Lori Jo Wood presents soap making class at Little Red Schoolhouse

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Student Brianne Hopkins prepares to mix her soap ingredients at Lori Jo Wood’s soap making class at the Little Red Schoolhouse Monday, Sept. 30. Diane Sieker photo

Local soap artist Lori Jo Wood presented a soap making class at the Little Red Schoolhouse in Anza Monday, Sept. 30. The session was attended by six students.

Wood has been making soap for four years and said she was anxious to share her love of the art. She explained that her inspiration started with a plant – loofah, which is the fruit of a vine in the cucumber family that is allowed to mature and is used as a bath or kitchen scrubber after being processed to remove everything except the network of coarse fibers.

“I found out that loofah is like a gourd,” she said. “I’ve been growing gourds for 20 years and decided to try growing the loofah. After my first harvest I was asked if I had ever thought of putting  them in soap. I started with the melt and pour soaps. And then researched how you make soaps from scratch. I am finding new and old recipes and trying them out.”

Her classes do not address the loofah but do cover the fine art of making natural soaps at home.

The classes are structured in various phases, according to complexity and tools used.

Class One is where all the tools and supplies are supplied, and the students take the soap home to cure and use. This class costs $75.

In Class Two, Wood makes a batch of soap, while students observe, and they take home a bar of soap from the class. This lesson is a $40 class.

Class Three has the students bring their own supplies and tools, while Wood contributes the sodium hydroxide used. The cost for this class is $35.

Class Four has Wood supplying all supplies and tools for students to keep, plus the soap they make. This class costs $100.

“I haven’t set a date for the next class,” Wood said. “But I have interested people messaging me. I ask if they want a morning or evening class then what days are best for them. I narrow it down to when we are all available.”

Laurie Knight said, “It really was a lot of fun. I learned so much.”

To learn more, Wood can be reached at brrdldy@hotmail.com or on Facebook.

Diane Sieker can be reached by email at dsieker@reedermedia.com.