The five of us soap makers at Indigo Wild take a lot of pride in each batch of handmade soap we make. And it is unfortunate that the majority of customers don’t get to see how visually stunning a freshly poured batch of Anise Lavender or Dragon’s Blood can be. An uncut slab of Zum Bar is a beautiful melody of shiny contrasting colors and intricate swirling patterns. The tops are marbled in ways that are unique to each of us. At times I catch myself spending so much time getting lost in the swirl, for nothing more than the experience of creating. Aside from me and the soap cutter, no one will ever see it, but therein lies the beauty for me. In a few days’ time, I know it will be destroyed, and for an artist there is nothing more freeing.
Making goat’s milk soap at Indigo Wild is not merely a job. It is a hobby, a workout, an art, and a chance to listen to music. Depending on our mood, time of day, what type of soap, and who is picking the tunes; the music becomes in integral part of the process. Let’s say I am making a batch of Cinnamon or Frankincense & Myrrh swirl. Both soaps seize so fast that it becomes a mad dash to get it poured and swirled before time runs out. For a batch like this, something heavy like Clutch or Gov’t Mule is helpful for me in the process. The swirls are quick and forceful, much like the music. On the other hand, let’s say I am putting the finishing touches on a batch of Grapefruit or Tangerine Orange. Perhaps some Van Morrison or Amos Lee is better suited for these because the soap itself is much more “relaxed.” There seems to be all the time in the world to finish these and really focus on the patterns that I want.
What our customers do see is the “inside” of the bar. If it’s a swirl, there are two or three colors dancing around each other in such a way that only a liquid could perform. This is where it pays to be a soap cutter. When a slab is cut, it makes about 90 bars, and every pair of bars has the exact same internal swirl. Putting two “neighbors” together reveals countless free flowing mirrored designs that can occupy your imagination in the same manner as cloud watching. Come take a look some time. You can tour the Indigo Wild factory in Kansas City! Or, if you can’t make the trek, you can always check out our shenanigans in this video of us in action!
Indigo Wild Soap Artist