Friday, February 3, 2012

sweetgrass soap in glorious green

Sweetgrass Soap 2

Just close your eyes and pretend you can smell the light sweetgrass fragrance.

Sweetgrass Soap 1

Ok...I get a lot of questions about how I make my soap. I'll post detailed photos of the steps at another time, but here's a quick overview.

Well, before it looks all pretty like the photos above it is very much a liquid like this...

Sweetgrass Soap in mold

Getting the soap to come to trace is a little tricky at times. This means that the soap has to thicken enough to harden later while remaining thin enough to pour into the mold. Because the soap is a traditional lye and oil soap, it is very caustic. This means it can burn you. So, you have to be really careful not to get it on you or the counter! Yes, this does hurt. I keep apple cider vinegar handy (this is a neutralizer).

The pretty green decorations on the soap are called soap sticks...

Soap Sticks

...and soap curls...

Soap curls

To make these pretties, I cut up a plain bar of colored soap (previously made and slightly hard), into long rectangles. Then, I use a vegetable peeler to "peel" the soap and create the curls. It's actually kinda fun. I know it's not necessary to put all this extra decoration into the soap, but I like to make things pretty and colorful.

Sweetgrass Soap 4

If you place the curls and sticks into the liquid in the right places (ideally where your cut lines are for the bars), you get pretty color throughout the bar.

Sweetgrass Soap 5

All of this is simply trial and error. Practice does eventually make perfect.

Sweetgrass Soap 3

You have to work quickly with the liquid soap. Lots of things can affect how quickly the soap hardens on you. Oftentimes, Dynamo has to lend a hand. While he's pouring I'm mixing the next color or peeling curls!

In the end, if you're lucky, you get prettiness like this soap! And, even though it takes extra time to add the "pretties" to the soap, it's worth it. I think it makes the customer feel pretty when they have something beautiful, both in smell and looks. We all want to feel pretty. That's my make you feel pretty!


Charleston Hokie said...

That soap looks so pretty! Almost could qualify as a "detox" soap with its bright colors! :)

Muddled Muse said...

I am totally coming to the Farmer's Market this year. I want some of this soap!!