I am part of a community in Virginia that is doing permaculture/urban homesteading and researching homestead skills to share with others. We also have some small cottage industries to support our community.
We are desperately seeking to speak with someone who has made/does make wood-ash lye soap. We have the goal of making a totally localsoap, from the ashes, to the tallow, to the scents and natural colorants. Online and book tuturials have only gotten us so far, and we are seeking hands on expertise to help with troubleshooting "what-ifs", calculating strength of lye and proportion of lye to tallow. We've had alot more success with comercial NaOH lye, but we want to move to wood-ash lye.
Anyone on the East Coast or the Midwest would be do-able. Does anyone know of a soapmaker that wouldn't mind talking to some novices?