Back to (Soap) School

Welcome to September.  The days are slowly shortening, summer’s gradually winding down, and school is back in session, which makes this a perfect time to ponder continuing your education.  You don’t have to stop learning just because your formal schooling has ended.  In fact, many soapmakers don’t discover their passion until well after primary and secondary schooling is a distant memory.  No matter how you like to learn, we have some suggestions to further your soapmaking education that we think will float your boat and fit your style:

3/366 - Back to School

Photo by Flickr member thebassoonist12. Used under a Creative Commons License.

Like your learning jam-packed into several intensive days with hundreds of like-minded soapmakers? Check out the annual HSMG conference.   Next year’s is in Raleigh, North Carolina and 2014’s is in Tucson, Arizona.  Register now to take advantage of early-bird pricing and member-only installment plans.

Enjoy furthering your skills with a friendly cross-country competition? Bramble Berry’s in the midst of a natural colorant challenge for cold process soap while Erica Pence of The Bonnie Bath Company and Bath Alchemy Lab has started a fast and furious color palette challenge for every soap medium.

Happy curling up with a book? See some of our recommended books and get a member discount in the HSMG bookstore, while supplies last.

Prefer to read online? Pore over the Journal archives and Handmade, Wholesale Supplies Plus’s new online magazine.

Youtube fanatic? Wholesale Supplies Plus and Bramble Berry post lots of videos to teach you everything from ingredient fundamentals to fancy new techniques.

Want to see it demonstrated? Check out a class from a teacher near you.  From candy-like confections to body butters, classes addressing a range of cosmetic and soapmaking skills abound.  The HSMG site has a steadily growing list that allows you to search for certified soapmaker teachers.

History buff? Peruse Essential Depot’s vintage lye pamphlets and trade cards from Lovin’ Soap’s Amanda Griffin while really delving into the past with Marie Gale’s guide to 300 years of Natural Soap and Cosmetic Recipes.

However you choose to continue your education, here’s hoping you have a spectacularly edifying September.

How do you keep learning?  Do you have a favorite resource?

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