a life creative
Elena of LiberaMente, Santa Fiora, makes artisan soaps from locally sourced natural ingredients.
Her philosophy is one of keeping as close to nature, tradition, the seasons and locality as possible, a philosophy that can be read into her business name, a play on words in Italian, meaning both liberally – as in “apply liberally” – and “free mind”.
As in any craft, perfecting techniques takes an ongoing combination of trial, timing, error, and experience. Self-taught and passionate about the environment and living sustainably, Elena is constantly sourcing seasonal ingredients, with 0Km in mind, and methods that work best in keeping with the season and the traditional art of soap making. With her laboratory in Santa Fiora and Monte Amiata and its diverse array of natural flora on her doorstep, she is able to source locally the majority of her ingredients.
Quite literally sweating over a hot stove Elena mixes the ingredients, the base of which is usually beeswax or olive oil, in a huge saucepan together with selected ingredients, such as hand-picked lavender and tea tree oil.
This first process, which takes several hours, is completed by poring the emulsified mixture into individual moulds where they are left to ‘cure’ for several weeks. If not allowed to set the soap would melt away with use far too quickly.
In keeping with her philosophy, the ingredients Elena includes in her artisan soaps are vegetarian. They hover on being completely vegan except for the use of beeswax, and donkey milk, though the milk is surplus, obtained by hand and not depriving foals of their breakfast!
A labour of love, once finished each naturally textured and coloured, heavenly perfumed is a piece of sensory art in its own right.
With delicious recipes that include cacao and honey, and with combinations such as sweet orange blossom and cinnamon, the soaps appear quite edible.
Elena’s business in Santa Fiora has been growing rapidly in the past year. Her soaps have proved popular at markets around southern Tuscany, and she is setting her sights toward local agriturismo properties that are embracing eco-sustainable tourism.
However, to make the business transition from the classification of hobby artist to fully fledged artisan here in Italy is not a straightforward one and Elena is still undergoing that process, including online setup. If you are interested in ordering her fabulous soaps please use the form below and I will pass your messages on to her.
Find out about other Lives Creative of Monte Amiata – I’m adding to the list all the time. If you’d like to be featured here, please use the form below and I’d be glad to make contact with you and add you to our growing bank of creative people.
Cheers and Ciao,
Fatos e Curiosidades sobre a Natureza e tecnologia
"per l' allegria il pianeta nostro è poco attrezzato. Bisogna strappare la gioia ai giorni futuri "
by Isabelle Warren
a resource for moving poetry
Linking collage work to the meaning of personal and universal symbols.
This is my adventurous story about buying, designing, and renovating homes in ITALY
guardian of irish mythology
is currently taking a break from blogging x
Attempting not to make too little or too much sense
I help you unlock the peace and strength already within you
Book Humour. A Sideways Perspective on the Bonkers Business of Books
"C’è molta speranza, ma nessuna per noi." (Franz Kafka)
Finding my way back out of motherhood -- while mothering
Expatty-cakes: Diary of an American southerner turned expat
Grand adventures and global wanderings. Next stop: Italy.
Discover the truth about mental health
"El Mundo Visible es Sólo un Pretexto" / "The Visible World is Just a Pretext".-
Vignettes from a multi-lingual, multi-cake-eating freelance existence
Eyes ten degrees above the horizon
about women who do amazing things
by Mike McGuire
A Creative State of Mind
Writing for Children and Young Adults #amwriting
About fantastical places and other stuff
Underground Energy - Scientific Documentation of the failures of an OCD albatross + friends
A topnotch WordPress.com site
I write, I love, I run, I play, I break things.
In the Groove...
Blog e progetto editoriale di poesia
Words of Wonder, Worry and Whimsy
se non sarò serena, mi rasserenerò
Global issues, travel, photography & fashion. Drifting across the globe; the world is my oyster, my oyster through a lens.
Brian Marggraf, Author of Dream Brother: A Novel, Independent publishing advocate, New York City dweller
Bringing you love through spirit!
Poetry, musings and sightings from where the country changes
Writer and editor
A peaceful place to relax while on my wild joyride to Egypt from South Carolina.
Sewing, illustration and design.
Undermining the Patriarchy Every Chance I Get. And I Get a Lot of Chances (Copyright Preserved)