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Natural Soap - A Hands-On Workshop NEW! In-Studio Class Apr 28

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Natural Soap - A Hands-On Workshop NEW! In-Studio Class
Sunday, April 28, noon-3pm
Instructor: Lisa Gillespie
Limit: 8 students. All participants must be 15 years or older.

Class Details:

We were quite taken with these luscious (vegan) natural soaps from designer  Lisa Gillespie – especially when we heard that marbled papers at the store inspired some of her designs! Lisa, an experienced and award-winning artist, crafts soaps with simple ingredients that support the skin. They’re also an eco-savvy alternative to commercial soaps, which can wreak havoc with both the environment and your system. 

This hands-on workshop covers the basics of making hand-poured, cold-process soap, a traditional process that produces higher quality soap than other methods. With the cold process, selected base oils, scents, natural and/or cosmetic color, and lye are combined and mixed until they emulsify. (Lisa is all about safety. You aren’t required to handle the lye directly, and she reviews safety tips with the class before beginning.) Everyone participates in the mixing to directly experience how thick to make the slurry and how to tell when it’s ready to pour. Customizing the soap with color and embellishments is the part that gets everyone excited. Lisa shares simple techniques that elevate the design by adding an artistic flair to the natural soap. She also shares easy techniques for packaging, which you’ll practice on bars of cured soap.   

The class is set up so that it’s simple enough for beginners to understand, but there are options for diving in more deeply for those who’d like to. You'll leave class inspired with simple soap recipes, a resource list, a bar of handcrafted soap, and – quite possibly – a happy obsession with a new pursuit that’s both creative and practical!

Vegan Soap Ingredients: sustainable palm, coconut, and olive oil with plant-based activated charcoal and coffee + cosmetic mica (white) for color. Scented with espresso fragrance oil.

The class is held at the instructor’s studio in South Boulder. The address will be emailed to registered students on the Monday before class.

Due to the limited size of the classroom, social distancing will not be possible. Attendees of the class are welcome to wear masks. Help keep community members and our staff safe, please do not attend the class if you are feeling sick. Please contact ahead of time if you have specific questions regarding class covid safety.

Class Materials

Please bring the following materials:

  • Clothes with long sleeves/long pants/closed-toed shoes
  • Apron
  • Safety googles. (Can be found at hardware and paint stores.) 
  • Mask (a precaution when working with high concentrations of essential oils)
  • Water and a snack for the short break

Class materials:

  • All soap making materials, plus embellishments for decorating the soap are provided
  • Decorative paper and wax seals for creatively wrapping a bar of soap

Class Refund/Cancellation Policy

Cancellations made up to 14 days prior to the first class meeting will be refunded or, at the participant's option, used to pay for another class. Two Hands Paperie will retain a $10 processing fee for EACH class cancelled by a participant. After 14 days, there is no refund or credit. In addition, the fee for a class cancelled within this 14-day timeframe by a participant cannot be transferred to pay for another class. These policies are to ensure that teachers are compensated for their investment in materials and in time spent preparing for the class. We reserve the right to cancel a class if fewer than 3 students enroll 48 hours prior to the scheduled class time. If for any reason Two Hands Paperie cancels a class, students will be called at the phone number on file and refunded the FULL class fee.

Instructor Bio

The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls. – Pablo Picasso

My soap does that, too! – Lisa M. Gillespie

Lisa Gillespie hails from the southeast corner of Pennsylvania, where she grew up in the midst of a lovingly animated and loud extended family that was fond of creativity, theater, and art. Like her dad, Lisa was curious and extroverted, with a talent for finding communities of shared interests. She moved to New York City to attend art school, majoring in media arts/animation. She stayed there and worked as an art director in an award-winning corporate communications studio before moving to Boulder with her husband. 

After the move she continued in corporate communications work, but eventually tired of the unrelenting hours. Lisa wore several different hats in other fields and even had her own private practice as a massage and craniosacral specialist. She actively enjoys the outdoors, volunteers with Boulder’s Open Space and Parks, and still found time to visit over 260 (!!) National Park sites on family road trips. Her creative outlet over these years was designing costumes, themed parties, scenery for plays, and the like. She also studied pastel painting, which gave her a true appreciation for the play of color-layering.

Lisa eventually wandered into her artsy, natural soap odyssey as a spin-off in a challenge called 101 New Experiences in 1001 Days. She found a new love. Her ecologically savvy, wildly artistic creations won awards at the Denver County Fair, including first place several years running. Making far more soap than she could possibly use, Lisa started Courageous Soap and began selling at artisan markets and house parties. That adventure led in turn to teaching classes. Soap making, it turned out, was a natural amalgamation of her interests in art, natural ingredients (gleaned from her massage therapy practice), and teaching/leading groups.

Artistic and colorful designs with undertones of sly political commentary are a hallmark of her soaps, and Lisa donates a portion of her profits to voter registration and other pro-democracy non-profits. She continues entering soap competitions at the International level, still receiving awards and recognition for her unique style.

Lisa is thrilled to share her enthusiasm for soap making with students, and apologizes in advance if they end up getting addicted to this practical, creative hobby!


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