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!