Sunday, February 23, 2020

February 2020 Soap Challenge

This month's challenge was to teach someone who has never made soap before how to make soap using either the drop swirl technique or a soap with three mica lines. My chosen student for this challenge is my husband of 29 years, Hans Gompper. My husband had never even watched me make soap before!  He was officialy invited by me to participate on December 25, 2019

He eagerly accepted the challenge although we misplaced this mold and ended up using a different one.

We faced several difficulties in this challenge. The first one being that for the entire month of February, we only shared one day where neither one of us was working. We both had president's day off so that was our big date. A second difficulty we faced was that I, the suposed teacher, had never made a drop swirl before and I have very limited experience with mica lines. But since teaching is my profession, it wasn't the first time I have faced having to (getting to?) teach something that I know very little about ("your credential says you can teach.... the new class starts on Monday").

The evening before our big day, we watched the tutorial and lots of youtube videos. I went over lye safety. We did all this while my husband made bread. Yes, he can cook too! We decided to try the drop swirl. My husband chose his colors and he had a very clear vision of how he wanted his soap to look.

On President's day he made his soap. Here are some pictures of the process.
Pouring water for practice
Looking over the oils
Scooping out oils
Weighing oils
Essential oils used 
The gloves are too small

Now it gets more serious:
Measuring the lye
Taking the temperature of the lye
Mixing the colors while lye
and oils cool

Adding the Lye to oils
Dividing the batter

Trying to get the perfect
Obsessing on getting the
perfect trace

The fun part begins:
Light green base, first red added
Continuing to add colors, light
over dark. Red then white, dark
green then light green until full.

Finishing up:
Top swirled and covered,
swirl a little messed up by lid.
My house is not level so the
molds are always a little
higher on on end.
Hot water bath since oven
not available because my
husband wanted to make a
lemon meringue pie next.
Mmm it was delicious!
Covered up for the night

The results:

Freshly cut

Planed and beveled

A close up of the swirl

More Pictures - My obsession with trying to get the perfect picture with my phone camera which doesn't always cooperate.:

The soap has Christmas colors and is scented with peppermint and spearmint and Christmas is our favorite holiday. My husband usually starts saying "Christmas is coming" a few days after christmas each year. When we first cut this soap, I thought it was very beautiful and thinking back to my first soap I think it came out pretty darn good!  My husband had a different reaction. He was very disapointed. For some reason it did not meet his expectations. He had a vision of what it should be and this was not it. He was almost going to make another batch on his own on his day off while I was at work but he thought better of it and decided he should wait. We ran out of time to try the mica lines but he definitely wants to make more soap. He is one of us now...


  1. I love this so much!! From the Christmas invite to the Christmas themed soap, it's a huge success in my book! It's also exciting to hear of a new soapmaking convert! LOL! Congratulations to you both on learning a new technique at the same time!

  2. Lovely colors and absolutely awesome drop swirl!