Whew. This month has been a bit of a whirlwind. I have made 12 batches of soap this week. Yikes. That is some kind of a record. This all happened because I just about sold out of everything I had on hand last week. Since I needed to make a TON of soap, I had a lot of opportunities to practice the tall and skinny shimmy, which is the technique for this month’s Great Cakes Soapworks Soap Challenge Club.
First Batch: Scented with Tobacco and Bay Leaf; colored with activated charcoal, mica, and titanium dioxide
I watched the tutorial and dreamed of stunning rain drop shaped loveliness adorning my newest creation. I pictured a beautiful thin line of black to separate the white from the other colors. It would be fantastic–the technique looked pretty easy.
Somehow, I just never quite executed the look I was going for. First, I had to make a tall and skinny mold. Tatiana Serko presented a wonderful tutorial which left me wondering why I had never fashioned my own molds before. It looked so very easy in her capable hands.
Unfortunately, my hands are a bit clumsier. 🙂 I made a mold using regular foam board (couldn’t find coroplast). Once the mold was ready, I whipped up my favorite slow tracing recipe and began to pour. NOTE TO SELF: if you make a mold and plan to use it at light trace, it’s a good idea to test for leaks first. Guess how I figured this one out? So, the good news is that most of the soap stayed inside and that a slow leak creates some cool swirly patterns in the soap. Bad news: soap all over the counter. To make matters worse, my three year old got a hold of my phone and erased the video of the making of this soap. I have only the cutting portion to post. Bummer. Anyhow, here’s how these turned out:
And here is the cutting video:
I really liked the colors and the shimmy pattern from that batch. But, hey, it was only my first try. Surely I could improve upon it? One would think. Well, the second, third, fourth and fifth batches were all disasters for one reason or another. Some accelerated from my use of a new fragrance (Ahem, I believe we have discussed this already–apparently some people never learn.) Others became too thick for unknown reasons. I am including some photos and videos of the errant batches here to publicly document these astounding fails. Astounding because it’s hard to believe one person can make the same mistake so many times!! Don’t get me wrong–all the batches are usable soap, and they are each pretty in their own way. I guess I must be feeling a little resentful for the unrelenting way each batch thickened up so fast. Oh well, there’s always next month . . .
- Untitled so far (fragranced with Little Black Dress FO from Rustic Essentuals):
- Goat Milk and Wine Soap (this one thickened up so fast it was just plop and go.
- Lavender and Lemongrass:
- Pure Soap (using the ghost swirl technique from Auntie Clara)
For me, this challenge was especially challenging. It looks so simple, but I had a hard time getting it right. It was great practice and now I have a bunch of soap that will be ready in a few weeks!