I have the honor as serving as the director of Lone Star Soap & Toiletries, a Texas-based soap makers group. Every first weekend in June, we hold our premiere event, the Soapmakers Seminar, at the Williamson Conference Center/Wingate Hotel in Round Rock, Texas.
Since our first seminar in 2010, we have always had a basic soap making class as part of line up of sessions. This year, we did it different. We had a hands-on class that was separate from the rest of the seminar.
I always have a great time teaching soap classes at my home and teaching here at the seminar was no different. We met in a separate room upstairs at the conference center, with a total of six students in attendence.
We do not have a hard and fast age limit on those who attend the seminar. I basically take it case by case. I mean, when one knows that Anne-Marie Faiola of Bramble Berry learned to make soap at age 16, who I am to turn someone away? No, I talk with the folks who want to come, and if they can assure me they are serious about learning the craft, I let them come. But the safety precautions are very much enforced.
For this particular class, my dear friend Pat Tyson joined me to teach. This worked out great because at one point I had to run downstairs for the start of the regular seminar sessions. We called it the tag-team approach to teaching.
Pat is a humble gal. But don’t let that fool ya. She knows her stuff!
We told the class we were taking the assembly line approach. We had two long tables on which everyone’s mold and supplies were placed. One by one they came up and made their batch of soap. The particular silicone molds used are great for test batches and travel bars.
As you can see, we had alot of fun!
But sometimes things go wrong.
As mentioned above, at one point, I had to leave the room. When I came back, the next student was ready to go. We were making cold temperature cold process soap. I had her put the stick blender in the container of oils and not long after that told her to be looking for trace. My brain was kinda on overload with seminar details, and she kept asking me when to add the lye solution! The photo above shows the moment it finally dawned on me what was going on and we all had a good laugh about it.
Yes, sometimes things go wrong or don’t go exactly as planned. Instead of getting all upside about it, relax and have a good laugh.
I always enjoy teaching others to make soap. It is so fun to see the look on people’s faces when they see their soap come to trace for the first time!
The hands-on basic soap making class will continue to be an option at the Soapmakers Seminar. Our next seminar will be held June 2-3, 2017.
Our next upcoming event is the Lone Star Winter Retreat which will be held Saturday, January 28, 2017 in Marble Falls, Texas.
For more information and to learn more about Lone Star Soap & Toiletries, click here.
Photos by Susan Criswell