It was a cold Saturday morning, I had slept about 90 minutes that night but that didn’t stop me from enthusiastically boarding the 8:55 am train to Utrecht: I was going to attend a soap making workshop! The last time I made soap had been about 8 years ago, so I was more than ready.
The workshop was organised by the artisanal organic soap makers “Werfzeep” in their workplace in Utrecht. The class started off with soap theory: instructor Laurens explained what soap is, how it is made, what ingredients can (and cannot) be used, and how you can use essential oils to perfume your soap. After all this, it was going to be our turn to make soap from scratch.
I really liked that the instructor paid thorough attention to theory. Not only does it explain what you are going to be doing and why (and in what order) during the workshop, it also gives you enough knowledge to make your own soap at home. And I also just enjoy listening to people talk about things they know and care a lot about.
After a short tea break, we were split into teams of two and got to work. Since Werfzeep only works with vegetable oils and fats, we started on a recipe containing coconut oil and olive oil.
Of course only after we put on an apron.
The measuring of the ingredients had to be precise, and getting all the oils to melt and have the right temperature without overcooking them took some effort. Then it was time to add the lye, during which we of course wore safety glasses.
Once everything was mixed together, the fun – or the frustration – started: for your soap to become, well, soap, you have to stir and stir and stir and stir until both your arms hurt and you feel like crying because – and I quote myself from 8 years ago: – “That trace will never happen!”
This time however, we were allowed to finish it off with a hand blender. As soon as trace appeared, we added our customised essential oil mix, hand blendered a bit more and then poured the soap into the mould. Those who felt like it had the option to add lavender or calendula to their soap, but since the perfume my soap partner and I had concocted was already uh, kinda intense, we decided not to.
This was the end result:
And now we wait, because cold process soap needs to cure for about a month before it’s ready. As soon as it is, it will be sent to me and I can hardly wait! I will of course post a picture on Instagram as soon as it arrives, and will “edit to add” this post then too.
ETA: you can see the pictures here!
I for one had a great Saturday morning and would definitely recommend this workshop! It’s held (almost) every month, on this page you can see on which dates there are still spots available and how you can register.
Note, just so that things are clear: nothing I write about on Featured Mag is sponsored or “a collab” or whatever the euphemisms are nowadays. I found out about this workshop through Anne-Fleur Kan’s Instagram, enrolled, paid, got stoked and decided to write about it all by myself.
Next week it’s time for the monthly round up! See you on Wednesday!0