So, it’s been a very long time since I last made soap; November 2017 to be precise (see here in my old blog). The reason for the extra long gap is due to needing to concentrate on completing my accountancy qualification. I’m pleased to say I am now finished with it and am now a fully qualified Certified Chartered Accountant #livingthedream 🙂
Anyway back to the challenge. The challenge this time round is to create a unique pattern by either pulling an item with a pattern through your soap or by pouring your soap batter through said item. There are two categories: regular which allows you to use an item already in existence such as a colander, cooling racks etc or the advanced category which requires you to create the item you pull/pour through. Obviously since it’s been over a year and half since I made soap it made sense to go with the regular but that would make it too easy!
I had an idea that I would love to see spirals in my soap so set about making my item to pull through my soap out of lolly sticks and garden wire bent into spirals – unfortunately no 3D printer access for me so rustic and handmade had to do! Here’s the finished item:
So with my item ready to use I set about making my usual slow tracing soap recipe, added my fragrance, split into 4 portions and coloured them. I decided on purple, blue, turquoise and pale pink. I poured along one wall of my soap mould using one colour at a time in the hope I would get clear, defined lines in the soap. Part of the issue with this was the stalks of the spirals meant the soap lines got broken up as it passed over the stalks so I wasn’t sure how it would turn out. Fast forward two days when it was time to unmould and cut the soap. Whilst I did have spirals and lines I felt there were too many empty spaces between the spirals and my vibrant colours somehow looked dull to me.
So a couple of things needed to be improved; firstly my colour palette needed rethinking and my spirals needed to fill the bottom of my mould completely so that there would be no dead space between the spirals.
I cut my existing spirals off of their stalks, made lots more and glued them all together to make a kind of spiral mat that sat in the bottom of my mould attached to thin strips of wire so that I could pull it out of my soap once I’d finished pouring. This, I hoped would solve the issue of the stalks getting in the way when pouring and also ensure no dead space in the soap. Here’s the upgraded spiral mat:
Next I needed to change my colour palette so decided to keep it simple with black, white and a ‘pop’ of hot pink. I used the same soap recipe as last time. This time I decided to use squeeze bottles and pour in opposite corners (just two not all four). My soap was at pretty light trace so pouring was easy and it stayed really fluid throughout. I was super happy with how it looked on top once I pulled my spiral mat out of the soap. I do wish I’d taken a photo before I pulled the mat out though as the lines were so clear and defined.
So after two long days of waiting for it to be ready to unmould and cut it was finally ready and I was super excited to see what it looked like on the inside since I was so happy with how the top looked. In order to show the pattern on the inside the soap needs to be cut on the horizontal rather than vertical.
It didn’t disappoint! I don’t know if it’s because I’ve not made soap for so long or that it turned out way better than I expected it to but I was so excited to see it once cut. Here are a few (just a few) pictures of the finished soap. I love how defined the lines are, how you can clearly see the spirals in some sections and how the pink really ‘pops’ next to the black and white.
I also tried to take some ‘arty’ shots from different angles and with the soap arranged in different patterns:
I have thoroughly enjoyed my first step back into soap making and can say for certain it will not be another 18 months until I make soap again!
Thank you to Amy for hosting the soap challenges once again 🙂