So, the October soap challenge is to create a wood grain effect. For my first attempt I took my inspiration from weathered wood and drift wood. Partly because I have a fragrance called Driftwood which I have yet to try in anything, and because I love the washed out grey tones.
I decided to try the spin swirl technique, and to capture the colours I used various concentrations of black iron oxide with a smidgen (technical term 😉 ) of violet ultramarine.
I went with a simply recipe of organic oils – 30% coconut oil; 30% palm oil; 30% olive oil; 8% castor oil; with 2% of slightly more exotic tamanu oil. I originally got the tamanu oil to use in whipped body butter, but it has a very pronounced smell (quite earthy, musky and almost curry like) and dark colour. Don’t mind the colour so much but the smell doesn’t do it for me. So thought, waste not want not … let’s chuck it in the soap!
Fragrance wise, I used a fragrance oil from Sensory Perfection called Driftwood which they describe as “A light exotic driftwood fragrance with hints of sea salt, clean air and sunshine”. I would also say it has a touch of eucalyptus.
As I was unsure of how the fragrance oil would behave, I added it to my oils before the lye, and hand stirred initially. All seemed well so went in with my blender. At light trace I poured into my squeeze bottles but by this time things were accelerating fast. It was way too thick to flow in circles but I persevered. I also didn’t create sufficient variations between my shades of grey. To try and get some really dark accents, I decided to dribble in a little black iron oxide in oil. Not very pretty really but we’ll see what it looks like tomorrow out of the mould.
PS To add insult to injury, I think I got a tiny bit of batter on my arm when I was clearing up!