Friday, June 20, 2014

Tropical Dreams; a hanger swirl soap!

This months' "Soap Challenge Club" [with Amy Warden of Great Cakes Soapworks] challenge was to make a soap using the hanger swirl technique.  We were free to do any sort of hanger swirl; "traditional" with layers and a chevron appearance, drop swirls with a wispy and light appearance, or any sort of shiny new hanger swirl.

I opted for the traditional.  I love the appearance of this technique!  I went for nice bright colours (aren't you surprised?) and a fun fruity-tropical scent.

I used the following colourants: fizzy lemonade, electric bubblegum, and super pearly white all from Brambleberry, neon green from TKB and orange heaven mica from the Conservatorie.  

The fragrance of this batch is Island Nectar from Wholesale Supplies Plus.

Kind of loving the added texture from the glycerin rivers (the "crackled" appearance).  I definitely call this soap a win!

Today's links:
Wholesale Supplies Plus (mold from WSP too!)

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

It's Been a While!

Finally back in the workshop!  Decided to do some fragrance testing.  I haven't done a post on my fragrance testing procedure before so I figured I'd tack one on to the top of my results.  

Today's post will include: technique, and initial results.  Intermediate results will be posted in a few days, and final results after a 4-6 week cure.

***I use this technique for both fragrance and colour testing (with colours I add 1/4 teaspoon of colour which I quickly disperse in ~1 teaspoon of batter before mixing it in with 150g of batter per bar).***

For these tests I use my 12 Bar Square Silicone Mold (Brambleberry).  I set up a batch basket with 11 fragrance samples and 11 pipettes.  I also set up 12 numbered cups with a plastic spoon in each. [Yes, I use disposable cups, spoons and pipettes.  I recycle all of them!]

I use my basic recipe made with 1200g of oils, I do these tests with soap made at room temperature.  I find that room temperature batter better displays signs of acceleration in these small 150g batches.

Everything set up for the pouring, mixing and molding!

I mix the batter to a light-medium trace, not emulsion.  I find it easier to test for acceleration in a thicker batter with the small portions.  I whip the fragrance in with a spoon which gives the fragrance less movement.  I've found that the thicker initial trace better displays any sings of acceleration with spoon mixing.

I pour 150g of batter into each cup.  One at a time I add 40 small drops of fragrance to a cup, mix it well for 1 minute then pour it into the mold.  The twelfth/bar cup is reserved for an unscented control bar for discolouration comparison.

Once all 12 bars are poured I tap the mold down gently and use a chop stick to draw the associated number on the bar.  I used stickers to label the bars initially but found they fell off or were damaged too easily.  inscribing the bars simply works better.

Initial Results:
1) Coconut (Brambleberry); no A, no D
2) Stud (Nature's Garden); slight A, no D
3) Green Tea and Willow (Aroma Haven, Rustic Escentuals); no A, no D
4) Fierce Male (Nature's Garden); slight A, no D
5) Black Currant Tea (Aroma Haven, Rustic Escentuals); no A, no D
6) Peach (Candle Science); no A, no D
7) Island Hibiscus (Candle Science); no A, no D
8) Coconut Lime Verbena (Candle Science); no A, no D
9) Island Coconut (Candle Science); no A, no D
10) Passionfruit and Guava (Candle Science); no A, no D
11) Lovespell (Candle Science); no A, no D
12) Control

Web Stores: