It is necessary to run risks. We only properly understand the miracle of life when we allow the unexpected to happen. ~ Paulo Coelho “Life: Selected Quotations”
If you want to break out of molds, try your hand (pun intended) at hand molding!
There are many molds on the market for embeds and after a trying many of them, I wanted a larger creative palate.
On one of my many cold process soap failures, I began molding some of that batch. I squished it, mushed it and felt its full textured as it warmed in my hands.
I learned a great deal from touching soap. (If you’re familiar with cold process I shouldn’t have to say this, but… Wait at least 24 hours to work with newly made cold process without gloves. Read Kevin Dunn’s book, Scientific Soapmaking: The Chemistry of the Cold Process on a scientific explanation of saponification.)
All of my embeds and tops are made with cold process. Use your favorite cold process recipe to begin and just pour off a cup to start. I’ve cultivated a particular recipe for soap and its reliable and consistent and of course, top secret.
I generally use my normal hard bar soap base for embeds, but I will make a total batch just for molding, when I need a particular color. This soap is made with a touch of silk which I find helps the smoothness of the embed batch. That’s the only hint I’ll give for now, but if you read my blog you’ll have read many secrets.
The best tool you have, beside your hands, is research, curiosity. Search this site for videos, more blog posts about soap molding, etc. To look for a “how-to” and have someone tell you every detail about how this works, you’ll lose the plot. This is a path of creativity, even if you make what you wanted, it is not the end. Its just the beginning. Its the possibility of seeing the world differently, with a touch more magic.