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Our Ingredients

Nancy Jameson

Our Ingredients

Before we can talk about the ingredients in our soaps, we need to understand what soap is. Remember chemistry? Ugh, you say? Trust me, if I could have learned chemistry by making soap, it would have been a fun class! Soap is a salt. When sodium hydroxide (lye) combines with fatty acids through a process called saponification, a salt (the soap) is produced along with glycerin and a small percentage of unsaponifiables. Some of what we buy at the store and we think is soap is not really soap but rather detergent bars. They are not made of fatty acids...


Wood You Like Some Soap?

Nancy Jameson

Comments 27

Wood You Like Some Soap?

Best. Challenge. Ever. Oh my gosh, I can’t tell you how much I loved Amy Warden’s (of Great Cakes Soapworks) latest challenge. For October, we were to make a wood grain soap using either natural or synthetic ingredients. I chose synthetic. I have a lot of micas so I had a good amount of colors to choose from plus I had gotten a sample of Rustic Escential’s Cedarwood and Patchouli fragrance oil and I thought that would be perfect to try out. This challenge could not have been timed more perfectly. I had been planning on making a Nutcracker* soap...


Dancing Funnel Soap Challenge

Nancy Jameson

Dancing Funnel Soap Challenge

August Great Cakes Soapwork's Challenge uses a technique created by Tatsiana Serko of Creative Soaps by Steso called The Dancing Funnel. No funnel involved though! This technique looks deceptively simple. I found it much harder than it looks. The key seems to be getting your soap batter to just the right consistency as well as laying down your soap in the right proportions. I was not as successful at either as I would have liked to have been but I do like my results just the same. First TryWe had two categories to chose from--natural or synthetic. I was really...


The Pipe Divider Swirl Soap Challenge

Nancy Jameson

The Pipe Divider Swirl Soap Challenge

I was so excited to hear this was Great Cake Soapwork's July challenge. I had bookmarked the Thorns and Roses video from Soapish almost a year ago--just shortly after I began soaping. Her technique of using "pipes" in a slab mold as dividers is so beautiful and I am hoping to use it for a Christmas soap in a few months. Now was the perfect time to try it out. The idea is that you use tubes (most often pvc pipes) and adhere them to your slab mold using cocoa butter to form a seal of sorts. Then you pour...


Impression Mat Soap Challenge

Nancy Jameson

Impression Mat Soap Challenge

December's challenge was to create a top for our soap from an Impression Mat. We could buy one or we could make one. I opted to buy one as I didn't really have any thing on hand that I thought would work well for the type of design I wanted. I also wanted to make sure that I actually DID this challenge as I had signed up for November's and then ran out of time. I figured if I bought a mat that would sort of force me to continue! For those who don't know what an impression mat is,...

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