I'd been wanting to try making a cold process soap on a rope for a while and finally found that last little nudge of inspiration to get to work on these little guys.
|Had trouble finding good light for this photo.|
I fragranced this soap with one of the many new foes (what my honey calls FO's) I acquired in my recent shopping sprees, Bonfire Bliss from Rustic Escentuals. I admit I was skeptical about buying this one and how it would actually smell, but I couldn't be any happier with it! It's such a great balance of sweet and earthy woods, and I really really love it. (It might just go down as one my favorites!) Since I was making these soaps with a few guy friends in mind, I thought it was a perfect fragrance. I also used apple cider beer to keep the man factor up for these.
I used Bramble Berry's silicone cube mold for the individual cube shapes. This was my first time to use this mold for cold process soaping, so I decided to play it safe and go with the recommended recipe from the Soap Queen blog, including a 5% superfat instead of my usual 7%, and also a 15% liquid discount. Unfortunately I actually did forget to add my beloved sodium lactate to this batch, but it still popped right out of the mold after only 24 hours. I'd read so much about the difficulties of unmolding from this particular mold, so I was very pleased with my luck.
This was my first attempt at sticking rope in soap, but my little brain---without doing any research---decided it would work out best tying a knot on the end of the rope I planned to put into the soap....
|I used craft jute cord.|
......And also to work with a slightly thick trace.
|I was disappointed the soap didn't keep this lovely golden color.|
p.s. I sprayed the tops with alcohol, and covered the mold with a cardboard box and towel
to prevent ash. It gelled about 90%, with only a very little bit of ash on some of the peaks.
So I stick-blended my batch a bit longer than usual, to a medium/thick trace, only to find by the time I was ready to pour into the mold that when I tipped the pitcher up.....the batter didn't even move! Not sure if this was from the fragrance (RE isn't great about cp testing or posting reviews on all their foes), the beer, or my stick blending. As you can see above, I ended up making quite a mess trying to slop it all into the mold, and an even bigger mess when putting the ropes in. (I ended up shoving them in with my gloved fingers!) I had an elaborate system of skewers and tape and cups planned to hold the ropes up out of a soapy mess, but ended up discarding that idea and just dealing with a little bit of soap smeared on the ropes. (If I try this again, I think I'll go with a thinner trace and my skewer scheme.)
The soaps are still discoloring from the foe, a bit unevenly, and did turn out a little "rustic" on top, but I am overall pretty happy with them. Also, they smell fantastic! Can hardly wait to give one a test run in the shower this weekend. (Yes, I am that far behind in blogging!)
Thanks for reading, I should have more posts and photos up soon!