Recently I had the opportunity to teach another class on soap-making to a new group of ladies in Virginia. Since it had been a number of years ago when I last gave a class, there was fun planning involved to distill what I've learned over the last 7 years of running a business into an afternoon beginner's lesson.
One of the ladies taking part in the class graciously hosted us all in her home, with plenty of room to spread out and get messy.
Everyone pitched in with each step in the process, from measuring lye and oils, to stirring the mixture and pouring raw soap batter.
We completed two batches of goat's milk soap, one fragranced with a Lavender-Citrus essential oil blend, and the other customized by each participant with the scent and additives of their choice.
Working with lye and mixing up the ingredients required safety precautions such as gloves and goggles, but thankfully, we didn't have too many mishaps!
Finishing our recipes and getting the soap divided among the molds took teamwork and quick thinking.
Below is one of the students' freshly-made soap logs, speckled with oats and swirled with lemony litsea cubeba essential oil.
Everyone enjoyed chatting together, holding babies, and coming up with some creative soap combinations.
By the end of the day, the room was filled with many lovely types of soap which the ladies could take home to use and give as gifts.