Thursday, July 17, 2014

Colour Challenge - Mineral Autumn

I loved making my soap for the first Colour Challenge so much I just couldn't resist trying it again with the second palette that Amy from Greatcakes Soapworks had presented - mineral autumn.
Design Seeds Mineral Autumn Colour Palette

Originally I was going to create a soap with these colours using micas and oxides, like the last colour challenge, and then choose the soap I liked best to enter for the challenge. But then I remembered that I had some herb infused olive oil I started several months ago - paprika and annatto.
Paprika Infused Olive oil and Annatto Seed Infused Olive oil

So the decision was made - we're going All Natural with this soap. And yes, all 5 colours in the palette.

Weighing out the olive oil for colourants
My recipe for this soap included Olive, Coconut, Apricot Kernel, Palm Kernel and Castor oils, as well as a pinch of Tussah Silk. For the colours I used
  • Orange - Paprika infused olive oil
  • Red - Rose Clay
  • Black - Activated Charcoal
  • Yellow - Annatto infused olive oil
  • Natural - White Kaolin Clay & Dead Sea Mud Powder

Mixing the natural colourants
I made my soap as usual, but shorted the olive oil by 5 ounces. In each of 3 pouring containers I poured 1 ounce of olive oil. Then I added the Rose Clay to the first, Activated Charcoal to the second and White Kaolin Clay to the third. In each of the other 2 pouring containers I added 1 ounce Paprika infused olive oil and 1 ounce Annatto infused olive oil. Then I divided my soap batter equally in the five pouring containers, by weight for accuracy.

The white kaolin clay was a little too light, so I added about 1/4 tsp dead sea mud powder.

Now for the fun! I did a tiger stripe pour, and when that was done I swirled the soap with a spoon, but only one rotation with the spoon before moving down the soap mold. Then I swirled the top a bit.

I like it!
The cut bar

Mineral Autumn All Natural Handmade Soap scented with Spearmint & Anise essential oils

I had never used Rose Clay before. Brambleberry generously provided a package of it at the HSCG Soap Conference so I was happy to have a chance to test it.  I was surprised the colour came out as dark as it did. I was glad I added the Dead Sea Mud Powder; although it was only a tiny amount that was added, it was enough for the job. Somehow the yellow was completely lost.

Overall, I'm happy with this bar. Many Thanks to Amy again for the inspiration!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Colour Challenge - Summer Setting

Life can get really crazy at times, can't it? So far 2014 has proven to very eventful: college, university and high school graduations for my kids, several travel opportunities and an amazing new job that I wasn't even looking for! I feel extremely blessed. Throughout the chaos, however, it's easy to feel overwhelmed.

That's a bit how I was feeling when I read the email announcing Amy's latest challenge - the Colour Challenge. I haven't been able to take part in many of Amy's challenges in the past year, but here was the perfect opportunity for me to truly engage in the Simple Pleasure of making handmade soap again- just for the fun of it. And the best part was that I finally had the chance to use my new soap mold, purchased for me by my wonderful siblings who wanted to help me celebrate my 'big' milestone birthday (another 2014 event) - Essential Depot's Silicone soap mold with stainless steal stackable basket. Oh how i love this mold!!

Anyway, the Challenge - to create a soap using at least 3 colours from a chosen palette from Design Seeds using either synthetic or all natural colourants.

I started with the 'summer setting' palette:


And this is what I came up with:

Summer Setting Colour Challenge using micas and oxides
My recipe included Olive, Coconut, Sunflower, Palm Kernel and Castor oils and Tussah Silk. I split the batch in half. The first half was whitened with titanium dioxide (a tip from Amy's video) and then split into 3 containers and coloured with Peacock Blue mica (for light blue), Purple Vibrance mica (for lilac), a little more purple vibrance mica + a bit of Titan Violet mica (for dark purple). The three colours were layered into the mold; then I used a large serving fork to 'fork swirl' the colours.
Fork Swirled first layer
Onto the second half of the soap batter. It was also split in three: a smaller portion was coloured with Red oxide and a bit of Ultramarine Blue oxide. It took a bit to get the maroon colour I was going for, and it still wasn't quite what I wanted, but the soap was getting thick so I had to just go with it. That was layered into the mold and peaked a bit. Next was the portion coloured with Tangerine WOW from Brambleberry. I poured that soap down each of the sides of the mold and let it flow together, making sure all of the maroon was covered. And finally the last little bit was coloured with Brambleberry's Fizzy Lemonade and poured down the center.
Ready to be sprayed and swaddled
After spraying the top with rubbing alcohol and covering with saran wrap, this lovely loaf was wrapped in a towel and put to bed. And not a speck of soda ash! Yeah!!! Ashless soap is so very rare for me. And the way this loaf just popped right out of the mold made me a happy soaper! Did I tell you I love this mold??
Freshly cut soap
I'm very happy with the way this soap turned out. The maroon is not exactly what I was going for, but that's okay. The rest of the colours are pretty close.

Summer Sunset
I scented this soap with equal portions of Black Raspberry Vanilla and Champagne Pear fragrance oils, both from Nature's Garden. The scent is very light and refreshing.

I'm totally ready for the next challenge! Thanks once again, Amy, for the inspiration!