Day 1: SATURDAY, 9/19/15
9:00 am – 9:30 am: Orientation & Introductions
9:30 am – 12:30 pm: Cold Process Soap 101 with Jen
Ah, the allure of handmade soap. A well-made bar of soap is a revelation, an experience beyond the ordinary bar of “whatever is in the shower”. And for many people, the joy of using handmade soap leads directly to the desire (yes, desire!) to make it themselves.
This class teaches the basics of the cold process method of soapmaking, probably the easiest and least labor intensive of all the methods. It relies almost exclusively on the heat generated by saponification (the chemical reaction of fatty acids and alkali to produce soap). No external heat is applied once the ingredients have been mixed. Although it may seem complicated when you are first starting out, making your own soap from scratch (the way some of our grandparents did) using all-natural ingredients can be both fun and rewarding ~ not to mention extremely addicting!
Why are people drawn to making their own soap from scratch?
Many of us start making soap to have inexpensive, homemade, natural gifts for all the holidays and birthdays throughout the year. Also, more and more people today are looking for a second source of income that involves doing something creative that they love (isn’t that the true key to success?). Or, some of us begin soaping because we have friends or family with problematic or sensitive skin that is easily irritated.
Many commercial soap companies use cheap petroleum-based ingredients (like mineral oil), animal fats (like sodium tallowate, lard, or lanolin) and synthetic detergents (like sodium laureth sulfate) that can be harsh on delicate skin. By making soap in your own kitchen, you can tailor it to suit any skin type as well as insure that only the most beneficial ingredients go into your finished soap.
The class will cover the following as we demonstrate how to make a 4-pound
batch of soap (about 18-20 bars) using the cold process method:
- Brief history and basic chemistry of soap making
- Necessary materials, supplies and equipment
- Safety considerations when working with sodium hydroxide
- Taking accurate measurements & proper mixing temperatures
- Coloring soap naturally with herbs, spices & clays
- Using pure essential oils to scent your soap naturally
- Preparing your molds and molding options
- Insulating, cutting, curing and storing your finished soap
- Decorating and packaging to impress
[NOTE: This CP 101 class does not cover advanced techniques like swirling or layering.]
Due to the nature of making soap from scratch, this class is mainly demonstration style. You’ll leave with very thorough handouts and enough information to make awesome vegetable-based natural herbal soap from scratch on your own (at home) as well as 2 full-sized bars of soap to enjoy. This class uses only vegan / vegetarian ingredients.
NOTE: This is an age 18+ class since making soap from scratch involves working with lye (aka sodium hydroxide). Also, cold process soap needs about a month to cure before using (hot process can be used within a few days and melt & pour soap can be used within a few hours). To take part in stirring the soap, please wear or bring a long-sleeved shirt. You’ll also need rubber gloves and safety goggles. There will be several pairs of goggles and gloves to share, but if you prefer your own please bring them to class.
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm: Break for Lunch
1:30 pm – 5:00 pm: Cold Process 201: Make & Take with Jen
We hear it a lot right after one of our CP Soapmaking 101 classes: “I can’t wait to go home and make my own soap!” Well, now you don’t have to wait! Come to our afternoon session of Cold Process Soap “Make & Take” and you can customize your own batch of soap that you get to take home.
In this group soapmaking session, Nova Studio teacher Jen Grimes will make a big batch of plain soap & portion out a 2-pound batch to each student. Then YOU get to scent it and color it, pour it into your mold and take it home. Once it’s hardened at home, you just slice it into about 9-10 bars and let them cure for 4-6 weeks until they’re ready to use!
This is an intermediate level class. See Prerequisite Requirements below.
We will provide everything necessary to customize your own batch of soap:
- A container and spoon to mix your soap
- Your choice of essential oils for scenting (a 1 oz. bottle)
- Your choice of colorants (cosmetic grade pigments or clays)
- Additives, like dried herbs or exfoliants
- A cylinder/tube soap mold for you to keep & reuse at home
- The soap recipe and written instructions so that you can make this soap again by yourself
- And all the help you need to make your first batch of soap a success!
NOTE: This is an age 18+ class since making soap from scratch involves working with lye (aka sodium hydroxide).
What You Need to Bring: One bath sized old towel to insulate your soap on the way home. The mold is a tube-style cylinder, so you’ll need a box or something to prop it upright on your way home. Please wear or bring a long-sleeved shirt and closed-toe shoes. You’ll also need rubber gloves and safety goggles. There will be several pairs of goggles and gloves to share, but if you prefer your own please bring them to class.
Optional: If you prefer to use a scent combination other than what is provided, you are welcome to bring your own essential oils and/or colors to further customize your soap. However, there will be no discount off the materials fee if you choose to bring your own additions.