Sure Smells Great in the Studio

Just put in some soaping time. Saffron and Cedar with gorgeous calendula petals grown by my sister Kirstin. And sheerly tinted Coconut Lime, one of my sister Andrea’s favorites. I’ll unmold them tomorrow and make up some Patchouli Spice, inspired by my sister Vykee’s love of patchouli. IMG_3421

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New Treasure

Listing soon on Etsy and appearing at Sunday Market this summer.

 

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Simple

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The First Studio Soap!

After months and months of no time to turn around, the first batch in the new Studio has been poured!  It’s for our friends at the Owl Nest – their signature orange and patchouli blend.  It’s in the mold and it is so warm out there I’m leaving the lid off.

Using the heat exchange method is perfect for simple pours like this.  The coconut is already melty from the heat, the essential oil blend is relatively slow-moving, trace comes easily and not too quickly…

I have to remember that I know what I’m doing, and can rely on my experience. I felt so profoundly uncreative during the nearly unendurable and grinding drag that was the first year of the new job. The freedom promised by approaching June helped me make it over the finish line. Somehow I expected myself to just leap right in at full creative strength, in denial of the severe depletion of energy, focus, will and Awen. That expectation was met with a dark wall of exhaustion, the deep need to sleep, rest, heal.

Four weeks into vacation, the creative spark I’ve been coaxing along seems to have caught. There is nothing like getting in the zone and riding the surge of Awen for an extended session of creative effort.  The Summer of the Kiln has been fruitful, challenging, mystifying, and very fun so far.

Keen on seeing how this first batch of soap in new environs processes.  The new molds and cutters await.

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The Studio is Humming Along

Soaping! Spinning! And new to the Collective – making bronze and silver jewelry from metal clay.

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Things are moving out in the new studio

I’ve been spending some quality time in the studio.  I’ve been getting some requests and need to get set up to make some soap.  During the winter holidays I did some work in the fiber corner, bringing some things inside and putting others on shelves out there.

It’s a great space, but lacking electricity and water services.  I’ve been running a weatherproof cable out there and have the radiator space heater going while I work.  I’ve set up a soaping area and have been digging through boxes to find the necessary equipment and ingredients.  Oils?  Check!  Fragrance materials?  Check?  Colorants, plasticware, molds, cutters, tools, stick blenders, et al?  Check check check.  It’s enough to be getting on with.

Now for a snack and some hot coffee to take out there.  Still getting dark early, so it won’t be for long, but I’ve been finding that taking one bite at a time is a sensible way to go.

 

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A New Edition of the Everything Soapmaking Book!

I’m very happy to announce that there is going to be a new edition of The Everything Soapmaking Book.

I’m going through the text to update techniques and methods, and add a chapter on natural and organic soaping.

There will also be a 16-image color photo section showing finished projects from the book. So the Soap Cellar will be humming with projects to photograph.

I don’t know publishing details yet, but I think we can look for the new edition this fall.  I’ll post more information here and on Magical Soap as it comes in.

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Cute Easter project

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Micro test batches

Two old favorites I’ve not made in a long time. Western Shore and Lavender Peach. Testing new method and new colorants. Smells great down here!

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Pretty Swirls

Cut bar from the workshop.

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