A Mosaic of Ideas About Life, Art & Superfluous Adornment.

Friday, November 18, 2011

What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul. -Yiddish Proverb

"A human being weighing 70 kilograms contains among other things:
-45 litres of water
-Enough chalk to whiten a chicken pen
-Enough phosphorus for 2,200 matches
-Enough fat to make approximately 70 bars of soap
-Enough iron to make a two inch nail
-Enough carbon for 9,000 pencil points
-A spoonful of magnesium ."

— Erlend Loe (Naive. Super)

I don't know if "human fat" would be good for lathering? But we discovered that coconut oil is great to make soap bubbly.
Here is a great article about Soap Making by a great artist and "A Work of Art"
teacher, James Tanis. We all had a super fun time making soap a few weeks ago. James is threatening to have soap making parties at his house with milk from his goats!

By James Tanis
Break out the lard and your favorite Little House on the Prairie book, because the Work of Art Studio and Salon had an old fashioned soap making class! Julie Sullivan brought all of the supplies for this class. Participants chose either all oils for their soap, or a combination of oil and lard, which is pig fat. I chose the lard because I’m a diehard Little House fan. 
The only part that made me a little nervous was adding the lye to the water. It was amazing to watch the chemical reaction when the lye was added—it reached over 200 degrees! We all wore protective gear and masks just in case.
Then we added the lye mixture to our oils and lard and stirred and stirred and stirred…I thought our arms would fall off! Eventually, the mixture began to trace, which means it became thicker and I could see the “wave” where my wooden spoon had been.
We all chose various dyes and scents. I chose lavender color and scent, as the pictures show. After mixing these together, it was time to pour the soap into a PVC pipe that I had greased with petroleum jelly. I put paper over each end of the PVC pipe to seal in the liquid, and set it on a shelf for two days.
After 48 hours, I returned to the studio to cut the soap. First, I had to push the soap out of the PVC pipe. Next, I placed it on the wooden soap cutter. Then I sliced one-inch pieces of soap.  Now the bars must cure for six weeks, which will be just in time for gift giving for Christmas. Thank you, Julie for this wonderful class!
If you are interested in learning the art of soap making, there is another class being offered this Saturday, November 19. Also, there is a stained glass tree ornament class commencing Tuesday, November 22 at 6 pm. Call Molly Perusse at Work of Art Studio and Salon to sign up at 352-8222.

 Here is Julie Sullivan measuring out the lye.
 This is soap that has been poured into pvc pipe with butcher paper and duct tape.
 Pat is stirring with style!
 Kathy and Pat are mixing their lye into water until it reaches the correct temperature, sitting in the front of the shop on Main Street.
 What the pvc pipe soap looks like after it's cut. This is lemon with calendula (marigold) petals.
Sisters, Julie and Kathy pouring the lye/water mixture into the oil mixture once they are the same temperature.
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