Friday, March 1, 2013

Soap Crafting: Advice from The Soap Queen and a Sneak Peek at Her New Book

One of Storey’s Facebook friends and fellow crafter asked,
How can I add Lavender buds to my melt & pour soaps without the buds turning dark and looking as though I added bugs to my soap?”

We reached out to The Soap Queen, Anne-Marie Faiola, author of our upcoming book Soap Crafting (releasing August 2013) for advice.

Anne-Marie responded,
“Unfortunately, there’s nothing that you can do to prevent any flowers or herbs from going brown in your soap. Anything that used to be alive will eventually change color when it’s cut off from oxygen. Just plan on the herbs turning brown and plan your project around earthy and muted colors. Or just sprinkle the herbs on top for decoration. Check out this episode of Soap Queen TV for more tips.”

With a large mold like this, an in-the-pot swirl technique is a great design option.  As you cut the molded soap, each bar looks different. A top layer of lavender buds adds interest and completes the look. Photograph © Lara Ferroni.
Exciting Additives
You can put an amazing variety of materials into your soap to add interest, texture, color, and variation to a basic bar. When you are thinking about items to add to your soap, be sure to take into account things like the scrubbing factor (after all, we don’t want to take off a layer of skin!); skin safety (for example, you wouldn’t want to use red-hot chili pepper powder); and whether they will work well in the bath or shower (an unattractive pile of herbs clogging your drain may not be the best of options).

Excerpted from Soap Crafting © Anne-Marie Faiola. All rights reserved.

Here’s a sneak peek at Soap Crafting by Anne-Marie Faiola. Photographs © Lara Ferroni.

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