Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Amy's Soap Challenge Week #2 - Elemental

Ok folks.. this is week 2 of Amy's Soap Challenge. If you are just now hearing about it you can check it out at Amy's Great Cakes Soapworks blog here.

This challenge was really a challenge for me. I wasn't feeling particularly creative this week and nothing was coming to mind for me to do. I went on Pinterest and looked at color combos and swatches. I stared at the color wheel at least a dozen times and nothing was jumping out at me. Oh, don't get me wrong, I found lots of beautiful pictures and I could imagine them in soap, just not soap made by my hand. I am limited on my expertise on mixing colors. And, I've either had bad luck (oxides) or haven't experimented enough to be confident in the end result of my recreations of said beautiful photos (note to self, experiment more with my colorants and take better notes). I am much more confident in using micas but my inventory at the moment is mostly pop type micas. Very bright! I love bright colors so that is probably why I have more experience coloring with these micas. A couple of bad experiences with oxides and I have been avoiding them ever since.

Once I finally decided on the theme and colors I dug into my colorants. I knew I had more than a couple dozen to choose from.  I laid it all out and decided I was gong to have to try the oxides again if I wanted to have warmer colors. So I mixed up a small batch and colored it with some brick red oxide and some dark yellow oxide. Everything seemed like it was going well. I used a basic bastille recipe and a FO that I knew wouldn't act up. Mixed it all up and put it in the mold and put it to bed. The next day it was all cracked on top and still very soft. The softness wasn't a surprise since I was using a high amount of soft oils. But the cracking was a mystery. I soaped at room temperature. I checked the temp several times during soaping and while it was in the mold. It never went above 100 F. So I squished down the cracks and all it did was crack some more. I let it sit for another day and it was still very soft. I put it in the freezer for a bit so I could get it out of the mold to see what was going on. It's very very odd. The oxide parts of the soap seem to not want to stick together and the uncolored parts were fine. Again the oxides are causing me issue. Back to the drawing board...

The next couple of days were rough because I ended up going back to every reference or tutorial on how to use oxides and I did everything the right way. I premixed the oxides in a bit of a light carrier oil (sweet almond) and added it a little at a time till I got the color I wanted. I used a soap recipe that I am familiar with and a FO that doesn't cause issue. Next I think, "omgosh! maybe my scale is off!". I get out a handful of coins and check and recheck. The scale is fine. My lye and oils are neither new or old. For the life of me I can not figure out what went wrong except oxides hate me! lol

Ok, to make my long story a bit shorter, I decide to use the micas and venture off in uncharted territory. MIXING COLORS!! I needed to tone down the bright colors. I added some brown to the yellow. I added some black to the blue. Some ruby to the orange (that didn't work out so well... lol). But you get the picture.
I then set out to make my soap. I got a new blender while I was doing all this fiddling around. It has 2 speeds and I am really really loving it!! But I digress. I pulled out my big 4 lb mold for this challenge. I was gonna go big or go home!

Everything went as planned with no issues. Now I'm just sitting like a kid on Christmas Eve waiting to open my present. I'm probably going to leave it in there for a couple days so I will probably cut it on Friday or Saturday.

Here are a couple of teaser pics until then ;)



Here it is.... tada!! Not to shabby. The colors are a lot lighter than I wanted but I can live with it. I meant to put some texture in the soap before I added the mica line but I remembered after I added the mica and didn't want to mess it up. This was my inspiration picture and my cut soap!





18 comments:

  1. Oh wow, the top color is gorgeous...can't wait to see it cut!

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    1. Thanks... me too!! I'm nervous.. lol

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  2. Your elemental swirl is gorgeous, Kim! Great job!

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  3. Wow, Kim, what a beautiful soap!Congratulations!

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  4. Very pretty colors! I like that the soap really looks like a beach and a cloudy sky.

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  5. Kim such a nice inspiration photoI love it! The colors in your soap are lovely and you got nice swirls. It is cool how a touch of the mica curved up into the blue very cool effect. You sure had the learning experiences doing this one, me too. You gained a bunch of color mixing knowledge good for you!

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    1. Thank you Pam. I sure wish my orange/ruby mixture would of come out a better color. It would of been a great contrast to get a little sunset in there. But I am happy with it. The black in the blue sky is on purpose. I didn't want to put too much but after cutting it seems I didn't put enough.. lol :)

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  6. That is some gorgeous soap!! What a strange thing to have happen to the first one - that is quite the mystery! I'm so glad the second one worked out so well - you can be proud of that one!

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    1. Thanks Amy!! The funny thing about the crazy cracking soap is that I let it sit for a few days unmolded and uncut. It was all funky so I wasn't in a hurry to do anything with it. I was going to rebatch it. So, I cut it yesterday and the inside of the soap is really pretty and looks normal. I cut off the top and now it's sitting on my soap rack drying. I will post a picture. Actually very pretty. Wish I could of got a little of the red or orange in my elemental. I am really happy with it but the perfect picture would of had a bit of sunset color in there :)

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  7. I love your color choices!

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  8. Oh wow! I love this design and the execution of the colors, it really makes an absolutely gorgeous soap. =)

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    1. Thank you so much Ann-Marie! :)

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