.Hi! I've been lurking for a while but since I broke the ice with a tiny little post I thought I should introduce myself. I've just reread my post and ,boy!, did I get windy. Feel free to stop reading at my name is Jacquie!
My name is Jacquie R.
I've just turned 71 but my brain refuses to feel that old. The body, however...
I currently live in the Sonoran Desert near Tucson, Arizona, but I'm originally from the coast of Maine.
I started making candles in 1970 when we lived in upstate New York. The 70's were the only time I did any selling. In the 80's I made them primarily for ourselves and as gifts. After that... (but I kept moving my candle making equipment all over the country.)
I "caught the bug" with my first, unplanned, stop at The Candle Mill in East Arlington, Vermont, when we visited a friend who had just moved to the area. The next visit made me a convert. My first little candle making book was written by Tom Weakley, the candle maker and owner of The Candle Mill.
I've been married for over 47 years and have two grown daughters and a few "grand"dogs as well as a "new to us" 6 year old Standard Poodle.
I am currently retired after two interesting and rewarding careers. First as an inorganic chemist, then as a programmer and webmaster.
When I found this forum, after deciding I really wanted to make my own candles again, I couldn't believe how things had changed. In 1970, I'm not sure I had even heard of soybeans let alone soy wax. Wick testing pretty much meant finding the right size of lead core wick for my various container candles and following Tom's recommendation for my tapers (from reproduction colonial molds) and waxes had to be blended yourself.
Now I'm waiting for an order from Lonestar with some soy wax, a blended paraffin and a few wick samplers. I've never even bought a soy candle so not sure why I'm going to be experimenting with the soy but thought it deserved a look. Guess I've been a paraffin bigot.
Finding this forum has had another effect on me. This inorganic chemist who hasn't made soap since O Chem lab in the 60’s has gotten the bug to make soap. Acids and bases were my thing, just not with organic compounds involved. I've been reading soap books, checking out pretty soap pictures on Pinterest and Instagram, watching technique videos on YouTube, visiting Dollar Tree, ordering from Amazon and even Brambleberry. I still need to get Kevin Dunn's Scientific Soapmaking, but after tomorrow's trip to Costco for oils, I'll be making my first itty, bitty,1 lb loaf of cold process soap. I've already got four of my own recipe ideas written down in my notes and tons more in my head for after the first couple of easy, test batches. I'm really drawn to much of the artistry I've been seeing in these soaps as well as to the good for the skin aspects. You folks do beautiful, inspirational work.
Watch out for all my coming questions!