November 2019 Soap Challenge - Soap Curl Designs
This month's challenge is to create a soap using soap curls. I chose to make a blue and white design because I really love all things blue and white.
|My matching bath towel|
The next decision was to decide if I wanted blue on white or white on blue.... hmmm. Why not both? I decided to try to make a double sided soap where one side would be blue on white and the other side would be white on blue.
I used the recipe provided with the tutorial for the soap curl soap. I had previously made loaf dividers based on Teri Endsley from Tree Marie Soapworks' tutorial "How to Make Your Own SoapMold Dividers"
I used my 4 section divider and poured alternating blue and white sections. After the soap was set, I split the loaf down the middle which gave me two strips of blue and white to cut curls from. I didn't take any pictures of this because I had pretty low expectations about how successful I would be and I expected I would be repeating the process several more times. Here is a picture of the dividers and part of one of the strips after I had planed off my curls.
I used a soap planer to make my curls. I adjusted the blade to get thicker curls. I wasted quite a bit of soap before I got the curls I wanted but because I had two strips of soap the cut from, it worked out fine. I wanted large, loose, flowing curls for my design. Given that the humidity was around 6% on the day I was soaping (Southern California Santa Ana weather conditions) I don't think I could have made tight curls even if I had wanted to. I found that I needed to shape the curls as I made them or be stuck with a lot of blue and white flat crumbly strips. This is my planer and these are the curls I made shaped the way I wanted them in my soap.
When the strips became too small for me to plane without peeling my knuckles, I used a lip balm tube with the end cut off to cut out little plugs to place in and around my curls as random polka dots. I still had lots of leftover scraps.
I used a portion of my slab mold which is actually a box my dad built many years ago to hold a telescope mirror he made.
I determined the amount of soap I needed to fill my mold half way and made a batch of white soap in this amount. I made marks on the freezer paper so I would know about how full to fill it. I placed the curls in the white soap and semi randomly arranged the polka dots.
While this layer set up a bit, I made my blue layer.
I oven processed it for a couple of hours but then someone needed to use to oven so I took it out. It still gelled just fine. Unmolding this soap was fun. I scraped off some of the blue soap to reveal the design. I was really happy with how it came out. At first I was concerned that my design was too large and would be lost when I cut the soap into smaller bars but I was pleasantly surprised by the result.
In the white layer, there are glycerin rivers, mostly on the edges of the curls outlining them. I like the effect.
I like the way this batch turned out and I decided that this soap would be my entry. I have taken oodles of pictures of my soap, trying to learn how to take better pictures with my phone in different light and with different backgrounds. Here is a sample of some of my pictures. My soap is scented with a mix of Black Tea and White Tea and Ginger from Brambleberry. I like both fragrances so I decided to use some of both.
|In my kitchen|
|Too high of an angle|
|Most realistic color|
|I like this one|
|Too dark but I like the pink|
|Too dark, the color is off|
|This one is ok|
|A little too dark|
|Way too dark|
|Way too dark|
|This one is ok|
|Too many shadows but I like it anyway|
This was a really fun technique to learn. I am sure there will be some amazing soaps for this one. I really like doing these soap challenges because it is like taking a class where each month we get some instruction and then we have our assignment and our assignments are so much fun! It's project based learning at its best! I have been a teacher for over 30 years now so I always look at things from a teacher's perspective. This year I have a group of students in my chemistry class that wanted to learn how to make soap after I told them about my hobby, so we formed a little group that meets after school and they are going to learn some soap making. They made a recipe last week and this coming week they will make their first batch of soap. I can't wait to see how they do!