Autumn Leaves Soap

Ecoviolet Soap Ebru Feathers SoapTime does fly by doesn’t it! I just finished my masters and final exams last month (yay!!!) so now I have some time to experiment with soap art. This month’s challenge was to do a soap design using an Ebru (paper marbling) technique. Here is my color palette after mixing the black, yellow, orange, green and dark pink micas.

Ecoviolet Soap Ebru Soap Mixing Colors

My inspiration was the Blackhawk feathers. My husband has been bugging me for several weeks about making a Blackhawks soap so I thought this was a perfect opportunity to give it a go.

Blackhawks Feathers

Here is the final product after it was just poured. I tried to literally copy the feathers but it looked lame so I just kept adding more soap and freehanded the design for a more abstract feather look. It is scented with Energy orange fragrance. This looks more like autumn leaves than feathers to me but I am happy with the result. It is a bit early for Fall but it is my favorite time of the year!

Ecoviolet Soap Ebru Soap Pic2

Here is the soap a few hours later. I used goat’s milk, mango butter, olive, palm and coconut oils in the soap formulation. The bottom half of the soap is black. I used yellow, orange, green and dark pink micas for the top swirly design.

Ecoviolet Soap Ebru Feathers Soap

Thanks Amy for another fun challenge! I look forward to seeing the other designs. It should be interesting to cut this in a few days. The original Blackhawks feather design is buried somewhere under there. 😀

Neon Swirl Soap

I just cut this neon swirl soap today and I am so pleased with how it came out!


I used the hanger swirl technique which is also this month’s soap challenge technique. I have been off-line lately (busy with school, travel and family issues) and I was looking to get back into experimenting with soap design. I was also excited to play with my new hanger tool from Michelle at the Great Soap Shop on Etsy.

I used a Bastille recipe (80% olive oil and 20% coconut oil) with 4 different neon pigments. The soap was scented with a sweet orange fragrance.

I did another hanger swirl soap before this one but was underwhelmed with the results. This time, I tried a different variation – I pulled the hanger vertically up and down the soap after pouring the 4 colors. I then did a Taiwan swirl on the top. Here is the soap after it was just poured into the mold.


Here is the soap after it was cut. I love how each bar has a different design. Some soaps are more yellow and while others are more magenta or blue.


Thanks Amy for another fun challenge! I look forward to seeing the other hanger swirl designs. 🙂



Soap Challenge – Cirque Du Soleil Inspired Column Pour Soap

I am always interested in trying new techniques so after seeing a few blog posts about Amy’s Great Cakes Soapworks Soap Challenge, I decided to join this month’s challenge. This month, we had to use the column pour technique in a soap design.

This was my first time trying this technique and I may have been a bit over-ambitious for my first attempt.

Two weeks ago, I was in Las Vegas walking through the Bellagio and I saw this display for the Cirque Du Soleil “O” show.


“Wow! These are really cool colors to use in a soap design.” I thought.

I also spotted this poster of the Cirque Du Soleil “O” Zebra characters in a Bellagio gift shop. I became even more excited and wanted to try to mirror the stripes of the Zebras in a soap design.

Cirque-Du-Soleil: The zebras

Cirque-Du-Soleil O: The Zebras

I was so inspired by the idea that I bought a new slab mold just for the trial. I love this slab mold because all the side panels can be disassembled for easy soap removal.

For the columns, I used these wooden beads shaped like a star and block. I taped sections together and wrapped them in plastic wrap.

Blocks and Slab Mold for Column Pour Challenge

Blocks and Slab Mold for Column Pour Challenge

Big plans, big dreams………. foiled by heavy trace in 3 out of the 5 colors. 😉

For the soap base, I used slow-moving olive, almond and canola oils along with palm, coconut and palm kernel oils. For the design, I used 5 different colors: yellow oxide, ultramarine blue, ultramarine violet, black oxide and white (titanium dioxide). After mixing in the colorants, I added citrus-smelling “Energy” fragrance oil to the soap mixtures.

The white and violet mixtures were at light trace and flowed easily on the blocks. However, the black, yellow and blue soap mixtures were very viscous and hard to pour on the blocks. I just managed to get all the soap poured in the mold before it became very thick and gloppy.

Mr. Ecoviolet was my photographer for the occasion and after seeing my dismay wanted to help. “OK” I told him. “Take these chopsticks and just make radial lines from where I took out the blocks”.

He nodded in understanding and proceeded to make huge random zigzags and swirls with the chopsticks. Argh!!! I probably should have been more specific about what I meant by “radial lines”.

I did go back and draw lines radiating from where the blocks where in the soap and this is what we ended up with. It doesn’t look like a typical column pour soap but I still think it looks pretty good.

Soap after initial pour

Soap after pour

The colors became more vibrant as the soap went through gel stage. Here is the soap after 4 hours of cure time.

Column pour soap after 4 hours

Column pour soap after 4 hours

After 24 hours, the soap was still very soft. It was very helpful to have a mold with removable panels. Lining the mold with freezer paper also helped with soap removal. I had to be extra careful because it was easy to dent the soap.

Column pour soap out of mold after 24 hours

Column pour soap out of mold after 24 hours

All lined up and ready for cure!

Column pour soap ready for curing rack!

Column pour soap ready for curing rack!

Not bad-looking for my first column pour. I want to try the column pour technique again and execute my original vision. I was probably just too slow in getting things mixed, staged and ready to go.

I am still happy with the outcome and the scent is amazing. I also can’t wait to see the other challenge participant soaps out there!

It’s a Cold Process World Out There

Hi! I’m JV and welcome to my blog. I am a scientist by training but an artist at heart. Soapmaking appeals to both my creative and analytical mind. I love how you can create practical objects that please the aesthetic senses. I also love that soapmaking involves chemistry (saponification). Although you really don’t need to understand saponification chemistry to make soap due to the prevalence of online lye calculators, having a chemistry background is helpful to understand what really happens when you use various fats and oils in a formulation.

Over the past few years, I have become more interested in organic foods, natural skincare products and overall healthy living. After dropping a minor fortune on skincare products at Whole Foods and similar places, I decided to formulate my own products. This is a journal of my experiments with soap, bodycare products, cooking and whatever else I am tinkering with at the moment.