Thank you for visiting and I hope you'll help me become a better soap maker by leaving a comment, suggestion or advice - it's much appreciated! ~Suzy
I joined this challenge during week 7 and regret not knowing about it sooner. The challenges have pushed me to try new techniques, colorants and essential oils that I may not have tried otherwise. AND, they've introduced me to a great group of soap makers with talent galore! I don't think there's a better motivator than watching someone else, who loves soap making, create.
Again, a big thank you goes out to Amy Warden from Great Cakes Soapworks for pulling this together. I know I'll continue to use what I've learned in all my future soap loafs and stay in contact with some of the talented and fun women I've met!
This week's challenge was to create a natural soap. There seem to be several ideas as to what that means, but I interpreted it to mean natural plant based colorants, fragrances and additives in addition to the lye and oils - nothing more.
To see more natural soaps from those who participated, please take a look at:
Amy's link for the final week, Week 11 !!
I used a favorite slow trace recipe of olive, canola, organic palm, coconut, cocoa butter, and castor oil. Someone let me know if any of these ingredients aren't considered organic...I wasn't totally sure and read conflicting information online. I'd like to know for any future soaps.
For colorants I used activated charcoal and then ground some calendula petals in my coffee grinder to create a golden yellowish powder that I hope will hold up in the soap.
My fragrance was a combination of Chinese Star Anise essential oil and Peppermint 2nd distill essential oil in a ratio of 2:1 (total 1.5 ounces) and I used a 4 lb wooden silicone lined loaf mold.
I mixed the ground calendula with about a cup of batter and did the same with the activated charcoal, then did a two color pour into a non-colored base. Not being able to leave well enough alone, I did some swirling on the top. My original game plan was to make a goat's milk soap - I even had the frozen goat's milk ready - but I decided to save that for another day when I had more time. Simplicity has it's own appeal, right?!
(colorants and essential oils from Bramble Berry, all oils from Soap Making Resource )
Soap loaf in silicone mold
...and another shot of the top of the mold
closeup - top of the loaf with some basic swirls
I really like the way this two color pour came out. Each piece is a bit different, and the calendula and charcoal mixed well together. I just hope the color holds after it cures.
Another close up. I'd definitely try the ground calendula and charcoal again...maybe adding a brown and a deep orange natural colorants. The calendula adds a grainy texture which I kind of like!
Seven of my favorites from this loaf. I'm so happy when things just turn out as planned !!
Just for fun: I had a bit of extra soap, so poured it in a plastic mold I've used in the past for honey based M&P. I think it's just the cutest bee/hive mold and would love to use it for a CP honey/beeswax soap sometime. Not the clearest picture, but there's a bee on top that you can detail with colored M&P (or CP soap) prior to pouring the rest. This mold came from Bramble Berry a few years back, but I'm sure it's available out there somewhere if not at Bramble Berry.