By Chuck Roy
Carrie Bell, owner and operator of Earth Scape Soap Company, recently presented a two-day seminar on the modern technology and methods of the old-fashioned art of homemade soaps at the Annex of the Winnsboro Center for the Arts.
A full classroom of 10 anxious students learned the mechanics and art of producing rich and luxuriously scented bath soap designed for personal their use. Students were instructed in the safe handling of the ingredients, how to select and measure the oils, scents, and colors to individualize the production of their individual loafs of soap.
Various oils were used and others introduced to further personalize the soap bars. Adding other oils adapted the basic product to produce abundant lather and large bubbles, or a medium lather with mild cleansing. Some oils presented a harder/softer soap cake, and so on, all to administer to the desires of the user.
One could easily reduce soap to a commodity purchase, but Carrie Bell presented the interesting facts of the history of making soap at home and the opportunities to make a product as individual as a fingerprint to the user. Her comfortable instruction technique paired seamlessly with an ebullient personality added excitement and a hometown feel to the classroom and made each student feel almost homeschooled.
The wide selection of scents, colorants, designs, size, and surface decorations made the class a gathering of explorers as each searched for the perfect formulation. Young and older students explored the basics and several of the nuances to creating a perfect product.
And, just to show that we really appreciate the WCA and Carrie Bell, this writer attended the class and managed to create 10 bars of high quality bars of soap. My selected scent was Tiger Blood, a very masculine scent that is certain to drive the women in my life crazy. Of course those women have been giving me soap-on-a-rope as a “perfect gift” for countless birthdays. This soap is destined to be my revenge. It isn’t exactly your basic Ivory. The Winnsboro Center for the Arts Annex is a special place. A place of entertainment, education, and creativity that feels like a hometown school house. Please follow their website, Facebook, or weekly updates to find your niche in this pearl of Winnsboro. You can also see a lot of the activities from the WCA in the pages of this publication.