My brother and I started Magellan’s Gift™ Micro Soap Company long before the average person had personal computers. We were self taught through real books and our mistakes. The batches were hand stirred and large – requiring both of us to create our craft.
Today, so much has changed with access to the internet. Soap makers chat globally sharing techniques freely. Sound practice is reinforced; archaic folklore is put aside. Beautiful soaps that truly are art are painstakingly created in many steps and are really priceless. Contests are held and winners announced! From hobbyist to larger handcrafted soap companies, there has never been a better time to be creative with soap.
Magellan’s Gift™ strives to have bars that are about function, using great ingredients that are good for the skin. The soaps do need to catch your eye, but making tiny little batches where 8 bars takes a whole day to produce isn’t going to work – even for a Micro Soap Company. The majority of Magellan’s Gift™ soaps are sold at a wonderful busy farmers market year round and online at http://www.magellansgift.com which means every week, soap is made and every week soap needs to be cured and ready to sell. When I learned of Clara Lindberg’s blog detailing the how to’s of using wire to create an inverted stamp, it was love at first sight. And was very possible with my 30-bar molds (which are still considered small), but at up to 6 batches a day – helpful.
I admit my stamps are a bit rustic and I’m still very much playing around with the idea. The plus of the technique is that inverted stamping works fine with my 30-bar mold – if I work quickly. To read more about this style of creating a raised pattern on soap go to Clara Lindberg’s Blog on Inverted Stamps
More stamps are in the works for inverted images.
Lori Curry ~ Magellan’s Gift™ Adventure & Discovery in Fine Soap
Sometimes life is like steering a wooden ship through dangerous waters. Don’t be so absorbed with survival that you miss the sparkle of sunlight on waves, the caress of the wind in your hair, and the exhilaration of being inside an adventure. Otherwise, living is just postponing the inevitable.
Dangerous Waters is a swirled soap with veins of finely ground vanilla specks for a mild scrubby effect. The scent is created with cedar, five origin sandalwood, cardamom and ylang ylang essential oils.
Look for this finely crafted soap online and at the Harrisonburg, VA Farmers Market starting Aug 20, 2016
Magellan’s Gift™ ~ Adventure & Discovery in Fine Soap!
I wrote this many years ago, but I’ve had several request to post this again!
Real soap is almost manna from heaven, but like all good things there is a downside. Well, that is unless you have soft water. I tell myself that I am so lucky that I have such hard water–after all, it is important to test soap in the worst of conditions!
Soap scum is from the minerals in water reacting with soap. This is (sadly) one of the reasons detergents became so popular. My skin prefers real soap; my lack of time for cleaning admires detergents. I think I’ve found the solution and I been testing this for over a month now and I’m pretty pleased. I work very long days and nights and keeping up with the housework is a major challenge for me.
My shower is a 1970’s plastic job with swan embossed glass doors and a nasty track that produces grunge that someday may grow a life saving new drug, but mostly likely not! When I bought the house I swore it would the be the first of many remodeling jobs. It still greets me every morning!
First, a disclaimer; I have only tried this on my shower bath made of cheap plastic. You will need to research whether this is a good idea for your type of stall. Ask your manufacturer or someone more knowledgable then me.
So you need to start with a clean surface! I bought two pretty spray bottles from my local Lowes. Peroxide does best in a solid or dark colored bottle . Fill one with the cheapest white vinegar you can buy. Fill the other with 3% peroxide (which you can buy at the grocery store.) Do not pre-mix!
After I shower, I mist the stall with one after the other, it doesn’t matter the order. That is it. Somehow it works as a preventative. It also kills all sorts of bacteria. You will need to clean again, but you will go much longer between cleanings. It also works great on the toilet. Once a day when the toilet is flushed before it fills back up, lift the seat and mist all around, including the seat and hope no one sits on it before it dries. Wiping the seat would be polite, but it works without doing that either too.
Go to the link below, this is what inspired me to try this in the bath. I’ve been using it for years in the kitchen.
So even I can make cleaning an adventure with discovery too!
Lori Curry ~ Magellan’s Gift™ ~ Adventure & Discovery in Fine Soap!
Magellan’s Gift™ Sudsy Cargo is a highly crafted ale soap and a salute to all the local brewers of Harrisonburg, VA. The small college town of Harrisonburg is located in the Shenandoah Valley and is home to quite a few small craft breweries – many in walking distance to each other. They often collaborate on sudsy delights.
This current batch was made with locally crafted IPA. A whole six pack was used, one for sampling and five for the soap. This wonderfully aromatic ale was cooked down to concentrate and remove the alcohol and the carbonation. Alcohol and carbonation are not friends to the soap making process. The natural sugars and hop extract that were left were a very welcome addition as they add conditioning bubbles to the soap. In the end, I found the results made me very hoppy, oops, I mean happy, indeed.
The tall skinny shape is created by pouring in to a deep slab mold. Actually, two separate batches were made – one with beer and the other was plain – creating the “foamy ale head”. A line of pure chocolate cocoa is used to the separate the layers.
The mold is removed and cut into logs with a splitter. The logs are then cut into bars. Top view of a multi-bar cutter that uses wire for perfectly cut bars!The bars are moved back to a dedicated room with a fan to assist in curing for at least four weeks. The soap becomes harder, longer lasting, milder and with more lather.
Sudsy Cargo Soap is a limited edition. You can read more about what IPA and its history at: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/how-india-pale-ale-got-its-name-180954891/
Yours truly, wishing you a sudsy summer!
Lori Curry ~ Magellan’s Gift ~ Adventure & Discovery in Fine Soap!
For this version of The Muse Soap, I’ve added activated charcoal and kept the scent the same. The charcoal gives it a little texture for a mild scrubby effect. Charcoal is supposed to be detoxing and is often found in soap. I know of no way to prove this claim, so I will let you decide. This soap has superior cleansing properties without leaving your skin dry. The bonus is the pleasant scent it leaves on your skin.
All for Adventure & Discovery in Fine Soap!
Lori Curry – Magellan’s Gift™
Handcrafted gardener’s soap for glove haters!
The Glove Hating Gardener’s Soap has finally arrived!
This fine handcrafted soap is based on the winter testing trials. This is done annually, where a new project is picked and perfected with your help.
Samples are given out starting late February at the Harrisonburg, VA Farmers Market and with online orders at www.magellansgift.com .
The small batches are staggered to allow feedback. Questions were asked, like: is it too coarse? Too soft? Is it moisturizing? Is it able to clean really dirty hands? But what was interesting . . . was how many people said they need a soap like this because they hated gloves.
The final result is a scrubby bar of soap designed for the hands. It is good for the chef, as well as the cook, mechanic, farmer or gardener.
It is enhanced with avocado oil and sea clay, scented with lemongrass, ginger and rose geranium essential oils. A special blend of corn meal, orange peel powder, parley powder, apricot grounds and pumice turns your rough dirty hands into clean hands that smell fresh and are soft.
Available starting April 30, 2016
May warm bubbles surround your hands!
Lori Curry ~ Magellan’s Gift™ ~ Adventure & Discovery in Fine Soap!
Once upon a time, I bought a small brick ranch house built in the late 60’s for my home. I had no idea what the future would bring. Most likely, my home will never be featured in a classy decorating magazine or win awards for design. Some women my age are remodeling kitchens with granite counter tops, I lust after stainless carts with wheels.
The future may bring a lye tank for storing lye solution and another tank for a master batching of soap, drums of oils instead of 50 lb buckets. I currently could easy use them up before spoiling. As I grow, my thoughts will no doubt change. Right now, I’m in a happy place, and I never wanted to be normal anyway.