I've been elbows deep into soap production with the lye burns to prove it. Many soaps have been out for a long time, and what I'm not out of, I'm low on. This year I'm adding quite a few more scents to the Familiar Fairy Tales line (general catalog) and some of you are going to be really happy about the return of Dark & Stormy (previously Storm).
Nine times out of ten soap making goes smoothly, sometimes so smoothly I can almost make some of the recipes in my sleep. Dark & Stormy was supposed to be another relaxing batch. It had other ideas. It wanted to live up to its namesake.
Soap is equally art, alchemy, science, and pure freaking chaos. Doesn't matter how many times you've made it you can never 100% say it's going to come out the same. Things I do to try to minimize surprises, explosions, and other forms of chaos mainly involve NOT CHANGING ONE SINGLE SOLITARY THING and taking lots of notes for every batch, every time (you should see the piles of steno books). Using the scientific method and taking all these notes works as a checks and balance system since I work alone it gives me great quality control as well.
Dark & Stormy has had a stormy past. Six years or so ago when it was first made it would accelerate trace (soapers speak for turning into globs/cement on a stick faster than you can blink) and we'd literally have to mash it into the molds with gloved hands and saran wrap, all for naught and getting lye burns anyway (my immunity to acid burns has leveled up to twenty now). But it smelled awesome so we continued to make it. Then there was that time that Jen knocked the very last of the fragrance blend we had all over into the sink, counters, floor and the entire house and ourselves smelled of it for days. Storm had to go away for a long time after that. As happens a lot in the industry I had to switch suppliers for some of Dark & Stormy's components and something magical happened. It behaved! I was able to make lovely swirly batches like these!
So I didn't change a thing from then on. It was a routine production night, had my jams blasting, dancing around measuring and taking notes. Brought my lye water and oils to temperature had everything set for pretty swirls and then I added the fragrance blend and hit the go button on the old trusty kitchen aide ......
It looks so innocent....
I blinked and it was crumbly play dough stuck to my stick blender no time to separate some soap batter for the black swirls that were planned-- no time for nothing. I literally blinked and it had all gone to hell. So I took a hunk with my gloved hands and mashed it into the diluted black oxide that had been waiting for lovely swirling and I mashed it to mix it in. "I'll do layers" I thought in my shock. The rest of the session was spent, gloping and mashing it into the mold, alternating between slamming the mold down on the counters in-between rounds (my soap slam is now level 20 as well). Because I'm a professional. The end result looked nothing like my original intentions. So I threw glitter on top, cause that fixes everything right?! Right????!!
In the end it came out far better than I had expected. It'll just be rustically styled this time. :) It should be up on the website with the next major restock. Get it while you can, after this, it may need to go away again for a while.
p.s SHHHH I secretly love the chaos ;)
p.p.s Facebook for business sucks. I've formed our very own group join the rest of your fellow dreamers here: The Dreaming Wood
When we reach 100 members it will unlock a giveaway, if we reach 300 members it will unlock another, and so forth. Also sneak peeks, production videos, special codes, news etc will be there first! Join us in The Dreaming Wood!