Great Cakes Soap Challenge Club Teardrop Challenge


Tears of Mother Earth

Final-4 copy

 

Welcome!

This month’s challenge for Amy Warden’s Soap Challenge Club was the Teardrop Technique. The objective of the challenge was to create a teardrop formation in our soap but I have to admit, tear drops in soap weren’t the only tears created! Along with tears of frustration there was also quite a bit of hair pulling, foot stamping and very colorful language being spouted! This is one technique that was soooo much harder than it appeared. 

Having the perfect batter consistency was the key to success in this technique. Not too thin because that can cause the design to spread all the way to the sides and form “wings”. Not too thick because that inhibited the upward movement of the design that formed the actual drop. It had to be just right and determining that ‘just right’ stage was pretty tricky. I have a feeling Goldilocks would be huddled in a corner, banging her head against the wall after being faced with this challenge.

Amy frequently recommends a wonderful website called Design Seeds to assist in choosing a color scheme. I  start out at this site quite often when I’m trying to come up with a color palette that speaks to me. Implementing the chosen colors into my design however, is not always that easy. I often have a difficult time visualizing the actual soap in the colors I have chosen unless I can see it in front of me so it helps me to make a visual representation. I will sometimes draw and color the design on paper or use Photoshop to see how the colors mix in my design.

When searching for a color palette on Design Seeds I found a particular color scheme that really seemed to draw me in:

Nested Hues

 

I absolutely fell in love with the colors and have now started envisioning entire rooms redecorated in this color scheme. It’s a good thing I am too caught up in Amy’s challenges to do makeovers on my entire house! My family would probably kick me to the curb. 

Photoshop proved to be the perfect tool to create a mock-up using these colors. Using the Design Seed palette, I created a teardrop and inserted each of the colors into the design. Photoshop layers allow me to rearrange the colors easily to see what order would look best.

Mock-up2

I am a pretty big stickler for colors and kind of obsess trying to get the exact color I am going for. I mix different micas together in an attempt to achieve the perfect shade, but my process doesn’t always result in the color I want. Some colors are not as straight forward as they seem. They might appear to be a mix of X and Y but once mixed together, the results aren’t quite right. I have found a way that helps me with some of the guesswork – the Eyedropper tool in Photoshop. I use the Eyedropper tool to select the color in question and then select the Color Picker. A box will come up showing a color field and where that particular color is located on it. It kind of gives a clue to what colors should be blended to create that particular hue. This has proven very effective in finding the little bit of color that might be missing in my mixture to make it perfect.

Color Picker

 

 

First Attempt

To create the design, we first needed to divide the batter. Amy’s suggestion of using 3/4 of the batter for the base color and using the remaining 1/4 of the batter for the teardrop colors was spot on. After I separated the first 3/4ths of the batter for the robin’s egg blue base, I divided the rest of the batter into five equal parts for the remaining colors. I began by pouring some of the base color for the bottom part. After pouring this first layer, I divided the remaining base color into two spouted cups for the final pour. One by one, I then poured the colors for the teardrop in a line SLOWLY, and as straight as possible down the center. Each color was layered in the same fashion, one on top of the other. I then took the two spouted cups of base color and poured them simultaneously along both sides which was supposed push it upwards to helping to form the drop.

With my first attempt, the batter was way too thin and quickly spread all the way to the sides. I ended up with the aforementioned “wings” and my teardrop resembled a bird. 

Initial layer

Initial layer

First color

First color

Batter too thin and quickly moving to sides

Batter too thin and quickly moving to sides

Colors spread all the way to the sides

Colors spread all the way to the sides

Decorated top

Decorated top

Attempt #1 – Final bars

Attempt #1 – Final bars

 

Notes for next time: 

  • Pour at a little thicker trace or figure out a way to control the batter more so it doesn’t spread so far to the sides.

Second Attempt

This time, my batter was at a little thicker trace. I also devised a way to possibly help control the flow of the batter using some of my son’s old K’Nex remnants, hot glue, and pieces of acrylic. My thought was that if I had a guide of sorts, the lines might go in straighter and more precise.The resulting soap had more of the droplet shape I wanted with more defined layers but the batter poured on the sides didn’t push the droplet up to the top. 

Guide made with K’Nex toy construction parts and acrylic pieces (Try not to laugh too hard at my contraption!)

Guide made with K’Nex toy construction parts and acrylic pieces (Try not to laugh too hard at my contraption!)

Pouring the batter down the sides

Pouring the batter down the sides

Cocoa pencil line, soap shavings, and top color added. (Pardon the cocoa mess - I am a very messy soaper!)

Cocoa pencil line, soap shavings, and top color added. (Pardon the cocoa mess – I am a very messy soaper!)

Top of soap

Top of soap

Final soap

Attempt #2 – Final bars

Notes for next time: 

  • Both sides of guide aren’t really necessary and actually get in the way. 
  • Figure out a way to push the drop all the way to the top.

Third Attempt

This time, I ditched the K’Nex guide and tried to focus on pushing the drop upward. Unfortunately, I waited too long and the batter was way too thick. I ended up with something that looked kind of like a tornado!

Top of attempt #3

Top of attempt #3

Attempt #3 – Final bars

Attempt #3 – Final bars

Notes for next time: 

  • Pour at a much thinner trace
  • Try a guide again, maybe only one side
  • Ditch the two-tone design
  • Don’t CPOP to limit glycerin rivers 

Final Attempt

 

I wanted to use a guide again but this time I rigged up a different contraption to hold the acrylic and only used one side. I had a little gizmo that I had recently picked up that has a magnifying glass and little clamps to help with doing small repairs. I may never use it for its intended use but it sure was perfect for this project. I removed the magnifying glass and used the clamps to hold the acrylic piece. My bucket of lard was the perfect height so I place the new guide on it and angled the acrylic into my mold. This time my batter was just right and I was able to pour it in such a way that forced it all the way up to the top.

I still wanted a little separation between the top and bottom but something a little more subtle than the last two attempts. I added a pencil line with cocoa but did not add a solid color as I did before. This time I wanted to create the appearance of a pool of colors dripping down into the bottom part of the soap. I was hoping for a smoother appearance without glycerin rivers so I did not CPOP this one as I did the previous batches. I finished the top with some oil and mica swirls, sprayed it with alcohol to prevent ash and left it on the counter uncovered.  

Line guide

Line guide

Pour using the guide as a help

Pour using the guide as a help

Teardrop design before adding the batter on the sides

Teardrop design before adding the batter on the sides

Cocoa pencil line

Cocoa pencil line

Top of soap

Top of soap

Final soap

MY ENTRY!

Entry Soap!

Teardrop Challenge Entry

The fourth time was the charm. While not a perfect teardrop, it is unique in it’s own way. I was also happy to see that for the most part, the top gave the effect I was going for. I was thrilled to finally be able to accomplish the technique. Overall, I am very happy with the way it turned out, especially the colors. I now have a whole bunch of soap in the colors I fell in love with. Hopefully that will quench my desire to redecorate the entire house in this color scheme!

The design of the soap and the colors feel very organic and earthy in nature so I named this soap honoring those qualities – “Tears of Mother Earth”.

 

For those interested in the nitty gritty of the soap here are the specs:

Micas (All from Steph’s Micas):

Light blue/green: Aqua Green and Powder Blue

Darker blue/green: Aqua Green and Activated Charcoal

Dark brown: Cocoa Brown, Majestic Purple, and Activated Charcoal

Medium brown: Bronze Satin and Cocoa Brown

Light brown: Gold Shimmer, Cocoa Brown, Titanium Dioxide

Black: Activated Charcoal

Fragrances:

Attempt #1: A combination of Green Fig from Bramble Berry and Fresh Cut Roses from Nature’s Garden

Attempt #2: Blood Orange Fo and Cedarwood EO, both from WSP, and Patchouli from Wellington Fragrances

Attempt #3: Blood Orange Fo and Cedarwood EO, both from WSP, and Sweet Patchouli from Nature’s Garden

Attempt #4: Rosemary and Pepper from Aztec International

Ingredients:

All batches were made with the same combination of Coconut Oil, Almond Oil, Lard, a blended oil consisting of Olive Oil, Canola Oil and Grapeseed Oil, Sodium Lactate and Tussah Silk.

 

Thanks for stopping by!

Until next time…

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