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Third Soap Challenge - 'Pipe Divider'

Cal Petrusma

I'm really enjoying these soap challenges, so I signed up for the next three! Its fun learning new techniques & pushing myself a little to get just the right look. This month's technique uses a slab mould (which I don't own), plumbing pipes, and swirls to create the pattern. I made a quick slab mould from foam core board & packaging tape - a very handy way to test the shape & size of a potential mould before going to the expense of buying or building one.

First mould

First mould

The idea is to pour two colours inside the pipes & two other colours outside the pipes, then remove the pipes & swirl the four colours around. I decided to go with 2 purples & 2 greens. I tried Maths to work out exactly how much batter I'd need for the inside versus the outside. Can't believe I used to be good at maths in school 'cause the result was way off. Next time I'll just go with my gut cause I did way too much purple!!

Colours & batter ready to go. I also made up some black & white in case I needed to lighten or darken a colour, the rules for this challenge say four colours in total.

It's a pretty messy business, this soap making, so once again I got batter all over my (gloved) hands & didn't want to contaminate my phone in order to get pictures of the process. I'll try with the next one (cause you know I can't make just one!)

Perception is an interesting thing as I was sure the purple circles would be a lot bigger than they turned out! But the great thing about a slab mould is that I don't need to wait to find out what the soap will look like! I like this slab mould idea :-)

But I was glad I'd made a temporary mould before I made one in wood cause the dimensions of this one are wrong (me & maths again!). So, I made a smaller mould, lined it this time (the first batch was very difficult to remove!), & tried again. :-)

I wanted a little more contrast so I changed the colours. Ready to go again....

Second mould & batch of colours

Second mould & batch of colours

This time I used 'Raspberry' and 'Orange Vibrance' Micas inside the circles, and Titanium Dioxide & a mix of 'Celadon Green' & 'Alpine Green' Micas for the outside. For the scent I chose an Essential Oil blend I've been wanting to try - a mix of Grapefruit, Lime, Ho Wood & Black Pepper, it smells divine!! (Unfortunately my brain turned off somewhere during the process & I only used half as much scent as I should have, so it won't smell as good as it could have - will just have to make some more soap I guess!!)

So after blending & dividing & colouring I started pouring.

With the pipes still in

With the pipes still in

Pipes removed but before swirling

Pipes removed but before swirling

After pouring the colours the pipes were removed very carefully & then the batter was randomly swirled with a wooden skewer. One of the trickiest things about this design is knowing when to stop swirling - its a lot of fun.

Completed design

Completed design

Although my favourite colour is purple I really prefer this colour-way as the colours really "pop", so I'll use this second one for the competition. And as it kinda reminds me of autumn leaves, I think I'll name it "Leaves of Autumn".

Also, I was able to use my new soap planer & beveller... really love it!! Was able to plane the slightly lumpy tops of the bars to give them a nice clean finish.

The finished bars from the first batch

The finished bars from the first batch

All of the bars from the second batch

All of the bars from the second batch

The image I'll be using for the competition

The image I'll be using for the competition

Thanks once again to Amy Warden for organising the challenge :-)