Howdy, soapy friends! It’s been a while since I last participated in the Soap Challenge Club (and I have a good reason, I promise!), but I couldn’t resist participating this month! The wood grain technique in soapmaking is just so cool! Soap that looks like wood!?! And multiple ways to make it look real!?! Amy shared a pretty simple technique in her tutorial this month, and she also compiled several YouTube videos of other soapmakers’ different techniques. I chose to try out Amy’s squeeze bottle technique for the challenge, but I’m looking forward to trying out several of the other techniques in the near future as well.
I recently had a friend ask me to make Sandalwood soap with activated charcoal, and this provided me with the perfect opportunity to create! I used a very sexy Sandalwood fragrance oil, along with cocoa powder and activated charcoal as colorants in a very slow-moving recipe that Amy shared a few years ago inside the club: 35% olive oil, 30% lard, 25% coconut oil, and 10% rice bran oil. I also added silk, goat milk and colloidal oatmeal to this luxurious soap. Working at room temperature with this recipe gives me the most time; my soap batter was fluid throughout the squeezing! SCORE! (I’m a bit overly excited because I have never had much luck with squeeze bottles.) I blended the oils and lye just to emulsification, and then I divided the soap evenly into 5 squeeze bottles. I added different ratios of cocoa powder to 2 bottles, charcoal to one bottle, a combination of cocoa and charcoal to one bottle, and I left one bottle uncolored.
The Bramble Berry 9-bar slab mold was the perfect choice for this technique. I was able to squeeze lines of each color over and over again down the length of the mold to create that wood grain look.
When all of the soap was squeezed in, I used a skewer to follow those lines, then I swirled at least one “knot” where each bar would be.
I added in the handy dividers that came with the mold and sprayed the top with 91% alcohol.
It looks amazing and smells amazing.
I’m going to try out a few of the other techniques as well, like making soap in a log mold with a “bark” edge! How fun, especially for the upcoming winter season! I’m thinking maybe a crackling birch fragrance, or a lovely evergreen scent.
I am continually impressed and inspired by all of the fabulous, creative soap makers out there. This is such a fun craft!! Thanks, Amy, for another great tutorial, and thanks to Kenna of Modern Soapmaking and Anne-Marie of Bramble Berry for sponsoring this month’s challenge.
And because I just can’t resist, I’ll let you know what’s up in my life that’s been keeping me from posting this summer…I’m PREGNANT…AGAIN!!! We’re only days away from becoming a family of SEVEN MESSY BABIES!!! And you’ll never guess…
Our girls are ecstatic! God is GOOD! Have a blessed day, friends!