Friday, May 15, 2015

A Soaping I Will Go....

This is how hand crafted soap starts, with a pan of lard.  The real stuff.   Next some other oils are added, and all heated to just the point where its melted.

When that's done, I start adding lye to the raw goat's milk, which is frozen first.  If used in liquid form, the lye burns the milk and it turns a ghastly orangey color.   It was warm this day, so I did this step in the sink with ice to keep that mixture cool.
Here is the mold I made from pine boards, lined and sprayed with Pam.   This mold will hold over 7lbs of soap!   I put on the heavy cardboard lid and cover with a blanket to make sure the gel stage happens.  This helps make the soap hard and usable.

The soap goes thru a 'gel' stage, where a chemical reaction makes it super hot.  It often is an odd color thru gel stage too, and it depends on what fragrance oils went into it that helps determine the color.  some make it darker, some leave it lighter.  
 After about a day or two, I take it out of the mold, and cut it into thick bars.  Then they sit.  And sit.  And sit. And....well, it takes about 6 weeks for them to cure, and they will shrink some in this time, as the liquids evaporate.   but wow, does my house smell good!    I don't use a lot of colorants, I like my soaps more natural. 
After labeling, I then take them to the stores that carry them, such as Stagecoach Gallery in Platte SD and Jungle of Flowers in Burke SD.   Some has shipped to the Brookings Museum, then  I restock my own  showcase in my studio...which is very empty right now!  

4 comments:

Roxie said...

This is great! Can't wait to add Bernice Annabels Vintage Shed to the list of places that carry this. Also waiting patiently to try some myself.
Roxie

C Garcia said...

So nice that you chronicled the making of your soap; makes me want to buy some and I will do that when I get to Burke in the summer. :)

Pastel Chris said...

Yes Roxie, a big batch of this is coming your way!

Pastel Chris said...

I am glad you enjoyed it. I often forget that this stuff is fun to watch as its just my daily life! I will be interested to hear what you think of it!