

And, Guinness is a great old tonic.

Tracey Broome said...

Hi Vicki, yes, Guinness is a tonic indeed! I used to make soap dishes too, but got bored with them, guess I need to dust off those templates. I'm finding guys like soap just about as much as the ladies do!

Michèle Hastings said...

Tracey, you are so right about guys liking handmade soap. Jeff always picks some up when we do shows with soap vendors.

Tracey Broome said...

I know, right? Gerry is so into this new project of mine!