This month, the challenge was to do a tiger stripe. Amy Warden of Great Cakes Soapworks, also here in Kansas, did these two soaps for the tutorial so we could get an idea of what we were striving for.
Tiger stripe with a hanger swirl
Tiger stripe using the tilted mold technique
There were also a lot of other links to videos on tiger stripe technique so this month, there were a lot of resources to learn the technique and visually /mentally practice it before diving in. I was excited about watching YouTube video after video, while the baby napped this week, but ultimately decided to try the tilted mold technique.
For my colors, I chose Shine Red mica from Soap Goods, and from Brambleberry, I picked Sunset Orange mica, Buttercup Yellow mica, and Kermit Green mica. I also used white, with titanium dioxide (also from Brambleberry). I used the last of my Shine Red, which means ordering more soon. I’ll have to wait til I need other supplies to offset the shipping costs but that’s the best bright red I’ve found yet that stays true in CP soap.
I had another scare with my colors! I specifically remember checking that they were safe in cold process soap-and stayed true. However, once mixed with soap, my sunset orange deepened dramatically and my buttercup yellow turned bright orange. I decided to just go with it (because I was committed, since at that point my soap was in squeeze bottles and I was working against the clock). After I was (finally) done getting the soap in the mold, I had a chance to read the jars and was relieved to see that orange said it would mellow as it cured and yellow said it would initially change color in CP soap but would change back as it cured. Sure enough, as the hours went by, I was able to watch the swirl design I did on top of my soap slowly change colors. The shine red stayed true, but everything else changed colors. The orange mellowed, the yellow changed from orange to yellow, green brightened, and white whitened. It’s hard to see in the picture below but you can definitely see all the colors if you look, and this was taken at the halfway point.If
I wasn’t able to unmold my soap for three days because it was too soft and it was in a silicone mold. In the meantime I made “fruitcake soap”; you should read my blog post here on that! It was the longest three days of my life and I needed to keep myself busy.
But finally three days was up and I was able to cut my soap.
It was so soft from using such a slow moving recipe that I ended up using fishing line to cut it to keep from smearing the colors. Of course, I could have waited a few more days, but who has the patience for that when they need to peek inside?!! And here’s what I found:
This one is my favorite:
Before I forget, my recipe for a very slow moving soap is like so:
1 Avocado Oil 15%
2 Canola Oil 15%
3 Castor Oil 5%
4 Coconut Oil, 76 deg 25%
5 Lard, Pig Tallow Manteca 25%
6 Olive Oil 15%
I don’t add sodium lactate or clay to this recipe, as I’ve found those things to accelerate even at room temperature. I don’t notice the faint acceleration they cause most of the time, but in tricky recipes where I want my soap loose til the end, I avoid them. I wish I could use may be 1% sodium lactate, though, to harden the bars for cutting. Maybe I’ll experiment with that on a non-challenge soap! I also avoid working with any new fragrances or “hot” essential oils. This time I used Energy, by Brambleberry, and based my colors around its almost fruity scent. My daughter commented that it looked like sherbet wave soap. So that’s what I’m calling it: Sherbet Tiger Stripes. As soon as it hardens off enough, I will plane the pieces that need to be smoother and set it to cure. Because I used my little silicone mold, this made smaller than usual soaps. I’ve often considered packaging them in three packs. Well I guess we’ll see!