Saturday, March 24, 2012

Weekly Soap Challenge - I am so in!

Amy from Great Cakes Soapworks has issued a challenge to all soapers to try new methods and techniques - together, as a group. How fun is that?! I've been so excited since I first read about the challenge. The first challenge was to do an in-the-pot swirl, with at least one more colour than you have previously used. I do believe I've used 3 colours before, but having an aversion to even numbers I decided to go for a 5 color swirl for this challenge. Yes, I have attempted an ITP swirl, but I have in no way mastered it. I tend to mix too much and use colours with too little contrast. Surely with 5 colours I should see some swirls, right???

Well I pulled out all of my colours and chose sunset orange, yellow, and chromium green oxides, pink ultramarine and midnight blue mica. I mixed 1/4 teaspoon of each colour with 2 teaspoons water; I also mixed 1/2 teaspoon t.d. with 2 teaspoons water to add to my main batch. Also added white bamboo and grapefruit fragrance oil - the only fo I had that I knew wouldn't speed up trace. I also pulled out some purple glitter that I had recently received (and then promptly forgot about it). Then I went for it keeping 2 things in mind: don't overmix, and swiggle the soap while pouring into the mold.

Ta-da!! Look at those swirls - I am impressed. It seems the secret is most definitely in the swiggling of the soap in the mold. I usually just pour it in the mold and put it to bed. This works much better.

Now, I wondered, what if I used less colour? Why not try it again? So I did! Everything was exactly the same, except I used 1/8 teaspoon of each colour with 1 teaspoon water, and I didn't forget the purple glitter.

Wish I had forgotten the glitter - it looked awful! I use plastic kitchen utility drawer organizers for molds, so to unmold, 24 hours after pouring I put the log in the freezer for a couple of hours and then it pops right out. I carefully rinsed the glitter off the top of the log and then while it was thawing the condensation allowed me to wipe off a bit more. Much happier with the tops! The base was slightly lighter in the second batch, and I think I like the colours better in the second batch. I'm happy with both batches though.

I loved doing this challenge, and I am equally excited to do the next one! Looking forward to seeing everyones results!! Thanks, Amy, for the inspiration and the video how-tos. I am a happy soaper!!

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