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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Come Learn to Make Handcrafted Soap with a Certified Instructor.

I’ve been a soap maker over 20 years and was addicted after my first attempt. Back then there was no Internet or instructor to be my guide on the side. I did a lot of footwork to find my information, elated to find the advice in Anne Bramson’s book, Soap: Making It, Enjoying It – mainly because it was the only one you could find.  This was after being intrigued by a bar of old timey lye soap I bought from a granny-lady demonstrating soap making in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. 

It was a marvelous experience to bathe with my new purchase in the claw-foot tub at the rustic cabin rental in the mountains that crisp fall weekend. My skin felt smooth and moisturized all night; it didn’t need lotion.  Instead of going shopping the next day with the other family members, I stayed at the cabin and soaked in the tub again. After that weekend, I was determined to learn how to make this miraculous stuff for myself.

I transferred this research into a culminating spring time lab for my second year chemistry students.  We crafted homemade soap for Mother’s Day presents.  Of course, they had to describe the chemical principles of the saponification process to me on the final exam.

When Creative Hands Artisan Center opened in Lyman, SC, I began to sell bars of slightly more sophisticated versions of the mountain granny’s old timey lye soap. That was the beginning of Tygerheart Fine Soaps in 2001.  Just last year, I became a certified instructor through the Handcrafted Soap Makers Guild.

With the opening of The Grain Loft on Hwy 101 in Greer, SC and their commercial kitchen, there is a great new venue for me to teach interested students the basics of soap making.  Classes are currently underway.  You can register at  Soon I will be offering classes on more advanced techniques as well.