When I was in Junior High – they call it Middle School now – my English teacher wanted for us to keep “journals” of our random thoughts. It was supposed to be a private way for us to reflect upon what was going on in our lives. I hated journalling. Fast forward 30 years and now blogging and social networking are all the rage. For the last several years, I’ve wondered why in the world would someone blog… it seems so self-indulgent to think that other people would take time out of their lives to read someone else’s rambling. I really never found much use for social networking (Facebook) except as a place to organize my own photos for some family and friends to enjoy.
Now then, about six weeks ago, I started a new hobby and it turns out that I LOVE TO MAKE SOAP. I’ve come to see soap-making as an art. Just as a painter would paint with oil and pigments, a soap-maker can paint with a wide variety of colorants – if, that is, you can control the liquid medium that is soap. Then of course, there is the practical side of soap. What’s it good for? In the purest sense, it’s for cleaning your junk. That could be your body, your laundry, your dishes, washing the car. Or, it could be like those fancy towels in your Grandma’s bathroom – the ones that you don’t dry your hands on but rather just look at as being pretty. Soap though can appeal to more of your senses. It can look pretty and smell good enough to make you drool. It’s formula can enhance your skin or dry it out. The only sense that it doesn’t seem to effect is hearing and I’m thinking of putting Pop Rocks in it just for that reason. Just kidding!
So, back to the question of “why blog?” Well, just as professional sports teams will record and review videos of their games so they can analyze their own performance for future improvement and better predict the strategies of their opponents, with careful notes, a soap-maker can analyze what went right and wrong in the current batch of soap with hopes of making the next batch better. I’m also finding a wealth of experienced soap-makers who are so generous in sharing their expertise on several online bulletin boards and fantastic video demonstrations by so many skilled artisans on YouTube. So, I guess this blog, is for my own self-improvement and to perhaps pay it forward to share my experiences with other new soap-makers. I would hope that if you are reading this, you will be inspired to make soap too.