This month's soap challenge was split into two categories - 'all natural' & 'synthetic'. So, since it's two categories I'll just have to make two soaps & see which one turns out the best! This design needs a batter that stays thin and pour-able throughout the process, as the batter is put in squeezy bottles (think plastic sauce bottles). If it thickens too much it won't squirt out. Also, as only a small amount of soap is squirted at a time its very labour intensive, so I made a very small slab mould from foam core board. Love foam core! :-)
First soap - the 'Synthetic' one. The instructions say its better not to use a stick blender for this, but rather hand whisk for 20 mins or so......but I'm w-a-y too impatient for that. So, of course, I over-blended & the batter got too thick so I had to move fast & didn't have time to take any photos of the process. Scented with a scent from Big Tree Supplies called Tayberry & Teakwood, which is really lovely! Coloured with Celadon Green & Pink Vibrance Mica from Nurture Soap.
This is the "All Natural", scented with a blend of Bergamot & Lavender Essential Oils (my two very favourite ones, wonderful by themselves, gorgeous blended together!), & coloured with a mix of Chlorella Powder & Activated Charcoal for the green, & White Kaolin Clay for the white. I used a tried & true recipe for this, and, yes I did stickblend it as well, but only for 10 seconds. And despite the clay, which will often thicken the batter, this blend stayed much thinner.
You start with small dots of one colour...
...then you add four times as much of the contrast colour in the middle....
...then more green in the gaps... and so on....
...until you run out of batter, or you have enough soap, whichever comes first! Then, its popped into a low oven for a little while to force a gel, which makes the colours brighter. But neither of the soaps gelled. I'm thinking that because it is so cold in my house at the moment than even the oven can't keep the soap warm enough!
I'm not sure that I've quite got the technique exactly right, but I might as well enter the competition. I enter the challenges not to win but to learn more about soap making, so in that way I'm really winning as I'm learning quite a lot :-)
I entered the All Natural Soap for this challenge and need to include a full recipe, so here it is:
10% Avocado Oil
25% Coconut Oil
35% Olive Oil
30% Sustainable Palm Oil
Sodium Hydroxide (with 6% Superfat)
White Kaolin Clay (for the white portion)
Organic Chlorella Powder & Activated Charcoal (for the green portion)
50/50 Blend of Lavender Essential Oil & Bergamot Essential Oil