In late November the 6/7 class learned the art of making soap with their teacher and Principal Ms. Jen Turner. Ms. Turner has studied the art of soap making with Haida artist Valerie Lamirande from RavenSong Soap in Campbell River.
The students learned to make soap by hand in small batches in the cold process tradition using olive oil, coconut oil and palm oil. Measuring the ingredients for making soap needs to be precise, and students measured all of the oils and water to the gram using a digital scale. Students also learned when making soap you need to use distilled water, because the mineral content in regular tap water could alter the process.
Students had to make a preliminary plan in writing to choose an essential oil to scent their soap, mineral micas to colour their soap, and a swirling technique to finish their soap. Once the oils and ingredients were at the right temperature, and within 5 degrees apart, the students mixed their oils using a hand blender. They learned they had to burp the blender, and get all of the air out from under the blender, so they would not have air pockets in their soap.
Depending on the colour chosen students poured small batches of their soap into smaller containers to mix in with a spatula the mineral mica colours, and then mixed them together again to pour in the final soap mold.
The raw soap sat overnight covered, and the very next day it had hardened and students took it out of the mold and cut their bars. The soap then cured in Ms. Turner’s office for two weeks until it was ready to take home just in time for Christmas. The students also made soap labels and named their bars to give away as gifts.
The soaps turned out beautifully. Congratulations to the students for completing this project!