USAF Academy Airman & Family Readiness Center 719-333-3444 3296 0 Mt. Carmel Veterans Service Center 719-772-7000 1074 0 Fort Carson Intrepid Spirit Center 719-526-1327 3033 0 Angels of America’s Fallen (719) 661-6990 2687 0 Wounded Warrior Project (904) 914-1554 2913 0 The Retired Enlisted Association Chapter One 719-203-6736 4184 0 UCCS Veteran Health and Trauma Clinic 719-255-8072 1853 0 Operation Homefront 719-368-3898 2555 0 StableStrides 719-495-3908 3265 0 Pikes Peak Community College Department of Military & Veterans Programs 719-502-4100 2425 0 4260 166 merle@mountainmerles.com
Tony Merschdorf

Contact info

2419 W Uintah St, Colorado Spring, CO 80904, USStudio Address

Mountain Merle'sOrganizational Affiliation

About the Artist Facilitator

Tony spent 8 years in the Air Force as a communications/computer officer. Since getting out he’s held a number of positions at technology companies. More importantly, about four years ago he decided he needed a tea tree soap to help with itchy skin. When he couldn’t find one he liked he decided to make his own. It turned out great and he’s been hooked ever since. The chemical process that turns nasty things like lye, beef tallow and other oils into a great smelling, beautiful, luxurious bar of soap is fascinating and fun to watch. He found it so enjoyable and interesting that he decided to teach others how to do the same thing with great results.

In addition to his soap making habit Tony spends time volunteering with battered women and their kids at TESSA (since September of 2009), building and maintaining trails with Rocky Mountain Field Institute and Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado and other stuff here and there. He’s a big fan of nature and getting out when he can.

  • Approved FBI background check is on file.

MY EXPERIENCES

Click on an Experience below to expand the details. Please note that the “?” tab in the bottom left corner of your screen contains a key to help you understand the symbols associated with each of the Experiences.

About this Experience

Humans have been making soap for thousands of years. It’s a fascinating and fun process converting oils and fats, lye (the main ingredient in drain cleaner), water and essential/fragrance oils into a bar that smells great and gently cleanses your hair and body. We will walk through the process from beginning to end (plan to be there about 2 hours). You don’t need to bring anything besides a desire to learn. I’ll provide all the required tools and materials. In addition to taking home the ten bars of soap you made (it will be a loaf that can be cut into ten 3.5 oz bars) you keep the mold (a wood box with a silicone liner), gloves, a recipe/instruction sheet and a finished bar made from the class recipe so you’re not tempted to cut your soap before it’s ready. About a week after class you’ll have the option to come back to cut your soap on a professional cutting tool, compare what you made with other class members, talk a bit about the process and trade bars if you’d like to try a different scent/color. Here is a summary of what you’ll learn as we make our soap…

  • Safety
  • Raw materials (what goes into a recipe)
  • Why each ingredient is used
  • Brief history on the making of soap
  • The chemical reaction that makes the magic happen
  • The advantages of natural soap
  • Mistakes to avoid (learn from mine)
  • Clean up tips
  • How to make your soap last as long as possible

This is a great opportunity to learn a new skill while exercising your creative side. With the right ingredients and process you will convert messy items including beef tallow and oils, a dangerous substance (lye, which dissolves hair clogs in pipes and can burn you if you’re not careful) and a few other ingredients into something you’ll be proud of. This will definitely bring you back to your early years when you created something at school and felt great saying “look what I made.” After doing this for years it still amazes me how these simple building blocks combine, with time and the right steps in the proper order, to make something you’ll look forward to using in the shower every morning. I hope you’ll join me in transforming unsightly and hazardous raw materials into the best bar of soap you’ve ever experienced.





Level:
Beginner
Type:
Group - Open to Community
Age:
All Ages
Venue:
The Retired Enlisted Association - Chapter 1
Located at:
3065 S. Academy Blvd.
Date(s):
To be agreed upon
Time(s):
To be agreed upon
Basic Soap Making
Level:
Experience Level 1 Beginner
Experience Level 2 Intermediate
Type:
Individual Individual
Group/ Public Group - Open to Community
Group/ Private Group - Military/Veteran Only
Age:
All Ages All Ages
Youth Youth
Adult Adult
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