Friday, October 22, 2010

The Art of Soap - now shipping!

The Art of Soap is now in stock!  Every book is shipped with 2 beautiful photo postcards so you can tell a friend!  You can purchase a copy here on this site or you can go to the Soapylove Book Shop where the Soapylove melt and pour projects book is also available. 

In the next week I will also be adding a gift wrapped option.  You can have a book shipped directly to a friend, anywhere in the world! 

Thanks so much for all of the wonderful support I have gotten for the book already.  I added a fun map at the bottom of this blog to show where The Art of Soap is being sent.  If you have received a copy, please come here and leave a post telling others what you think.  We would love to hear!  :)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Art of Soap is in the publishing phase!

After months of anticipation, The Art of Soap has been sent to the publisher!  I am self publishing this book so it's more like a printer with some heavy connections, but nevertheless, 108 pages of beautiful soap photography and great soap makers' stories are getting ready for the next step - my first proof.  Hopefully next week I will receive the first printed copy to give the final blessing to.

Once that has been done (and you can bet I will post about that proof!) then I will be able to start selling the book.  I have set up a new page here where you will be able to pick up a copy.  Stay tuned!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Featured Artist: Elea Lutz of Nostalgia

When you get soaps from Elea Lutz of Nostalgia, featured in The Art of Soap, you can feel the love she puts into every one.  All of the papers and fabrics have prints designed by her, and the wrappers on the Soap Sacks even open up to reveal patterns you can use with the cotton bags.  They exude charm and sweetness that is hard to describe!

Elea says, in her own words:

At the end of the day, my artistic and company goals are one and the same: to create from the heart and offer joyful gifts that are memorable and meaningful. These are the most important ideas inspired by my grandmother. The result, I hope, is a genuine collection of tenderness and originality that blends essences of yesteryear into wondrous pleasures in the washroom and beyond.

Don't miss this month's desktop wallpaper, featuring Elea's soaps.  Just sign up for the newsletter to receive it automatically!  And stay tuned over the next few weeks for the book's publication announcement.  It's coming!  :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Great Sponsorship Announcement

Earlier this year I attended the HSMG Soap Conference in Denver, Colorado. Last year was the first time I went, which was in Palm Springs.  I wasn't a member yet but by the time I left I had signed up.  The Soap Guild is an incredible non-profit organization whose mission is to:
promote the handcrafted soap industry; 
to act as a center of communication among soapmakers; 
and to circulate information beneficial to soapmakers.
It is the largest soap guild in the United States and they take their role very seriously.  The Conferences provide the most incredible workshops all relating to the specific needs of soap makers.  From marketing to soap chemistry to cosmetics regulations, every day is packed with invaluable learning. 

For those that can't attend the conferences, The Soap Guild website offers many resources available all year long including product and general liability insurance, an online forum, and now they have created a Legislative Advocacy Group to give all American soap makers a voice in the pending legislation effecting us.  Please click over to their blog to read about the latest events offered by The Soap Guild.

I am very pleased to announce that The Soap Guild is now a sponsor of The Art of Soap.  Thank you so much to the Board, which supports my effort to promote soap making as an art and very important craft. 

Friday, August 27, 2010

Come see an excerpt from The Art of Soap, featuring SV Soaps!

The book is coming along very nicely, each feature looks so bright and beautiful.  Since explaining a book is never as good as seeing it for yourself, I have uploaded an actual feature!  Here is an excerpt from the "Technique" chapter, showcasing the amazing work by Silvia Victory of SV Soaps.  You can flip through it right here on the blog by clicking on the grey page edges, or click on the page center to see it full sized.

There are 23 other incredible artisans as well, each with a very distinctive style and point of view.  The Art of Soap is still on track to be published next month, so don't forget to sign up for the newsletter and be the first to know when it's ready!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Chapter 1: Philosophy

Last week I completed chapter one: "Philosophy."  As I read through all of the soap makers' essays for the book, I found that many people are driven to make soap because of their values and beliefs.  If you saw my earlier post about Brown Rice Family, they try to have a natural and healthy life, and their soaps are made with organic ingredients.  Yiuchi even travels to Japan to visit the farmers that supply green tea for his soaps.

The cover page for this chapter features Maggie Wang's beautiful soaps (shown above).  In her write-up she explains:
I began making soaps when my husband's co-worker lost his wife to cancer. That's when I realized how many harmful chemicals go into our daily cleaning products. I then began my ever-evolving quest for the all-natural soaps: I'm always hunting for natural ingredients, natural scents, and natural colorants.
She also focuses on using animal fats in her recipes.  Her designs are modern and striking. 

I am almost finished with the second chapter and will post a preview of that one as well.  In the meantime, you can get another preview of a featured artist by signing up for the newsletter (click here).  You'll receive a desktop wallpaper featuring A*Kang (also part of the Philosophy chapter) and an excerpt of her write-up.

I look forward to sharing more of the book with you.  It's coming out beautifully, thanks to the incredible work of the soap makers and Erin Pikor's photography.  I know you will love it!

Monday, August 2, 2010

New Desktop Wallpaper Featuring A*Kang

For the month of August, all newsletter subscribers will receive a desktop wallpaper image featuring the beautiful soaps by A*Kang.  Hailing from Taiwan, A*Kang is dedicated to using all natural ingredients in her cold process soap bars and adorable soap confections.  To learn more about A*Kang and receive your wallpaper, sign up for the newsletter (click here).  You can opt to only receive the book publication announcement, or get all updates from now until then! 

Monday, July 12, 2010

Behind the Scenes - Meet Erin Pikor


One of my goals of The Art of Soap is to educate people about the craft of soapmaking. In order to do that and do justice to the featured artists, I knew I would need an amazing photographer who understood the craft and its special beauty. There was only one person that I would consider - Erin Pikor.

Erin and I have been friends and work associates for over 3 years. She is an incredible soap maker and the one-woman-show behind Naiad Soap Arts, which is also featured in The Art of Soap. In fact, her soap (shown here) won Best in Show at the recent HSMG Soap Conference. It was her first year competing!

Erin studied photography and art at Art Institute of Boston, then graphic design at the Connecticut Institute of Art. I asked her a few questions about her background and she said,
I was taught the technical aspects of photography but I think to really take good pictures you have to take a lot of pictures and look at other work. Eventually you will know intuitively what type of composition will work with a subject as well as what depth of field you want - it is really all relative to the subject and I think it just takes practice...Right now my main focus is on the art of soap making and photographing my soap, which is just as fun as making it!
What other professional photography jobs have you done, or more simply – types of photography?
I have publishing credits as a photo editor, cover artist and illustrator but this will be my first credit as photographer! It is very exciting! I used to take a lot of architectural photography and there was a burned down fireworks factory in my town and it was one of my favorite places to take pictures, along with an old train car graveyard in northeast Connecticut. In Boston it was the old buildings that I really loved to shoot and when I moved to San Diego I used to love going to the Julian area to take pictures in the woods.
What kind of camera do you use?
I currently use a Canon Rebel digital SLR and am saving up for a new macro zoom lens! I love this camera - it is easy to use and reasonably priced. I love the overall reliability of this camera.
 Thank you for sharing that info, Erin!

Look for her work in The Art of Soap, coming this Fall!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Meet a Featured Artist - Brown Rice Family

Shortly after I decided to make The Art of Soap, I stumbled upon this video on Etsy.  It gave me butterflies!  I was more determined than ever to contact artists like the Brown Rice Family and tell the world about them.  Their soaps will be featured, and Yuichi wrote a wonderful essay about his inspiration and travels for the book.  They are so passionate and it shows in everything they do.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Why Create "The Art of Soap?"

Like most soap makers, I love everything about soap.  Making it, using it, talking about it... and I love admiring the work of others.  Seeing each person's style, trying their soaps, hearing about their favorite part of the process, why they started to make soap - there are as many stories as there are soap makers.

Outside of the community, a bar of soap is not generally known for its beauty.  Soap making is completely unrecognized in the art world and a bit of an outsider in crafting.  So I have decided to publish a book called The Art of Soap.

24 distinctive artisans will be featured, with stunning photographs by Erin Pikor and a personal story written by each soap maker. For someone unfamiliar with the possibilities of soap crafting, it will be eye opening.  For those in the soap community, it will be a feast for the eyes and hopefully a great source of inspiration and pride. 

I hope you'll join me on my journey to create this book and learn more about the people that will be inside it.  I'm incredibly excited and can't wait to share it with you!

Monday, June 21, 2010

New Book Coming This Fall!

Make sure to follow this blog to get announcements about The Art of Soap, an amazing book showcasing soaps made by 24 incredible artisans and the stories behind their inspiration.  Full of beautiful professional photographs, The Art of Soap will be a favorite among those who love to make and use soap, and anyone who appreciates handmade arts.

The Art of Soap Readers Around the World