It has been a while since I participated in the Soap Challenge Club. This month’s challenge is an ombre gradient design. This is one of my favorite soap designs so I was surprised that it took three tries to get one that I felt I could enter.
For my first design I used a divider in my soap mold with the intent of having one side start with the darkest color and the other side start with the lightest. The first problem was my soap was to fluid and the layers were not distinct. The second problem was the color I started with on the dark side was just too dark and never got really light – in the end I add some titanium dioxide but the resulting color just doesn’t look like it belongs. And then when I removed the divider the white soap on the bottom of the light side migrated to the upper layers.
For the second try I decided on the tall and skinny shimmy design with teal on one side going from light to dark, The other side was supposed to be pink going from dark to light. I used Brambleberry’s Rose Quartz mica which is a lovely pink color. EXCEPT I missed the notation on the front of the jar that reads “Not recommended for CP soap” so my pink side is just one shade of white (seems I always learn something for these challenges, i.e. never use a color in a challenge that your haven’t tested). Again my soap was too fluid.
Then for the third and final try I went with just a standard ombre design in teal going from light to dark. My intent was to pour relatively thin layers so the color change would be gradual. I am pretty happy with the results.
It has been a while since I participated in a soap challenge but when I saw the challenge I knew I just had to give it a try. I had been admiring some beautiful soaps using this technique but I couldn’t quite figure out how it was done. One of those soaps was created by Tatsiana Serko that I saw on her blog. And surprise, Amy and Tatiana both offered tutorials of the technique.
The swirl requires a very fluid soap and squeeze bottles. It took me three tries – the first was a total failure because I didn’t mix my soap batter long enough. The second try my beautiful pink morphed to white – the soap looks okay but is not what I intended. For my third try I decided to go with simple blue and white to compliment the Fresh Rain fragrance used.
No photos of the first try but here is my second soap:
And here is the blue and white soap. I think I will call it Dancing in the Rain.
This technique is much more difficult than it looks And did I mention time consuming. While I will not be adding this swirl to my regular line up I will be making it again. I am not going to give up on getting the crisp lines with highly contrasting colors.
Thank you Amy and Tatsiana for sharing your tutorials with us.
This month’s soap challenged is rimmed soap in a round mold. To achieve this, you most make two separate soaps. The first is the rim where you make your soap and then slice off the top then try to bend it to fit into your round mold. The second step is making fresh soap to pour into the rim. Doesn’t sound too difficult but…….
I actaully made 2 and a half attempts at this. Since I am down to the last minute in submitting my entry I will just briefly go through my efforts in pictures.
FIRST ATTEMPT – BLACK RASPBERRY VANILLA:
Tried a different swirl for me. I like it but am sure I can improve it with a little practice.
SECOND ATTEMPT – SWEET ORANGE AND YUZU:
THIRD ATTEMPT – RAINBOW SORBET:
So which one will be my entry. I have changed my mind several times but here it is:
A huge thank you to Tatsiana for sharing her tutorial and to Amy. This was certainly challenging but it was also so much fun.
So the Soap Challenge for February is Winter Wonderland. There were two choice – make an all natural soap or use synthetic ingredients (colorant and fragrance) but the soap must have snow as a theme. Frankly I truly dislike winter and was tempted to sit this out but encouraging words from my friend Betsy convinced me to give it a try. My idea was to attempt a landscape type soap with snow covered mountains as the theme and since micas were the colorants of choice this will be in the synthetic category.
I thought it would be pretty simple – pour a layer of green with some brown with the mold tilted so the landscape would not be so level, then with a thicker soap pour white and shape into peaks to represent the mountains, and then the final layer would be blue sky with some clouds and possible snow flakes.
I had a commitment that evening that I could not cancel so I had no choice but to just leave the soap. The next morning the soap had of course set up. I tried to shape the soap while it was still in the mold but that didn’t work so out of the mold she came to be carved and sculpted.
The lighting in my workshop is pretty bad and I only had my cell phone so I apologize for the poor quality. Also I always have good intentions of taking more pictures but it just doesn’t happen so I don’t have photos of the other steps. On day 3 we are finally ready to cut it and see the results.
It is very neat how the palm stearin makes it look like it is actually snowing. Having to carve and mold the mountains was a good thing because it gave a more consistent result. The fragrance, Polar Express from Soapalooza, is perfect.
Thanks Amy – as always it turned out to be fun (even though I wasn’t very excited about the theme to begin with). I am pleased with the results and glad I gave it a shot.
January’s soap challenge is based on a relatively new technique dubbed the circling Taiwan swirl. To accomplish the swirl you go through the steps to create a Taiwan swirl but then you move your swirling instrument to one corner of the mold and proceed to drag it in circles around the mold. When you cut the soap on the horizontal plane and place the two pieces you get the appearance of a lotus flower. Cutting soap is one of the most exciting parts of making soap – you never know what you are going to get – and this technique is really fun.
When I uncovered the soap the next day it was covered with soda ash (a white powdery substance that is harmless – it is just not attractive). Because this soap was going to be cut on the horizontal it was not a problem as a thin layer of soap could easily be removed.