February’s Soap Challenge Club – Embeds

For this month’s challenge Amy asked us to make soap with cold process embeds.  I had a vision of a crescent moon and some stars in the midnight sky.  I was sure I could pull it off.

My first attempt at making the moon was an epic failure.  I decided to use an acetate sheet inserted into a PVC pipe to make the moon.  It seemed easy enough.

Image   But when I started to pour the soap I found that the acetate was too thin and easily bent.  So I had to pour on both sides.

Image   It looked like it was going to work.  And I even got it out of the mold with no problem.

Image   But that is where it ended.  I could not get the soap out of the acetate without breaking or cutting it.  So it was back to the drawing board.  This time I used a sturdier divider by putting a 2 inch PVC pipe inside my 3 inch pipe.

Image  Both pipes were lined with freezer paper and there was no problem getting it out of the mold.

Image   Image

It was out in one piece but definitely needed some clean up.  That was kind of fun – I could see myself sitting on the back porch whittling some wood.

Image  So I poured a layer of dark blue with some white for the first layer.  Then in went the moon.  Only it wouldn’t stay in place.  I figured that once it was surrounded by soap about half way up it would stay put.  So a couple of strategically place skewers did the trick until I could get enough soap in the mold to hold it.

The plan was to pour several gradient layers of dark blue turning to charcoal.  That is where another glitch came in – there wasn’t enough soap to completely cover the moon.  I was so happy that I had master batched some oils and lye and could quickly make some more soap.

Image  I wish soap would look like it was just poured when it cures but…  By the time the soap was poured it was cold and I knew it was not going to gel so into the fridge it went to make sure we didn’t get partial gel.

Image  Here it is waiting to be cut.  As you can see there was some ash to deal with.  (Also confession time – the new batch of soap I made at the end didn’t find it’s way to the middle of the soap and some pieces have a void.)  Fortunately a few turned out.

Image

This was not as easy as I envisioned going into the venture.  Amy once again provided us with a fun challenge.  Thank you Amy.

Column Pour Challenge

The design Amy presented this month’s Soap Challenge Club is the column pour.  This is where you select as many colors as you would like and then alternate pouring them over a column(s).  The pattern will appear depending on the shape of the column you use.  When all the soap batter is poured you simply remove the column(s) and then decide whether you want to add interest by swirling the pattern.

I chose Kumquat from Brambleberry for my fragrance since it is supposed to behave well in cold process soap (i.e., it does not overly thicken the soap or change the color of your soap).  Plus it smells wonderful.  Since kumquats look a lot like oranges, I decided my colors would be orange (BB’s Tangerine Wow), yellow (BB’s Fizzy Lemonade) and green (Chrominum Oxide Green and Starlight Green mica) with white (BB’s TD) for contrast.  Note to self – the Starlight Green looked great when first mixed but morphed to a split pea soup color so don’t use it in CP.  Here are the pictures of the process and results.

All set up and ready to go.

All set up and ready to go.

Soap batter divided up for colors.
Soap batter divided up for colors.

In the middle of pouring

In the middle of pouring
Poured and swirled

Poured and swirled

Dividers in and ready for to be wrapped up to gel.

Dividers in and ready for to be wrapped up to gel.

24 hours later

24 hours later

Out of the mold and removing from dividers

Out of the mold and being removed from dividers

All lined up like little soldiers

All lined up like little soldiers

This was another fun challenge.  Thanks Amy for all your efforts and Brambleberry for sponsoring this month’s challenge.