When Artists share Ideas

We went to Asheville for my son’s graduation. If you are a thinker, an artist, a creator and you have not been to Asheville you have been missing like minds. Stay in the heart of downtown and be prepared to be filled with sights, sounds, smells and ideas. This is a home for artists and you will find the best of everything here.

Along with all this creativity in the form of foods ,architecture, arts and crafts is a relaxed attitude in the Asheville people. Everyone I have met is willing to take time to talk about what they do and what they hope to accomplish and how they got where they are. You are among friends from the moment you arrive. This sense of community will fill your head with ideas and it is how I created my first Kasu Soap.

My daughter and I took a morning to visit The River Arts District near downtown Asheville. Among the many artist’s shops is something new since my last trip. Blue Kudzu Sake Company is a fairly recent addition to the area. Like many moments of creativity it started with a few friends sitting around thinking, “Why don’t we have THIS (a sake brewery) in Asheville?” And now they do. The brewery is modern, stunning and yet as with most things Asheville, comfortable and that is a tribute to the people who are Blue Kudzu. Mary gave us a tour of the sake brewery and told us about the making of sake and how their company came to be. What changed it all was when she brought out a small dish of Kasu, explaining that it is the fermented rice from the Sake and that it contains proteins, amino acids, enzymes and antioxidants which are valued in beauty products. My soap brain connected with this happily and the creative collaboration has begun. I asked for a sample of the Kasu with the hope of using it in soap. I promised that if it looked like soap, smelled like soap and IS soap I would share it with them.

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Kasu is a very creamy thing, somewhat like a dry rice pudding. You can see the rice bits in the soap but they are soft and not like rice. I used a basic soap recipe, cutting back on the oil and adding Kasu in place. It did not accelerate trace but the pieces of Kasu did darken in the soap. The soap has a light scent of white ginger and tea and on day three it looks promising.

Thank you, Mary, for making us feel at home and giving me so many ideas. In a few weeks, I am hoping to send this your way with my appreciation and all the best to all of you for envisioning that great company!

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