Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A little ugly for some pretty!

I have been on a mission to find a really good wet felting soap. I have used Dawn in the past, but I have switched to rubbing a bar of soap over the wool to begin with and this works really well. The problem with most bars of soap I have tried is the amount of suds it creates - mountains and mountains!!! My mom reps for a line of French soaps and I recently ordered some Olive oil soap.
Another wet felter calls these big blocks of soap the 'ugly' soap. They certainly aren't small and delicate.

They are a traditional marseille cube made with 72% olive oil. They are unscented and pure - making them perfect for anyone with sensitive skin. Wikipedia had some very interesting information regarding this soap - Traditionally, the soap is made by mixing sea water from the Mediterranean Sea, olive oil, and the alkaline chemicals soda ash (sodium carbonate) and lye (sodium hydroxide) together in a large cauldron (usually making about 8 tons). This mixture is then heated for several days, stirred constantly. The mixture is then allowed to sit, and once ready, it is poured into the mould, and allowed to set slightly. While still soft, it is cut into bars and stamped, and left to completely harden. The whole process can take up to a month from the start before the soap is ready to use.

Even more interesting is that this soap has been made around Marseille, France, for about 600 years, the first recorded soapmaker in the area in about 1370. By 1688, Louis XIV introduced regulations limiting the use of the name savon de Marseille to soaps made in and around the Marseille area, and only from olive oil. Today this law still stands (although the regulations now allow other vegetable oils to be used).

The felting results are fantastic!!! It suds nicely, but not too much. I used it to make the backgrounds for the following two wall hangings.

This is Gretchen...
and this is Edda.
A very lucky lady had a friend and husband order these wall hangings for her birthday. These are her two favorite dogs and they wanted them on a mossy green background. I am thrilled with the results and I hope she is too!

No comments:

Post a Comment