Friday, May 11, 2012:
It’s day 3 - the final day of this year’s soap conference. The last day is always bittersweet; it feels like we just started, but we’ve also packed a week’s worth of classes into three days.
Even after jam-packed days and nights, the sessions kicked off bright and early (no rest for the weary!). Joel Joseph gave us the ins and outs of promoting our products as handmade in the USA, including trademark and trade dress, while HSMG Executive Director Leigh O’Donnell and past President and special guest Nova Studio teacher Marie Gale explained how to use the soap guild stores that come free with HSMG membership.
|Kevin Dunn's Transparent Soap Experiments|
Kevin Dunn, HSMG’s chemist extraordinaire and Soap Whisperer (Lori claims to be the first to give Kevin this nickname), thrilled us once again with his investigation of soap transparency and meltability, extending the recent work of conference sponsor and long-time Nova Studio teacher David Critchfield.
Post lunch, About.com’s David Fisher took us on a soaping safari, while Soap Queen Anne-Marie Faiola demonstrated exactly how to work with a variety of milks in soap and fellow Bramble Berrian Kathryn Hackney demonstrated some jaw-dropping, gorgeous swirling techniques in cold process soap.
After one last visit to the vendors, we had a small break to compose ourselves for the annual awards dinner. Among the many prize winners, Nova Studio teacher Marla Bosworth and Allison Kontur were both honored with volunteer of the year awards. After a guessing game that ran the duration of dinner, Tucson, Arizona, was announced as the location of the 17th annual conference in 2014. Final prizes bestowed, parting gifts awarded, and 2014 location announced, we were released into the wilds, to continue our respective soaping journeys.
|Speaker Gift Basket|
Those of you who know me may find this shocking (I certainly can’t believe I’m saying this), but I wish there were more time to catch up and, dare I say it, network with fellow attendees. As usual, there were more soap makers to meet and discussions to have than time allowed. The Nova Studio was well represented this year, with students of the studio attending the conference from all over the country. It was so much fun to see everyone. I’m already scheming for next year’s (2013) soap conference which will be in Raleigh, North Carolina. I’ll be there and I hope to see you there, too!