I was pondering recently, why do we soapmakers love making soap so much? What is it that captivates us nearly to the point of obsession?
Of course, it did not take long for me to answer my own question. Soapmakers love to make soap for many reasons. We love the science of soapmaking, the practicality, the endless variety and the creativity.
The science explaining how water and oil combine to make an emulsion is much more fascinating when contemplating soap than any school lecture ever could have been. And learning how molecules with hydrophilic and hydrophobic ends lift off dirt is a marvel.
Additionally, knowing this product we make is a practical–indeed, lifesaving product is gratifying and excuses what I spend in supplies. . . right? I like knowing what I make is a practical and usable luxury.
Let us consider the variety. We make bars, we make liquid and cream, we use colors of all sorts and endless techniques. Don’t get me started on fragrance. I’m quite sure I could make a different batch every day, yet never exhaust the possibilities.
As if that isn’t enough, let us consider the creativity of soapmaking. Plotting and carrying out the soap best expressing our imagination, our feelings, our needs and our desire to please others is both consuming and satisfying. I see new ideas more frequently than I would have thought possible. Soapmakers are a creative bunch!
Speaking of creativity, the Soap Design issue is coming soon. Look for it in your mailboxes on May 1st. We are offering four gorgeous design tutorials by talented soapmakers just like you. We are sure you will love to follow and try them for yourselves, but be sure to take a photo when you do! Did I hear someone say something about a contest?
Until next time, may your days be filled with bubbles and wax.
Beth Byrne, for Making Soap, Cosmetics and Candles