Color is one of my favorite things to experiment with and I was excited to see that Amy was doing a color challenge this month. There were two color palettes to choose from and I chose the Mineral Autumn palette below.
I decided to do a side-by-side challenge between 2 sets of colorants: oxide pigments vs. natural colorants (spices/botanicals/clays). For the pigments, I used burgundy oxide, brick oxide, black oxide, and yellow oxide. For the natural colorants, I used paprika mixed with red clay, madder root, activated charcoal, and yellow clay. Below are the colors after mixing. Some colors are similar, others – not so much.
This soap recipe used coconut, canola, palm and castor oils. In addition to the 8 colorants, I used the uncolored soap for the last neutral color in the palette.
I wanted to see the differences between the 2 color sets so I divided a slab mold in half and did a design with the oxides on one side and another design with the natural colorants on the other side. I mixed and poured the oxide colored soap first so the soap emulsion was very fluid. I then mixed and poured the natural colors on the bottom half of the mold. The second set of soap colors was considerably thicker but still pourable. Below is a picture of the soap after it was just poured. Interesting how light the paprika, madder root and clays look. I was curious to see what the colors would look like after gel phase. I covered and insulated the soap to keep it warm and let it go though gel phase.
Wow – what a difference after 24 hours! The madder root morphed to a dark red color and the yellow clay and paprika/red clay sections look richer in color too. The oxide colored soap looked like the initial pour but had a little ash on top. I notice I tend to get more ash when the soap mixture is poured very thin. I am happy though that the batter was fluid enough to get workable design so that is the trade-off. 😉
The soap was still very soft today so I will let the batch harden for a few days before cutting the bars.
Thanks Amy for another fun challenge! It was interesting to experiment with various colorants and it took a few trials to match the color palette sample. I may try the other (summer) palette someday. I look forward to seeing the other color challenge soaps! 🙂
Beeautiful! Can’t wait to see the soaps cut!
Thanks Natalia! I was eager to cut these but better to wait till a bit firmer. 🙂
What a cool side by side comparison of natural colorants and oxide pigments. Can’t wait to see the cut soaps !
Thanks Silvia! It was cool to do and interesting to see how the results came out. Now I want to see if some of the colors fade over time.
Congratulations, J! Your soaps turned out great! Your colors are as the ones of the color scheme and I love how you did this comparisson. It is amazing how the soap changed after gel phase. The natural colorants part looks so much better than the pigment-colored one after gel. Very cool and very helpful. You have my vote in both categories!
Thanks Maya, your comments are so sweet. I am in awe of your soap designs and strive to achieve that level of perfection. You always have my vote!
This is a very beneficial and eye-opening experiment! I love the side-by-side comparison! Just goes to show that the natural colors can hold their own in these colors…now if we could just find a true blue and green that could withstand oxidation over time… 🙂 Beautiful soaps, Janet!!
Thanks Amy – You really challenged us this time! I agree- it would be awesome to find blues and greens that don’t fade with time.
Gorgeous! Was this a column swirl, or did you just pour them in the middle?
Thanks Claudia! This is like a column swirl but didn’t bother with the columns (one less thing to clean up!) 🙂 I saw your soaps for the challenge and they are awesome! Love the design. I had trouble commenting on your blog so hopefully you will see this here.
Wow – love seeing these side by side – great idea! Both soaps look amazing!!!
Thanks Zahida! I love your soaps – they are so stunning!
What a brilliant idea! The natural colours held up really well. Gel really made them pop.
Thanks Sirron! I am amazed by how different the colors look after gel.
Beautiful soap & your side by side comparison really helps..Thanks
What a great experiment! And the soap looks wonderful!
What a wonderful idea. I love these Autumn colors! Hope you are enjoying the Autumn season!
I’m only using naturals so this is great. Thank you for sharing. Y
Thanks Yvonne. Your natural soaps are so lovely. I like the simple yet elegant designs.