Why Soap?

When I tell people I started making soap, they ask me why. It’s a funny question for a crafter. No one asks why someone takes up knitting or painting or woodworking. I suppose making soap isn’t something that occurs to many people, though, so it’s an understandable question.

I decided I wanted to learn to make soap when I started buying soap from Indigo Bath & Body at the farmers’ market where I used to live in Georgia. They make a soap that is just the best thing I’ve ever put on my face. My skin looks so great when I use this soap regularly. I wash my face with it every morning and evening. The bars last forever as long as you follow their directions and wait two weeks (at least) before using them. All of their soaps are so pretty and just plain interesting. I decided I wanted to try.

I started pinning recipes and ideas to Pinterest and reading blogs. My first batch of soap was a basic recipe, and for a first batch, it didn’t turn out bad. My second batch turned out wonderful, and I think that’s what hooked me for good. I loved everything about the process: I loved mixing the oils and lye and watching the soap thicken. I loved checking on it every hour or so to see how it was coming along. I loved how it turned into soap. The chemistry feels almost like a miracle—you combine a few oils with water and lye, and 24 hours later, it’s a solid hunk of soap. How does that work? That’s amazing! I also liked the idea that it wasn’t hard to do and that I could create my own recipes. I just fell in love with the hobby.

I decided to make soap because I was curious, but now I’m hooked. I love the idea that I can make something useful and beautiful with my own hands.