SWI Recap: Day 1 CP-Stravaganza!

Another year of Soap Weekend Intensive is in the books. The super fun, crazy, intense, and soapy extravaganza started off on Friday with Cold Process and Melt and Pour 101 at Otion, and the house was packed with eager students from all over the world ready to kick off the weekend!

Saturday started off with a visit from a very special guest – my little man, Jamisen!

After that ray of sunshine, we dove right into our first round of Cold Process demos: three different milk soaps! I taught two techniques with Goat Milk and one technique with Rice Milk, straight from my new book, Making Milk Soap from Scratch.

Next up, Kat from Otion was on hand to teach Swirling 101, including color theory and her famous Kat-leidescope technique. After the class, some of the attendees affectionately dubbed her “Swirly McGee”. Love those bright colors!

After a break for lunch (our traditional Farmer’s Market tour was rained out, boo!) it was time for a hands-on CP session. Each of the students got to make their own mini-loaf of soap, and there was an experienced Cold Process soap maker available for every 3-4 students to assist and answer questions.

There was such a wide variety of soaps made, lots of fun colors, and tons of freshly learned swirling skills being demonstrated. It was so much fun to see what everyone came up with.

Whew! After hearing some of the attendees express interest in Bath Bombs, we decided to add on an extra on-the-fly class using our new Bath Bomb Machine to end the day. Unfortunately, the humidity was throwing my recipe for a loop, but the adverse weather made for a great teaching opportunity. And, we did get the bath fizzies to work – it just took a little extra TLC with all the moisture in the air.

In the afternoon, our apprentice soapmaker-in-training, Mr.  Jamisen stopped by for another visit after his 3 hour long (!) morning nap. He was pretty excited about the giant overhead mirror.

The first day of SWI was a whirlwind extravaganza in Cold Process soapmaking and I think everyone left tired but brimming over with new ideas for techniques and designs. I’ll share more with you tomorrow and show pictures from the Melt and Pour, Scrubs, Packaging and Lotion classes. Wahoo! In the meantime, if there’s something you’d like to see us teach at the next Soap Weekend Intensive, please let us know!

Read about past SWI’s here: 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008

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  1. Krystal says

    I’m glad you mentioned bombs and humidity! I was just wondering what I can do to combat the humidity where I live (ontario canada) as I’m having a problem with my bombs getting VERY flat bottoms. It might partially be that my mix is too wet, but I was also told it could be from the humidity.

    • says

      Hi Krystal!

      Humidity is one of bath bombs biggest foes and can be difficult to work with, but not impossible! If you are having problems with your bath bombs flattening or prematurely fizzing, we suggest using a little less witch hazel.

      Another way to prevent that problem is to let your bath bombs set-up and dry, is to use a small room and a dehumidifier (if you have one) and let them sit in there with the door closed. That should help them dry up with out flattening.

      But, if you don’t have a dehumidifier you can also do what we call the dry box. You can set your bath bombs in a closed box with a silica packet (they often come with beef jerky, shoes and other products). The silica packet will help to pull the moisture out of the air and keep your bath bombs from flattening.

      I hope this helps, let us know how they turn out!

  2. says

    Very irrelevant, but If using Vanilla-Infused Jojoba Oil (a brand called NOW I found sells one and I bought it being the vanilla fanatic I am). I assume it doesn’t need a preservative because they can sell it on shelves and the ingredients list does not say any.

    So my question is, will you need a vanilla stablilizer for this if using in your foot balm recipe (The Mother’s Day one – looks amazing!)?


    • says

      Hi Gabi!

      We always suggest using a preservative if your recipe calls for it, but by itself the infused Jojoba Oil does not need a preservative.

      If you are using the Jojoba Oil in our Mother’s Day foot balm, you won’t necessarily need a preservative, but if you are going to be sticking your hands in it(and if there are other little hands in there), we do suggest using a preservative to prevent any little microbes or bacteria from growing.

      -Becky with Bramble Berry