Happy New Year, dear listeners (and readers)! We are so excited to be back at it and we are really excited about the things to come for Two Artsy Gals in 2015. The Gals kick off the new year with an informative and lively discussion about cold press soap making. Sharon makes some pretty badass soaps… they have seriously gotten rid of Katie’s itchy winter dry skin (something that several coatings of lotion and Dove moisture bars haven’t been able to do)! We have always been a little worried about working with lye, which is an essential part of making cold press soaps (by a “little worried” we mean terrified of going blind or worse). Sharon not only eases our fears about the safety of soap making, but she makes it sound pretty darned easy as well!
As we told you in this episode, poor Sharon is living in upheaval at the moment and wasn’t able to find her pictures of the soap making process but she gave us a list of tools and supplies and some great links. First up is that supply list!
Mixing and measuring bowls of various sizes (can be obtained at the Dollar Tree/Dollar Store/ any thrift store)
Two stock pots
Metal utensils for stirring
A candy thermometer
An electronic scale
Racks for curing soap (think cookie cooling racks)
Gloves (latex or the equivalent)
Remember, everything you use for making your soap must only be used for soap making. You are using lye, which is caustic and not for human or animal consumption. Once you use a pot or bowl or anything else in the process it should be stored away from your household cooking supplies and ONLY USED FOR SOAP MAKING.
As Sharon explained, once you have your supplies/tools you need ingredients, which are surprisingly simple! Cold press soap takes fat/oil, liquid, and lye. That is it! What fats and liquids you choose to use really depends on the recipe and preference. You can use coconut oil, olive oil, really anything! Your liquid can be water, raw milks; teas… the possibilities are endless. You may also add high quality herbs and essential oils to your soaps. Here are some links to places you can get supplies.
Brambleberry is an excellent place to obtain everything you need for the cold press soap making process. They carry lye, oils, scents, molds… you name it! Sharon also gives some tips on finding oils and other ingredients locally and on sale but this is an excellent place to start. They also have supplies for melt and pour soaps if you are not yet feeling brave enough to tackle cold press soaps. http://www.brambleberry.com/Cold-Process-Soaps.aspx
Whole Sale Supplies Plus carries many powdered herbs and natural plant dyes that you can add to your soaps. http://www.wholesalesuppliesplus.com/soap-making-supplies/colors/herb-natural.aspx
Mountain Rose Herbs is a Two Artsy Gals favorite for organic, dried herbs and high quality essential oils. We suggest trying them out for all of your herbal needs! https://www.mountainroseherbs.com/
Sharon told us about a soap calculator that helps figure out how to half a recipe or turn percentages into actual measured quantities. You can find and bookmark that here. http://soapcalc.net/calc/SoapCalcWP.asp
And lastly, Sharon wanted you to have some good basic soap recipes to get started with. You can go back to our December issue on hand made gifts that don’t suck to find more, but here is a link with some great recipes to get you going. http://thenerdyfarmwife.com/soap-making/
Now go make some soap and wash your dirty selves up!
We have an interview coming up with friend of the podcast, Bob Nicholson, who is very knowledgeable about internet copyright and how artists can and should be protecting themselves. He even started a new copyright registry site for artist and other creatives to register their websites and blogs on! We would like to open the floor to our listeners during this interview so if you have any questions relating to posting your work on the internet and protecting your original artwork out there in cyberspace please email your questions to email@example.com and we will ask him during the interview. Please put “Question for Bob” in the title of your email so it doesn’t get lost in the mix.
Things are going to be a little up and down around here until Sharon gets moves and settled into her new place but we are pretty excited about our plans for the podcast in 2015. First and foremost, Sharon has moved back to town and The Gals will be able to do some shows sitting right beside each other in the same room! We plan on some product testing episodes and more photo and v demonstrations/examples to accompany the audio show. There is even a Kickstarter campaigned in our near future AND we will be having some brand merchandise for you to rock very soon! All of these changes and additions will be gradual and will be announce as they come. We hope you all are looking forward to this year in shows as much as we are. Next week The Gals will be back to talk about paper quilling so until then… Make some cool shit, yo!