Fellow soap makers will understand the dilemma. We lovingly stir luscious ingredients (oils, butters and essential oils) into a batch and for whatever reason the soap isn’t the object of beauty we dreamed of. I’ve got more examples than I care to admit. A beer soap that turned solid in the pot before I could pour it, a lemon myrtle soap that was a beautiful olive green in my smaller moulds but heated up just a tad too much in the larger mould to end up a deeper brownish green. These soaps still work well, smell lovely, but fail in the beauty stakes.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the uniqueness of handmade, hand cut soap. I see beauty in the fact that all my bars are just a tiny bit different. In fact, my lovely silicone bar moulds have been pushed aside because the bars they produce are just a little too ‘perfect’ for my liking.
But I digress. What I really wanted to discuss was wet felted soap - the perfect soapy activity for a rainy day. Felting with gorgeous Australian merino wool and silk is an excellent way to dress up those soaps best described as 'diamonds in the rough'. Yup, my soap addiction has now expanded to a full blown wool addiction, so much so that I managed to plan a trip to Brisbane on the same weekend that the Queensland Spinners, Weavers and Fibre Artists have their annual open day. And what a day it was – my children happily engaged in spinning, weaving and basket making workshops while my ever patient husband and I roamed the ‘emporium’, packed with a diverse range of beautiful fleece and yarn.
You can see Washpool Farm Felted Soaps in the photo, as well as some of my new stash of Australian Merino tops and 'dreadlocks'. In my next blog I’ll break down the process I use to achieve these unique results.