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Melt and Mold Soap Crafting by C. Kaila Westerman

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Melt and Mold Soap Crafting by C. Kaila Westerman

Melt and Mold Soap Crafting by C. Kaila Westerman

Storey Books

The Bottom Line

This is a very good melt and pour book - both for beginners and for more advanced soap makers. The instructions are clear, the photos are great, and the variety of recipes and projects are sure to inspire and instruct a wide variety of soap makers of all types.
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Pros

  • Great beginner as well as more advanced recipes/projects
  • Good tables and easily understood basic charts
  • Comprehensive enough information to more than just get started
  • Clear directions with good photos

Cons

  • A few of the recipes incorporate too much extra oil or additives like vegetables (for my preference)

Description

  • A very good basic overview of melt and pour soap making -including color, fragrance, form & function
  • Includes both the "how" and a lot of the "why" in melt and pour soap making
  • Clear photos and instructions and a wide variety of great recipes/projects

Guide Review - Melt and Mold Soap Crafting by C. Kaila Westerman

One of the things that I love about Susan Miller Cavitch's The Soap Maker's Companion is its conversational style and all of the extra side bars, trivia, tables, definitions and "all about" pages in it. You can go back to it again and again and learn something new.

C. Kaila Westerman must have been inspired by Cavitch when she wrote Melt and Mold Soap Crafting because it has much of the same wonderful feel.

She starts out with the basics...the very basics of different soap bases and the history of soap. Then she digests melt and pour soap making down into six steps - yes, just six steps.

  1. Melt the soap base
  2. Add color
  3. Add fragrances
  4. Mix in other additives
  5. Pour into molds
  6. Unmold, use, and enjoy!
And you know what? If you're just making a real basic melt and pour soap - that really is all there is to it. Westerman has great, well illustrated instructions for each of those basic steps - and includes side bars and sections on molds, additives, sweating, colors, embeds and fragrance.

The rest of the book is filled with dozens of recipes that take you beyond the basics including:

  • Swirled soap - a white and clear base swirled together
  • Stickable stackables - using a cookie cutter to layer shapes together
  • An oatmeal loaf soap that incorporates chunks and solves the problem of oatmeal settling to the bottom in melt and pour soap
  • Jelly roll - which embeds a "soap cane" or premade swirl into a bar of soap
She even has instructions for a few really advanced soaps like a "smiley face cane" which embeds a smiley face into a log of soap, and "fruit canes" which look like yummy slices of fruit!

Westerman has a couple of recipes that I disagree with, most notably her "Saving Face" soap. It incorporates mashed avocado, carrot juice, and other luxury oils in it. She does say they should be used within 3 months, but I just don't prefer the consistency of the soap base when you add a lot of extra oil and water-based additive to it. The recipe would make for a great lotion or cold process bar of soap, but I don't think it makes good melt and pour.

But that is just one recipe among dozens of other great recipes, wonderful tips, techniques, tables and photos.

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