Weeee, I finally had time to participate in another round of the Soap Challenge Club! February's challenge was to combine both cold process (CP) and melt and pour (M&P) soap into one design.
We were not allowed to use any other processes (rebatch/hot process), and non-soap embellishments were limited to natural or synthetic colorants and glitter. I started cruising around the internet fairly early to get ideas, and found a Mixing Media post by Ruth Esteves of Make Me Some Soap... that I thought was really neat, since she used drinking straws to create negative space, which she then filled with M&P soap.
I must have some obsession with space, because my first thought was to create a "spacey" background soap that I would insert straws into in the shape of constellations, essentially creating stars out of the negative space that would be later filled with clear M&P once everything was set.
The recipe I used was:
- olive oil (40%)
- coconut oil (25%)
- palm oil (22%)
- palm kernel flakes (3%)
- castor oil (5%)
- sweet almond oil (5%)
- Musk fragrance oil
- water as percent of oil weight: 30%
- super fat: 5%
For my colors, I used black oxide and Vintage Velvet Mica (Nurture Soap) as the base, and did an in-the-pot swirl to give more depth to the blackness. Then I used a loose version of the cosmic swirl technique (using soap colored with titanium dioxide, Cyber Grape Mica, Wisteria Purple Mica and Tropical Teal Mica (all from Nurture Soap). I put some "sprays" of white on the top, and then added a bit of sparkle using some iridescent glitter and sparkly white mica mixed with oil (I forget the name). This is how it turned out:
The next step was to insert my straws to create the negative space for my constellation once my soap thickened up a bit and would support the straws on its own. I chose Ursa Major (the Big Dipper) since it's the most easily recognisable. Everything looked pretty silly once the straws were in:
I waited a day before I took the soap out of the mold and removed the straws, and I was left cute little holes on the shape of the Big Dipper. The soap was still a bit soft, so I left it for another day to pour clear M&P into the voids. I cut the soap into individual bars and cleaned everything up, and was left with this beauty:
And my M&P stars even worked as I had hoped!
So, this is my official entry into the February Soap Challenge Club. Hopefully you enjoyed learning about the process I used to make it!