Soap Challenge 2013 – Tiger Stripe

First and foremost, let me offer some big time apologies to you for being MIA during the last 3 months!  Long story short:  darling hubby and I became involved in the home renovation project from hell.  What began as a manageable project rapidly turned into a whole-house upheaval.  How do things get out of hand so quickly?

Anyway, after several months of not making soap, I was determined to participate in this year’s soap challenge sponsored by Amy Warden at Great Cakes Soapworks.  There will be four weekly challenges, and the first is the Tiger Stripe technique, which I had not done before.

The idea is to pour 2 or more high-contrast soap colors down the middle of your mold, one atop the other until the mold is full.   It’s important to emulsify the soap batter, rather than bring it to trace, because you need the extra time to work with the colors.  For the same reason, I also recommend using full water for your recipe instead of taking a water discount.

So what kind of stripes would inspire me?  First I looked at animals, but found mostly black and white, brown and tan, or brown and gold.  Then I looked at fish, and some of the angelfish interested me.  Finally, I looked at flowers, and voila!  There was my muse, right on Flickr.  A gloriously exotic striped Morning Glory of vibrant purple and white interspersed with a few deep pink stripes.

Striped morning glory (Batatilla rayada)

Striped morning glory (Batatilla rayada)

Wet soap!

Wet soap!

So I decided to use a little titanium dioxide for the white, and micas from the Conservatorie  for the purple (cosmo martini) and deep pink (equal parts ruby rose and cosmo martini).  And I created a citrus fruity-floral spring scent using an essential oil blend of 5-fold lemon, may chang, pink grapefruit, ylang ylang, copaiba balsam and patchouli — along with just a titch of peppermint for a little extra pizzazz!

Overall, I’m pleased with my Morning Glory soap.  The technique worked well, and I’ll use it again.  And it smells yumm-o!  My only complaint is that I insulated the soap, which I don’t normally do, and got some crackling from the titanium dioxide getting just a little too hot.  It doesn’t affect the soap at all — it’s just a cosmetic issue — but I was hoping for perfection.  Ah well, maybe next time!

Fourteen of these lovelies will be ready and in my Etsy store by May 1st.  Snag yours now by pre-ordering!