George McRae’s soapmaking demo at Pinole Artisan meeting

We’re having an extra special demonstration at the Pinole Artisan meeting – held this Friday, January 3rd, 2014 at 7 p.m. George McRae will show us the craft of soap making; and discuss both hot and cold processes, the use of molds, scents and other ingredients, and safety equipment and precautions.

George with his Sin'amon red hots soap

George makes beautifully molded handmade soaps and beeswax candles under the name Bubble Queen Soaps & Scents. He always had an interest in things scientific and natural, due in part to having a professional chemist for a dad. George first experimented with soapmaking out of curiosity, and soon found that he could modify the basic recipe to make soaps that cleaned better, smelled nicer, and were extra gentle on the skin.

Rose soap

George’s cold process soaps are based on the Castile type of soapmaking, using olive oil as the primary fat. He uses ground botanicals only, like powdered lavender flowers, and adds no extra scents or colors. By far the most popular Bubble Queen cold process soap is this wonderful cat.

Cat soap

In his novelty glycerine soaps, George also uses botanicals, to which he adds FDA-approved color and natural scent. For example, in his Valentine red hot heart soaps he added cinnamon oil and A LOT of Watkins ground cinnamon.

George's Sin'amon Red-Hot heart soap

George loves when people admire his soaps, but he especially wants people to use them. As he always says, “sure they’re pretty in a soap dish, but they are meant to be used!”

The Pinole Artisan general membership meetings are held the first Friday of every month, at the Pinole United Methodist Church, 2000 San Pablo Avenue, from 7 to 10 pm. Meetings are free and all are welcome. For more information about the meeting or the Pinole Artisans call 510-724-2008. Click here to see the PinArt website. And click here to see George’s website.

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