The Bottom Line
Creative Soapmaking combines an old fashioned heart with a modern brain - an appreciation for the old-fashioned country craft - with all of the modern safety, science and ingredients. It is filled with a spirit that’s almost like the soap makers of the past and present (including some of the soapmaking industry’s leaders and pioneers) have met to chat over a tall glass of iced tea.
- Simple, yet thorough in its overview of the soap making process.
- Contains valuable information for both beginners and advanced soap makers.
- Enough recipes to get you started - and enough information to help you create your own.
- Inspirational interviews from some of the pioneers and current leaders of the soap making industry.
- A lot of information in a small book - recipes, how-to, reference, history and inspiration.
- I wish there were more photos or drawings - people who learn more visually may struggle at first.
- An excellent, thorough overview on the process of making your own soap.
- Includes all of the basics including ingredients, equipment, safety, qualities of soap making oils, and recipes.
- Interviews with pioneers and leaders of the soap making industry give a history of modern soap making from past to present.
Guide Review - Creative Soap Making
Even before she started making soap, Elin wanted to write, so combining her extensive knowledge of making soap into a book was a natural fit.
The book is very well balanced between the "how" of making soap, and the "why." Reading it, you'll understand the passion that soap makers have for their craft, and will likely be inspired to take the plunge into soap making, if you haven't already.
Criswell covers several different processes, but focuses primarily on cold process soapmaking. She gives several solid basic recipes, and a few popular recipes too, like peppermint tea tree, and oatmeal lavender. She covers the qualities of soap making oils, and lays the foundations for experimentation with colors, fragrances, additives and more. Pretty much everything you need to get started...and then some.
The "how-to" part of the book takes up about the first 2/3. One of the really unique aspects of the book, though, is in the last 1/3. In it, she gives a wonderful overview of the history of soap making, and then showcases interviews with some of the pioneers and current leaders in the soap making industry. In the book, she interviews:
- Catherine Failor of Milky Way Molds
- Sandy Maine of SunFeather Natural Soap Company
- Anne-Marie Faiola of Bramble Berry
- Donna Maria Coles Johnson of the Indie Beauty Network
- Irene Linauer of Irene's House of Soap
- Kayla Fioravanti of Essential Wholesale
Criswell says in the book, "[Soapmaking] scratches my creative itch, so to speak. There is just something so satisfying about creating something that is not only unique, but that also serves a useful purpose." Soapmakers around the world agree with her, I'm sure.
If you're a beginner or just curious about soap making, you’ll not only learn how to make your own soap from scratch, but you’ll see just why it’s so enchanting, satisfying and fun...and why making your own soap has become such a popular hobby and business. If you're a soap making veteran, you'll find a kindred spirit in Elin Criswell...and share in the inspiration and passion that we all share for making soap.