It’s been a while since I last tried my hand at a Soap Challenge. I did try to make a rimmed soap, but it went seriously wrong – really should have followed the method suggested! Still after a slight break, I decided to have another go so have signed up for the next three challenges starting this month with the Pipe Divider Swirl.
The first challenge was adapting the technique to the equipment I have. I have not yet got round to ordering (or making) a slab mould so decided to simply use my log mould. Figured I could get the same effect if I cut the bars horizontally. This worked okay although they were a little wonky (note to self – add decent soap cutter to shopping list as well as slab mould). The next challenge was sourcing the PVC pipe couplers. My local Homebase only had really small ones which didn’t look at all suitable. Undaunted I simply bought a 3m length of PVC pipe confident that I could cut it into smaller lengths.
Well that didn’t prove quite as easy as I thought. I ended up with rather squint and very ragged cuts. After a bit of pairing with a craft knife they were just about okay. (Sorry totally forgot to take any photos of this bit – just take my word that it wasn’t pretty 🙂 ). I used melted cocoa butter, as suggested, to set them into the mould and added a tiny bit extra inside to try and seal up any imperfections in the seal. This actually worked okay.
For my soap I decided to try out a lard recipe (which I’ve listed below) which behaved itself
quite well. Although a little early to fully assess, the trimmings gave a beautifully soft, fluffy lather. My fragrance was a natural lavender and basil fragrance oil which accelerated trace a little which made it hard to get a nice, level top. Still nothing a little trimming didn’t sort.
The inspiration for my design was the clematis in my garden. My four colours were Ultramarine Pink, Ultramarine Violet, Hydrated Chromium Oxide, and Titanium Dioxide. This time I remembered to mix my ultramarine with water and not oil – what a difference, so much easier.
I had originally thought I would just guesstimate how much of each colour I would need, but a little voice inside nagged me to do the maths. Just as well I did. My guesstimate was that the pipes took up almost half the total area. Wrong! It actually worked out at only a fifth, which turned out to be spot on. Had a tiny bit of soap left which I popped into some mini bundt moulds. They’re still a little soft, despite adding sodium lactate to the recipe, so not sure yet how they’ll turn out. But I will be interested to see how the colours are. I gelled the main soap but not the mini ones. What is quite interesting is that a ‘halo’ has developed in the green soap around the purple/pink soap.
So here’s the finished soap and my entry for the July challenge. Hope you like it!
As promised here’s the recipe I used:
30% coconut oil; 20% lard; 20% olive oil; 20% rapeseed (canola) oil; 10% castor oil.
Extras: pinch of tussah silk; 15g powdered goat’s milk; 2 tspn sodium lactate; 1/2 tspn each of titanium dioxide, ultramarine pink, ultramarine violet, hydrated chromium oxide; 30g natural lavender and basil fragrance oil.
5% super fat
30% water as % of oil weight