One of the events that I recently posted to the Totally Barbados Events calendar was a soap making class being offered at Art Splash by a company out of Tobago called Scents of Tobago. Being an avid crafter I eagerly signed up for this class.
This class took place from 10.00 am to 1.30 pm on a Sunday. I set off early to get myself a perfect spot in the class. I have to say I was highly impressed at how well the entire thing was run.
The lady who taught the class was very organized. She had all her tables and chairs set up. Her teaching table with all her oils, plastic buckets, hand blenders, digital scale and caustic soda was well set up.
She handed out well made booklets with all the information a beginner needs to make soap. The class was relatively small with 8 students. She keeps her classes small so that everyone gets a chance to ask questions, get hands one and to have one on one attention.
She taught us how to create our own recipes from different types of oils and the difference in coconut oils verses sunflower oil. Their different saponification factors and why it is extremely important to be very precise in measuring by weight all the various oils that are needed.
She also taught how to calculate how much lye is needed for every batch of soap. Yeah, all soaps contain lye but after it is mixed with oils and cured the lye is no longer present.
The instructor was careful to add her lye to water and not the other way around as the chemical reaction is almost explosive if we add water to the lye. This mixture was done outside in the open air as the fumes are very strong and can be harmful to your lungs if not wearing a mask.
After the lye mixture was cooled we added the different oils and mixed with the hand blender until trace was almost reached. We added our fragrances and continued to beat until trace formed. This is when you can see the liquid starting to thicken to a custard like thickness.
We poured this liquid soup into very pretty pink and white stripped cupcake cups to set. And set about doing a second set of soup adding different oils and fragrances. This time the class was in charge of all the measuring, mixing and computing of the formulas. Once again we poured this set into polka dot cups and waited for them to set up hard enough to transport home.
While we were waiting we discussed the pros and cons of cold processed soaps….which we had just made and hot processed soaps. The class tried to encourage her to return to Barbados and teach us the next class of hot processed soaps.
I will be the first to sign up when I hear she is coming again :-)