So I just talked to Lanrete. His exact words on Soulsmithing:
*sigh* SoulSmiths are weavers who don't want to weave. Instead, we use tools to bind Elemental Spirits into objects.
Sentient objects. Weapons that act according to the wielder. Accessories that react to the emotions of the wearer.
Yes, Elemental Spirits were people once. No, this is not unethical. (You were gonna ask that, weren't you?)
We use undeveloped Elemental Spirits. Unlucky sods who died and didn't have the will to head on to their lives.
Weavers who, after death, stayed in the "larval" stage of the spirit. Real talk, we're doing them a favor.
Without us, they'd either get absorbed by corrupted Elemental Spirits or just simply fade away. We're giving them a purpose.
So, nothing unethical about it.
First things first, you will need an Elemental Spirit. The ones we need are those in the earliest stage of the spirit development.
They can be found in wild areas filled with elementals. They attract those. Elemental attunement or something. I won't get into details.
These Elemental Spirits will be used as a "core" of the item you're making. They will give this item special properties and elemental alignment.
Take your SoulAlly with you. It can sense and see other Elemental Spirits.
This doesn't say he has a Soul Ally, but it is implied, both the bit about the the Weavers who don't want to Weave, and that a Soull Ally is needed to locate the underdeveloped Elemental Spirits.