Thursday, September 12, 2013

Multi-color Gradient Soap Challenge...

I'll preface this post with a "whew! Glad that's over and done with"!!! I'm glad I entered this challenge, however out of all challenges I've participated in, this one was the most challenging for me (which I guess is the point of the thing, yes?). It was stressful for me and while I'm glad I did it, and my soaps came out better than I'd hoped, I'm glad it's done for now. I'm sure I'll do this again in the future, but it might be awhile before I attempt it again.

So I started off with a practice soap, just to get the hang of the gradient process. It was much easier with only two colors, I can tell you that much. The fragrance I used (I kept forgetting the name, but it was Frosted Snowdrops) was very well behaved and so I did get a few layers that broke through, but I rather like the effect in the finished bars.

Two important lessons learned...
1) Titanium Dioxide is much easier dispersed in hot water than oil.... however it's not prudent to mix with your mini-mixer/frother in a Dixie cup with hot water.. ask my carpet how I know.
2) With a two color gradient soap, you will need more of your "light" or "top" color than your "dark" or "bottom" color.

Here's the making video of the practice gradient if you care to watch.. I've decided to name it "Arctic Ice"

Here are the cut bars of Arctic Ice:

So then I went on with my challenge soap after an hour break. Collecting myself seemed to have worked to kind of zen myself out, which was a good thing. So for this soap I used a fragrance called Apple Pumpkin Strudel. I chose this one on purpose because the name screams three colors.. brown, orange, and red. Or at least it did in my head. It's a really lovely fragrance that combines ripe apples, pumpkin spice and a bakery kind of scent. I'm loving it for this soap, in the finished bars you can really get the fresh apple and the bakery, although in the freshly cut bars I lost a bit of the pumpkin fragrance however it might come back in the cure. For my colors I used Cappuccino mica, a blend of yellow mica and smidge of red lab color for the orange, and red lab color for the red.

Here is the making video for that soap:

Here are the cut bars of Apple Pumpkin Strudel

As you can probably surmise, I did have some partial gel happening, which is why the center of the bars are lighter than the rest. I think it came out great though, and at least along the edges you can really see all the different colors of the gradient. I think they turned out AWESOME! I'm almost tempted to rename them Sierra Sunset because that's kind of what they look like.. a sunset along the Sierra Nevada mountains (although really most of our mountains are purple). I am super proud of myself for accomplishing this task and for staying sane through most of it. This was pretty challenging for me and I have to give kudos to EVERYONE who does 3 color (or  more!!) gradient soaps. **Sidebar..  I did end up naming this soap Sierra Sunset**

Thank you all for joining me on my journey through gradients today. If you're a participant in the challenge, best of luck to you. I'm super thrilled to be a part of the Great Cakes Soapworks challenge this month, I really did feel challenged and I'm excited to see everyone's soapy creations.

Til next time!
Shannon @ Smellicious