An Interview with Bee of Sorcery Soaps

At Nurture Soap, we were fortunate enough to have a personal interview with Bee of Sorcery Soap. She is one of the most genuine and inspirational people we have met in the soaping world. Her creations are some of the most beautiful.

Beautiful heart + beautiful spirit + beautiful soap. This is Bee!

Why did you start making soap?

I started making soap because my man said, “why don’t you make soap?” I think we’d watched Fight Club. It was kind of a joke, as he knew I disliked my job, at that time.

I began watching videos about soap making, reading everything I could find about soap making, joined groups and looked at soaps like I was on a quest. After a year of researching, I started with melt and pour, then making cold process, hot process, clear soap… I tried a lot of different types of soap making before I discovered the mysteries of soap dough.

After being fascinated with soap making and soap dough for some years I wrote a book. That book did well, even after I was told no one would be interested. I wrote two more books on soap dough and inspiration. Both subjects fascinating me. How does one create inspiration? How can inspiration translate into soap? And, answered many questions about how to make soap dough.

When I first began making soap dough, no one was using a hashtag for soap dough.  Now there are thousands of people using it.

Did you make something else, specifically cakes or cake decorating, before working with soap dough?

I don’t eat sugar so there is no desire to bring sugar into the house for cake making.

I’d never sculpted or done much in the way of 3-d work. I had painted and studied photography and writing for 20 years, but nothing with sculpting or cake decorating. I had taken a pottery class in high school and had abysmal results so I shied away from all forms of sculpting, even though pottery did not involve sculpting. I didn’t think I had any talent in that area so stuck with more visual arts.

Once I discovered how to make soap dough I had to create with it. I wanted to create from my imagination and make soaps that I enjoyed. There wasn’t a plan. The results of Sorcery Soap are products of my fascination.

How did you learn to shape soap dough?

Practice! And then, a ton more practice. The first thing I made I asked my guy what he thought. He replied. “What is it?” It was a chicken. If he, who loves me, couldn’t tell what it was I needed to work on my skills.

I also learned, after that, from watching sugar artists who work with fondant. Fondant seems to translate to soap dough more easily for me.

I’ll watch many videos to on one topic, read books and blog posts on a topic. For a while I watched videos and read blogs about how to cultivate a Bonsai tree with no idea that I would make a Bonsai tree soap, but followed my interest.

What inspires you most when thinking of a new design?

Color. I generally think of colors first, no matter the design, but sometimes shapes, ideas, inspire as well. I liked the way my dog lay on the floor with his legs behind him, so I made a dog soap with the same idea. A tired puppy without one ounce of energy to chase his ball all flopped on the floor.

Mostly, I get an idea of something I’d like to try, like a sea turtle and then build the full soap around that central element. I like creating a usable soap, but also one that tells a story. For me, soap making is about pushing into the imagination, mine, and others. I use soap to create my imaginings.

I love it when someone sees a Sorcery Soap and says, “no, that’s not soap!”

What other things in life are you passionate about?

My new passion is archery. Last year I learned to shoot a recurve bow and now I’m working with a compound bow. It takes a lot of practice to be accurate and every day is different, so even with practice, it takes a quiet body and mind to be accurate.

I’m also fascinated with the process of manifesting an idea. I think this process is not fully appreciated in our world. To think of something that does not exist, that is only in the mind’s eye and no one else can see it, and then create it for others to experience, touch, smell or even just look at is a mysterious process - one that is largely unknowable, but still amazes me every time it happens. It can be broken down to mundane steps, but the essence of creating something original, unique… We know when someone has created something unusual. We can sense it.

What most do you hope to lend to the soap making community by sharing your creations?

Inspiration. To think beyond seeming limitations. So much is possible with soap as a medium. Just in the last 20 years are we beginning to explore soap as art. Just like the cake making world with their fantastical designs. No one NEEDS a cake made to look like a Disney character, but aren’t they fun? No one needs a soap with a baby dragon on top, but gosh, why not? Why not wake that fun part of ourselves up to unexplored possibilities? Things can change, and they always do.

What are the five main pieces of advice would you give to others who make soap?

  1. Be patient. Time is an undervalued tool.
  2. Be kind to yourself, but also be honest about your creations. Ask yourself, “do I like this?”
  3. Find joy or fun in your soap projects. If it is all work, there are many other easier ways to accomplish just work. The joy or fun in soap making is what keeps it interesting.
  4. Spark your own curiosity. Being curious and figuring out a new way to do something is like being an adventurer.
  5. If all else fails, remember, it’s just soap.