For this project, I was inspired by the Soapish You Tube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2B-SxlDcE8
I used a similar and yet different technique a few years ago, doing a series of soaps with butterflies, drop & hanger swirls:
Looking at these photos from 2014 they look very crude to me…both my photography equipment and my soaping techniques have fortunately improved over the years.
Description of Bramble Berry Fragrances used:
Summer Melon Spritzer: Cantaloupes, Watermelons and Canary Melons come together in this fragrance for a sweet, summery delight. Supporting top notes of Japanese Grapefruit, Crisp Apple and Pomelo bring a bright and cheery melding to the bottom note of Tonka Bean. The secret ingredient to this fragrance is Tonic Water (thus the ‘spritzer’). CP: D – creamy tan; No A & R.
Fresh Mango: Fresh and green with citrus top notes, a supporting middle of ripe peaches and a sweet, lingering base of clean musk. CP: No D.
Use 3 lb (52 oz) silicone mold. Make 62 oz of soap, pour off 14 oz for embeds and use the rest, plus a 4.5 oz Plum Butterfly embed.
2 oz Summer Melon Spritzer and 1 oz Fresh Mango Fragrance oil.
Base color – Aqua; put down lines of drop swirl colors on one side; hanger swirl starting on top, with figure eights to the bottom – just on that side; add one more line of soap on top – white/yellow for contrast, then place embed on it & use hanger to push down embed slightly (so it’s not showing on top).
Top with: drops of Plum color on opposite side, pulling toothpick through for a string of hearts; do other side of top with Pink color & white dots; pull toothpick though; make two lines of staggered dots: Plum & Pink with yellow & white. Pull through with toothpick for hearts.
Master batch #6 oils: 44 oz Oils (Makes 62 oz soap)
Oils: 44 oz/ 1247 grams
NaOH/ Lye 5% SF: 6.26 oz / 178 grams
Distilled Water: (2.52 oz disc, 17.35% disc): 12 oz / 340 grams
Sodium Lactate: 12 grams
Kaolin Clay: 12 grams
Batter/Color/FO 3 oz:
36 oz Aqua Pearl Mica
3 oz Plum – CC Purple Play Date (Plum)
3 oz Pink – TKB #27 Red & Cosmic Carolyn
3 oz Yellow – BB Fizzy Lemonade
3 oz TD White
Soaped at 112 degrees Lye and 116 degrees oils, stick blended to just past emulsification and measured out the batter.
I worked on some embeds while waiting for my main batter to thicken up a bit. I prefer to let it thicken to the exact consistency on it’s own, rather than stick blending it thicker. If I stick blend to the perfect trace I want, the batter will keep stiffening a while after finishing blending and gets too thick at times.
By the time I finished my little projects (constantly checking on my main batter as I worked), the soap was just perfect. I poured the Aqua base, then 2 lines of each color in a drop swirl on one side of the mold: pink, plum, white, yellow. I then used a thin hanger tool (from BB) and swirled a bit. Added my Plum Butterfly on top and pushed it down into the loaf.
After all that, my soap colors were a little firm and I had difficulty using a pipette to add drops of color on top (solution for next time: cut off the end of the plastic dropper to create a larger hole.) I pulled a toothpick through for rows of hearts on top:
I don’t like how thick the second line got, that the two colors I used merged together, and that I couldn’t commit to the direction I wanted them to go in:
Although I like the different designs on top of the loaf, I think they are too linear and my usual swirls would have flowed better:
I’m not that excited with the look of these soaps…I feel like there is too much empty space in the Aqua and next time I would pull the hanger a bit into that empty area for a few wisps of color:
I love having leftover soap to make sample and travel sized bars (and not having to worry about running out of batter while working on my main loaf). I have been practicing with a new leaf mold and this one has turned out the bast so far: