News RSS



Soap Longevity Tips!

A year or two ago, I unearthed a plain, white ceramic soap dish buried in the back of a cabinet, filled it with stones and soap pieces, then set it next to my kitchen sink for washing up after cooking. I've been genuinely surprised at the many inquiries about it since.It seems many people find natural soap care a mystery. The little display I put together - born of a repurposed dish, decorative stones, plus natural soap pieces - was a clever, if unconscious solution: the stones provided both aesthetics and drainage if you are mindful of surface area (more on that, below).Since then, I've observed how many of my customer friends didn't quite know how to store their Aroma Art soap for maximum display and longevity. This post, then, is an educational outreach. Friends, let's first acknowledge...

Continue reading



Rustic Soap Challenge: Ogres Have Layers

Amy Warden's Rustic Soap Challenge appears deceptively simple: Create a soap with texture, incorporating some form of the Hot Process (HP) soap-making technique. To mix it up a bit from past soap challenges, the soap wrapping would be relevant - a package deal (get it?).  #trueconfession: I'm a Cold Process (CP) Snob for a reason: CP has more potential for controlling the trace (viscosity) of raw soap, hence endless potential for fancy-schmancy-ness. HP soap's oatmeal-like consistency offers more limited design choices. I'm in it for the art, friends - we know this. Yet HP intrigued me. One big plus? The HP process "cooks" out moisture, hence, needs a much shorter cure time. Cure refers to the typical 4 - 6 week period required for excess water evaporation from Cold Process soap, which...

Continue reading



Near Miss

Familiar with that famous story about the Indian Elder who shares wisdom with the youngster about the nature of doubt? Paraphrasing, but basically this: Wise elder: “You have two wolves fighting in your mind at all times: the wolf of encouragement and the wolf of doubt.” Naive Youth: “”but grandfather, which will triumph?” Wise Elder: “The one you feed.”   Me and doubt: we’re well acquainted. We have us some junk food in that space.   Late July, 2016:Bleary-eyed, I looked over the entry notification from 2016 Denver County Fair. Deadline: four days away. We had just moved back into our home after months of hotel living, waiting for our gutted kitchen to be repaired from a water line leak. Yay for good homeowner insurance, but...

Continue reading



Tiger Stripe Soap Challenge

In times such as these, art is #salvation. September through December, 2016: A blur of catch-up from summer production issues, market season prep, a re-brand + new website launch, plus the the brouhaha of the election and it's aftermath. Ai Carramba. Friends, there's but one thing to do to extricate from the onslaught - we must exit the crazy-train and return to creating. We must return to art. And, hoo HOO, what great timing to enter another of Amy Warden's soap challenges: The Tiger Stripe.  I used a 2 lb loaf mold and a slow trace base oil recipe, divided into five colors: white, a light blue + a medium blue cosmetic mica, a gold cosmetic mica + activated charcoal (black). I used a scent blend of tea...

Continue reading



The Teardrop Technique: Psychedelic Psuds

“NEVER give up! NEVER Surrender!” – Jacob Nesmith, Galaxy Quest I’ve found my motto for soap challenges issued by Amy Warden of Great Cakes Soapworks.  The Basics: The May challenge, Teardrop Technique, is designed to produce an elegant teardrop shape suspended in the center of the bar. This is achieved by using a slow trace formulation, removing about 25% of the raw soap for the teardrop shape (divided into individual cups of color), pouring 30% of the remaining batter into your mold as a base, then slowly and carefully pouring your colors – one on top of the other – down the center of the mold. After applying your center color, the soap is finished off by pouring equal portions of the base-colored soap equally and at the same rate along...

Continue reading