When I learned that this month’s soap challenge was to be a CP/M&P combination, I knew right away that I wanted to try to make a mosaic soap with coloured embeds. I felt sure that the transparency of the M&P would add a different dimension to the “tiles”, which would lift the design from being plain into something special.
I’ve always loved mosiac, and have even attempted some small mosaic projects myself – but my skills aren’t very good (especialy on the grouting!), so I won’t share the results until I manage to produce something a bit better ……
Until 10 days ago, I’d never used Melt and Pour soap. So finding palm-free soap base and learning how to work with it was my first challenge. I managed to source some from Aroma-Zone, and then set about looking at which CP colourants might also be suitable to M&P. For this soap I ended up using indigo dispersed in olive oil for a pale, transparent blue and chlorophyll dispersed in glycerine for a darkish green. And for the CP coloured soap I used indigo for the blue and terre vert (a green ochre) for the green.
The biggest undertaking for the soap was slicing all of the coloured soap lengthwise, into shapes that would work to create a mosaic pattern in white CP soap. It took hours! And then I also decided to cut some of the bars into small pieces like tiles to deorate the tops …. Hours!!!
I made 3 types of soap:
- A regular bar in my acrylic mold;
- A round bar in a silicon mold; and
- A “confetti” bar in my silicon tall and skinny mold.
For the first batch, it turned out that my calculation on the batch size for the white soap wasn’t quite right – I didn’t have enough, so ended up having to push the long strips of coloured soap down further into the white soap to get as many embeds in as possible. So while the finished soap is pretty, the bars aren’t as “tall” as planned and the coloured soap in the top half is a little more tightly packed together than intended!
Here are a few photos of the soap:
The next 2 batches I made at the same time – ensuring that this time I’d have more than enough white CP soap to use with both silicon molds.
For the round soap, I filled the mold up to about two thirds full, and then pushed the long strips of coloured soap down into the mold. This acually worked quite well, and I felt that I had a better view of the gaps between the coloured soap – so that the “tiles” would be better spaced throughout the bar. I was pleased that I’d taken a lot of time making the strips of coloured soap as straight as I could!! But even so, there are some small variations in how the bars look.
Here are a few photos of the round soap:
The final bars were made with the scraps and small pieces of the coloured soap, mixed into the white soap – like a “confetti” soap. The key design feature of this soap is the mosaic design on the top ….. which was a delicate, painstaking labour of love! But I was really pleased with how it turned out.
Here are some photos of the top and the confetti mosaic bars:
All of the soaps are scented with a blend of essential oils, dominated by Scotch pine but including cedar wood and a dash of lemongrass (1st batch) or fennel (the other 2 soaps) to give them a crisp, fresh fragrance to match the greens and blues of the mosiac.
I really like all 3 soaps for different reasons – and would struggle to choose a favourite! But the design I feel most proud of is the mosaic top of the confetti soap ….
Making these soaps gave me some idea of how to work with M&P, so I decided to use the remaining soap base to try something different. And it turned out better than I could have hoped, so I decided to submit the Ginger Drops soap for the challenge.
Thanks for reading – and happy soaping!