Soap Ideas That Don’t Work
Do you ever get an idea for a soap and have a hard time making it happen?
I’m inspired regularly by the great soapers on the internet. I find fabulously created soap creations that look like cupcakes, pies and decadent desserts on Pinterest. I’m excited to see the detailed designs and minute lines of the those initiated into the swirl mysteries. And always grounded by those who are studying how to blends exotic oils into a consistent and smooth naturally colored bar.
Granted I am truly new at soaping, in my first year of my education, but I have yet to bite off more than I could chew. Not all my soaps turned out, but I always walked away feeling satisfied; satisfied in my education, in my new experience and that I could either give it away or call it laundry soap. I haven’t tried something where I felt, although it was a fine soap, I just didn’t appreciate what I learned from it. Until this weekend.
My learning, so far, has been like this: I set off to learn a new technique, and achieve some level of accomplishment, I do something unexpected and learn that way or I execute the intended recipe and design and learn something that way. With what happened this weekend, I’m left confused.
This last soap, I had the name in mind and the idea came afterward. I learned how to swirl better, but that is not what I was intending to do. As a matter of fact I was relying on my inability to swirl to help make the soap more dramatic, and less consistent.
Naming a Soap
I got the name “Penny Dreadful” in my head and did a little research. It’s a 19th Century British publication filled with lurid serial stories, each article costing a penny. I liked the idea and thought it would make a good name for a soap.
I thought the soap itself needed to be lovely, conditioning and silky in contrast to the name. My favorite recipe with silk, Shea and cocoa butter would do. I could use my new sample of copper mica colors, practice with a yellow I’ve not gotten to preform how I’ve wanted in the past and add a dark almost black purple to swirl into an uncolored base and then also pipe the top. I wanted to practice using a piping bag and a round tip instead of the spoon technique I use for my Dragon Silk scales on the soap. I just wanted to see if I could do it with a piping bag.
First Penny Dreadful Soap
The soap was very wet, did not trace correctly or thicken. When I poured it, it all blended together. I forged ahead anyway. I could have waited for the soap to firm a bit, however, my fear that it would solidify too quickly kept me from being patient.
This soap unmolded wet. It was mushy after 20 hours. I couldn’t cut it for two full days. When it did begin to dry it cracked on the outer edges. All of this is fixable, however, I’m disappointed. It is much more pastel than I imagined, and I just didn’t get the purple as menacing as I imagined.
I have few ideas about why it preformed so poorly and submitted this soap for insight to some soaping groups. I believe it may have to do with temperatures.
Soap Goblins Afoot
What I suspect is the soap goblins were afoot. Nothing scientific, just little goblins making mischief in my soap kitchen.
Although, I’d never say that seriously, I do suspect it was the intention I brought to the soap. My honey has said to me, in my first year of apprenticing this craft, I should practice duplicating a soap from beginning to end. That idea I’ve let ruminate in the back of my mind and the results are not lovely.
Second Penny Dreadful Soap
The very next day I began working out the issues and how I could remake the soap. I make the exact same recipe, but instead of piping the top I chose to leave that for another day. I did not put this soap in the freezer, but left it alone on the work table. I also used less fragrance oil than I usually use, which the scent is not as strong, and checked and double checked all my measurements along the way. I even wrote my calculations down on my recipe as I weighted each ingredient. I wanted to insure I wasn’t making a mistake.
The only difference was I made it at 35% water instead of the first one at 38% water. I also added a touch of black oxide to try and darken up the purple. That did not work out.
The swirls are more interesting than any I’ve done so far, however, the idea is nothing like I imagined. I scented it with Love Spell and hint of something I will not name, but is citrus fresh.
I’m Wrong… I Did Learn
˙ ˙ ٠· ̊ °╰☆╮ ̥。⋆*:･ﾟ
I still have more opportunities to make the soap I have in mind – Penny Dreadful. A dark and mysterious soap.
Upon writing this and reflection of what I am aware of…
I have learned to follow my own creative inclinations and desires and have seen the results of allowing my flow to be affected. I think creating anything has as much to do with the intentions one sets out with as the capabilities of the artist.
I also learned that fearlessness and patients are two valuable tools of any artist. I had a big reminder dose for good measure this time!
This soap, Penny Dreadful will still clean, so nothing is broken, however, some soap ideas just don’t work out… The first time.
When I show up to create soap, have an idea loosely in mind and move with what happens, I create much more passionately and am much greater pleased. I will attempt this again in the future. My patients and fearlessness tools need to be sharpened before that day!
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