On Thursday we made soap for the second time in preparation for our First Friday debut May 7. Our first batch a few weeks ago we make a bunch of scrubby soaps. These are bars made of white glycerin soap with things like honey, Vitamin E oil, buttermilk; exfoliants like oatmeal, apricot seeds, pumice; and scents like vanilla, coconut, almond, lavendar - and we made many combinations of the above ingredients trying to perfect our recipe.
For round two we wanted to try one new technique called marbling and also make a bunch of embedded objects in soap. Marbeling starts with a square mold into which many random different colored layers are poured. It involves a lot of attention because you have to pour the next layer when the previous one is cooled but not too much. And you are constantly having to reheat all the different colors of soap you pour because they cool off so fast. E. was in charge of that and she did an awesome job! Here are a couple of pictures of the mold along the way and then the final product:
While E. did that, I focused on the embedded soap. First I made a bunch of small, cute things to embed. We have some really cool molds - stars, butterflies, and a new frog mold we were dying to try out. Here are some of those before we popped them out.
Although these are small (and cute!!) they proved very difficult to get out of the molds. That is my least favorite part of the soap making process. We may start to invest in some (more expensive) silicone molds that are a breeze to work with.
Step two was embedding in clear glycerin. We had another new mold (especially for the frogs!) that we were excited to use. Unfortunately it didn't turn out. The soap was too cloudy and the frog wasn't visible. Some things you just never know until you try. Without another mold big enough for the frogs, we decided to wrap them up and sell them on their own. (And I might have saved a couple for one of my nieces whose birthday is coming up and who I recently discovered loves frogs.)
The butterflies and stars turned out well. I love the two shades of purple stars - that is my favorite bar of the ones I made. Here is a picture of that bar as well as a few other goat's milk bars (wrapped!) that I made - lots of pink and purple this round!
The lesson for the day was that while E's bars turned out the most awesome of the bunch, she made 8 bars of those while I made - no kidding - 25 other bars. We need to figure out a way to speed up this very awesome technique. The frog embed bust was a big bummer, too. We will try to see if there was something we could do differently to get it to turn out.