It’s February and time for another soap challenge! Amy’s challenge for this month was to create an embedded soap design. This was challenging for me because a) you have to use freshly made cold process soap in the design (no melt & pour!) and b) I have never worked with embeds in CP soap before. I thought that the challenge was going to be easier than the other challenges but it was actually more work than I thought. I was making dozens of mini soap batches for the last few weeks!
At first, I had no idea what I was going to do for the design. I decided to just start making the embeds and let them tell me what they wanted to be. I mixed up 11 different colors so I would have a wide palette to work with.
I then made the embed soap base and used practically every small mold I could find. The soap base was made with goat milk, coconut, olive, palm, and castor oils.
After using all my small soap molds, I had to be creative about finding more embed molds. Clean milk cartons and food containers make great soap molds! Note: I did not use the easter egg soaps in my final embed designs. The egg-shaped soaps are living in a plastic container to someday become an Easter themed soap.
I made the final embedded soaps last Sunday. These were two batches of goat milk soap, both scented with lemongrass essential oil.
The scary thing about making these soaps was that I had no idea how they were going to turn out. I kept looking, sniffing and poking at the soap logs during the week, praying that they were not going to be too hideous for the challenge.
I just cut the logs today because the soaps were too soft to cut initially. My first embed soap batch is below. It is pretty, but I wish it had a bit more contrast and texture.
I was happier with the second embed soap batch. I was going for an abstract mosaic landscape design.
You can’t easily see this from the pictures but there are actually three different brown colored pigments used for the mountain embed pieces. I probably should have lightened or darkened the pigments to create more contrast.
I recently started dabbling in watercolor painting and there are many similarities between watercolor painting and soapmaking design. One key thing is that you have to work fast! Another thing is that to really know how the colors are going to turn out, you need to blend colors in advance and do test trials. So this challenge was essentially one big test trial for me to learn how various colored pigments look in soap.
I still have a lot of small embeds left. More embed soap fun is in my future. 🙂 Thanks Amy for another fun challenge. Good luck to everyone doing the challenge! I am looking forward to seeing all the soaps and getting inspired!
You cut your soaps! I am happy that you are in the challenge!
If you look carefully, you can see the different brown colors in the picture 🙂
All the soaps are pretty, but my favourite is the white-base one. Using embeds as mosaic is a great idea. If you don’t mind, I would like to try it some day. Good luck for the challenge and I am looking forward to your Easter soap.
Thanks Maya- I would love to see your soap with embed mosaics! I tried to do this by cutting different sizes and shapes. I also found that you need a lot of embeds to do this- I thought that I added A LOT of embeds but I still see gaps of empty space. I was fun to try though!
I love the creativity in your soaps, Janet! Sounds like you learned a lot just from this one technique – and hopefully that knowledge will translate into many more fantastic soaps!!
Thanks Amy! And thank you for all your efforts in creating the videos and setting up the challenges. I haven’t tried the hot process microwave method yet (I have exploded many hot cereals in my microwave in my past). I see that no-one has any tales of exploded soap during the challenge so I am willing to give it a try. 🙂
Beautiful! Such a sunny soap!
Very nice! Great job! 🙂
I really like the white based soap – very Spring-like and it’s “happy” !!
Thanks Suzy! I liked the white soap too but my husband liked the more colorful soap more. He didn’t think I should bother posting it but I am glad I did!
They both turned out great! I love watercolors too and also see the similarities when working with soap 🙂 Great job!
Thanks Ms.Z! Interesting about the similarities between watercolors and soap design isn’t it? A basic exercise in watercolors is to blend each individual color with every color tube you have to see the effect of the two color blend. Sometime you get surprising results!
Love mosiacs of all kinds… soapy ones are the best!
Thanks Chris! I love this too and want to try it again!
I love the creativity in your mosaic mountain soap! The triangular cuts say “jagged rock” and contrast nicely with the yellow sun and blue sky. I can tell that you put a lot of thought into this.
Thanks Janie! I tried to cut different shapes and sizes to give it some interest. I didn’t realize you had to use so many embeds to get the effect. It was fun though and hope to try this again. 🙂
A lot of work went into that – well done! Gorgeous soaps!
Thanks Victoria! I have so many embed that I hope to design a few soaps in the future.
That’s a lot of work you did! The mosaic look is striking and lovely. 🙂
Thanks Sylvia! Missed you in the challenge but I love the embed soaps you have done with the mica layers. May have to borrow that technique 😉