I'm a Capricorn as is my husband yet our level of patience are polar opposites. It strikes me as odd that this is true but I guess perhaps that's tied to our gender. He's very much an Alpha Male. Likes things a certain way, doesn't embrace change. Hoards like Doomsday is looming. I'm nothing at all like that. Well, let me amend that. I do like things a certain way, yes, but it's just a matter of simplification for the process I'm about to proceed with. But I race headlong into change. Change is good. It's indicative of growth and learning as well as a sign of engagement with the world at large. I am definitely not a hoarder either. I can't stand clutter and will discard, sometimes to the detriment of a day to day need. Too much clutter stifles my work process so things must be tidy before I can function in the workspace.
Within the context of the bath & body creations, patience is always in high demand as the next paragraph will illustrate. I work exclusively with CP soap - for now. I'd do hot process if there's a need for it, but it's not as much fun to do as the flexibility of swirling & design is a bit more complex yet limited. I love the swirling aspect followed by the element of surprise when the loaf is cut and expectations are met, exceeded or missed entirely. That is why I prefer CP soap despite the long cure time and the wait that's often necessary before it's firm enough to cut.
A cold process soap's design is not immediately obvious when using a loaf mold. All I see is the top of the loaf. None of the design is visible and the motions I went through to make the design is a bit like flying blind. I'm moving around with whatever tool of choice was used but that motion tells me nothing about what the design looks like. I might be aiming for a butterfly swirl with a hanger tool, going through the steps to achieve that, but it might not be anything at all like a butterfly when it's finally cut. Finding out what it looks like generally takes 2 to 5 days to discover.
Not every batch takes beyond 2 days. It all depends on the fragrance oil, the soft and hard oils used and the ratio of those in the recipe, humidity and ambient temperature, whether it includes certain extras in the recipe (or not) and how much water is used. All of those will impact how long you have to wait for a batch to be firm enough to cut without destroying your design. If it's too soft, the design smears. If it's too firm, it can crumble or even break the cutter's wires.
Now you have a clearer idea of the challenges we soap makers face with every batch we make. Other products have their own unique set of challenges as well but that's a tale for another day. With everything we love to create for our customers, know that our patience is pushed to its limits sometimes but we still wouldn't change a thing because we love our work. There's nothing more gratifying than to make something for others that gives them the satisfaction of a smooth shaven face, soft clean skin or a pampered delicate face. We have the patience to create it all and will happily do it all over again.
Hi and welcome to the Bubble Hut! I'm Neecy, aka Dee (Denise) Gunter. I'm the solo maker of Neecy's Necessities, which has been around since 2010. I'm a certified advanced soap maker and member of Hand Crafted Soap and Cosmetics Guild. I'm an adventurous soap maker, frequently trying new things to make things even better yet I know when to stop when it's just fine as is. Follow along while I work in the Bubble Lab in Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.