One of the best things about this stage of life is that classes are pure fun with no pressure, tests, or stress!
I especially enjoy the adult education classes that we can attend in person now that Covid is no longer a threat, so when I saw a 3-hour soap-making class offered by BVSD Lifelong Learning, I jumped on it!
The soaps are so beautiful and, even though I’ve never considered myself naturally artistic, I’ve been embracing a “growth mindset,” realizing that it’s good for our brains to learn new skills! The lower our skill level, the bigger opportunity for improvement, right?
Actually, after taking the class, I realize the skills required have more to do with chemistry, perhaps, than art. Actually, it was much like cooking – starting with a recipe that could be adjusted based on many factors.
Our instructor, Lisa, owner of courageoussoap.com, stepped us through the creation of a three-oil Peppermint Ice soap.
The ingredients needed to be measured to the gram and mixed when they were the right temperatures. A peppermint scent was added to give the soap its distinctive fragrance.
Lye is used for the cold-process soap we were making, and because it can be dangerous to work with, we were wearing long sleeves, pants, goggles, masks, gloves, and closed-toes shoes!
Lisa said when she asks her students if they’re going to make their own soap after class, and they often say.. well.. no.. They’re scared of the lye.
I have to admit, I’m in the, “I’m not gonna lye” camp myself.
Lisa reassured us that as long as you cover up and are careful, it’s not that worrisome. My reluctance is also due to my realization that investing in a new soap-making hobby is a bad idea right now when I’m trying to downsize. The fear of lye just helped make that decision a little easier for me.
We took turns with the various stages of measuring, mixing, and pouring. I especially enjoyed the final stages where we added the tints that would create the designs. The blues were brilliant and the gold sparkled as though there were actual flecks of real gold in this royal-looking soap!
Soap needs time to cure, so we didn’t get to take home the actual soap that we made that night. However, we did each get to take home a bar made from the same recipe.
Lisa offered kits with pre-measured ingredients for those who wanted to try it themselves at home.
Even though I decided not to make my own at home, I’m so glad I got to experience and learn about this unique and beautiful art!