Razor: John Clarke & Son Sheffield 3/4″ with custom scales via LatherMeWhiskers
Brush: Oz Shaving 26mm Brown Synthetic
Soap: Spearhead Shaving Ardennes (Experimental)
Other: Thirsty Badger Soaker
Today felt like an experimental kind of day. We just opened the kiln on our latest firing. My wife likes to call it Christmas. You open the kiln and you get to be surprised with what you get. We have several glazes and techniques we use but it can still be a bit of a crap shoot once it hits the kiln. Some glazes are just more predictable than others. This particular firing has a lot of experimental things happening. We are trying out several new glazes and combinations of glazes (the colours and how they blend) and we are trying out a new product, Soakers. We always wanted to get back to having something for face latherers. Initially we decided on brush scuttles and while we haven’t ruled out doing them again, we wanted to try something a bit simpler. The one pictured here is one of the end results. Fill with water with the temp you prefer and soak while you prep. The pottery retains temp fairly well so after soaking you can empty and then put for lathered brush in it to retain some of the lather temp. I’m quite happy with how this one turned out. We did have several misses in the firing, but that is the name of the game sometimes. We have a bit more work today before we are ready for a release.
Given that I was using an experimental product, an experimental shaving soap seemed fitting. I picked up this offering from Spearhead on a B/S/T deal. When Spearhead Shaving was prepping to get into the artisan soap game, they decided to do several experimental soap drops. They iterated through several bases and gave consumers the ability try/give feedback on the line while getting experience a new product in development at a very cheap cost. The feedback I heard on this pilot was very good. This Ardennes release, I couldn’t find any details on but I’m told it is a dupe of Amouage Bracken Man and is in the 21.0 base. That is the same as their current production tallow base used in the Seaforth Heather and Seaforth Spiced releases. This base is quite good. I really like how easy it is to work with. Load/lather and dialling in the water is a breeze. Cushion was excellent, slickness very good, post shave excellent. Scent strength on this is just a touch over medium. The scent of Ardennes (Bracken) is fantastic. Scent notes are Cloves, Cypress, Lavender, Nutmeg, Lemon, Bergamot, Geranium, Cedar, Cinnamon, Sandalwood, Patchouli and Musk. This is a very aromatic woodsy scent with a touch of spice. I really really liked it, if this had a matching splash, I’d be SO in.
I couldn’t finish talking about the SOTD without raving about the new scales on this razor. A short time ago I sent John Clarke & Son Sheffield 3/4″ off to LatherMeWhiskers to get scales replaced. I’ve always loved this razor, it may be my favourite to use, but the scales just didn’t match the quality of the blade. I’m happy to say that has been rectified. These look amazing and fit the shape of the blade so well. It is very comfortable and the finish work is second to none. Paul also put an edge on this for me (and another razor he re-scaled) and after a couple uses it seems pretty good. I’ll know more after I use it a few more times. My first go with it I sliced myself good (I’m fairly out of practice) and as such I had to go light touch for the shave today. I do expect I’ll be using the straight more now that I have a couple more beauties in the den. I know Paul has put his scale work on hold while he catches up on his backlog but follow his Instagram to see when he opens up again. His work is worth every penny.
A fantastic shave to start the weekend. Make sure you sign-up for our drop notification list so you know when these brush soakers (and more lather bowls) will hit the store.
All for now – J