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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Rusted Soap


I have never once been mistaken as someone for whom less is more.

It doesn't even make sense mathematically.

So it wasn't that much of a surprise when Amy said my Easter-inspired soaps weren't exactly rustic enough for this month's Rustic Soap challenge.

 
I had been thinking: it's an egg. Like on a farm. Farms are rustic, right?


And I'd shaped these by hand, like without a mold. Isn't that rustic? Hmmmm.

I tried a few more in what I thought were earth tones, but my family took one look and declared... Nope. Still not rustic.


What was I missing???

Apparently sparkly mica isn't rustic. Who knew? Sigh...

So, I put them aside and made the next batch using only clays and tea powders for colorants. Sadly, they don't sparkle one bit. 


See? Not even a little. 


This challenge included some sort of packaging, and again, I was stumped. 

I consider shimmery organza bags and velvet ribbons to be sort of a baseline, so what was I to do?


Apparently, very little. 

Don't get me wrong, as it still took me forever to come up with this. Striped cotton ticking in tan and black, and a custom, home-made label printed on simple kraft paper. 



The background printed too light to tell, but it's intended to look like an old fence. The fonts are Janda Apple Cobbler and Bernard MT Condensed.


My husband says they're still not rustic enough, as they should be just a single, dull color. I disagree. After all, they literally look rusted. Hello? Rusted? Rustic? That can't be a coincidence...



In case you're wondering, I made these from cooled hot-process soap dough, using this recipe:
  • 30% Lard
  • 25% Coconut Oil 
  • 20% Costco Mediterranean Blend Oil
    (50% canola, 40% olive, 10% grapeseed)
  • 12% Castor Oil
  • 10% Shea Butter
  • 3% White Beeswax
I skipped my usual sodium lactate and used 40% water, which is almost twice as much as I normally do, so they take much longer to harden than I'm used to!

I like to make up a big batch and keep it in a gallon ziplock for when I (or my daughter) need some soap dough to make something with. I usually scent it with Cucumber-Melon (from Nurture Soap), as everyone loves that one, but I did this batch using Indian Sandalwood (from Nature's Garden) as it's more exotic and the scent lasts forever. Like years, even unwrapped.

To make these two bars, I:
  1. Measured out 9 oz of dough, and broke it into little pieces with my fingers
  2. Spritzed the pieces with water
  3. Tossed them in green tea, yellow Brazilian clay and Australian black clay
  4. Started squishing them together, working out a design as I went
  5. Plopped the whole mass onto a silpat mat
  6. Shaped it into one long bar
  7. Let it sit for a while to harden up, and then cut into two
The process is pretty straight forward, and is based on the same idea as a pencil line. But, it does take a bit of practice to get the ratio of colors right, and to keep the sections from coming apart as they dry.

For this soap, I was going for more of a stone look, so I pulled the shapes into longer sections to make them look more like veins of marble or granite. The middles could of course have just been a solid color, but it's more fun to me if the designs to go all the way through the bar. Here is the backside of one:


28 comments :

  1. Claudia, I love the Marbled look! It looks rustic to me! Interesting that you did it with soap dough ~ I look forward to learning this in the next challenge :)

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    1. Thanks, Eva! Yes, soap dough to me is just a bag of soft, squishy soap. I've been experimenting with recipes to get it to behave more like polymer clay, but it just won't cooperate!

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  2. I had to LOL at "Sadly, they don't sparkle one bit." You did a great job at moving out of your comfort zone to create something more bland, but no less beautiful!! And you're already borrowing the technique from next month to make it happen! I love the granite/stone look - truly sensational work, Claudia!!

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    1. Just can't seem to get the timing right. :) Now I'm going to have come up with something fantastic to make!

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  3. These are beautiful! Seriously, loved all of them, but the granite look of these seriously appeals. Awesome job!

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  4. That soap is amazing! It is totally rustic too. I'm looking forward to learning more so that I can create something as beautiful. Inspiring :)

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    1. Thank you, Moira. I'll try to make some more jeweled-tone ones and post those, too.

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  5. Breathtaking, so love these !!!

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    1. Thanks, Toni! They are really fun to make, too.

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  7. «Rustic» found you!! Your soap is perfect and I love how you made it! It is so creative!! Great, great work !

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    1. Thanks, Helene! Isn't amazing what we all keep managing to do with soap? I swear, it's endless!

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  8. Claudia:
    Such Beautiful soaps - all of them. (Lovely packaging too!)
    I love the way you write your blog and really enjoyed reading about your soap journey.
    Keep soaping on!!
    Sly

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    1. Thank you, Sly. I pretty much assume no one reads it, so I try to tell a little story just to entertain myself. :)

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  9. I love the color and texture of these. They make me want to try the soap dough (oh, wait, that's next month, yikes!) Anyway, I like your rustic label. The Janda Apple Cobbler font is perfect!

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    1. Thanks, Leilani! Soap Dough is really fun, if a little frustrating, because it doesn't act like dough. I'm glad we're doing a challenge on it, as I'm sure one of us will figure out how to make it even better!

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  10. Your soap is beautiful, I love the colors. Quick question, the Costco Mediterranean blend, where did you locate the sap value. P

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    1. Thanks, Vanessa.

      You can just use Canola (133) in SoapCalc as a stand-in for Mediterranean blend.

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  11. Your soap with mica is stunningly beautiful !!! And let it does not fit the terms of the contest, but it's great !!! Soap with clay is a great solution !!! I like the inscription on the package, it's in such a rural style! Good luck!!!

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    1. Thank you, Maria. Yes, the sparkly ones are much prettier, IMO, but I can see how they didn't fit the guidelines. And even though the clays and tea were so drab, it was a fun challenge to see if I could make them work.

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  12. Oh oh oh! 😍You've an amazing imagination and technique! Great job! Love this soap!Eklektika Sapo

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    1. Thank you! Yes, my imagination often gets ahead of my ability, though. :)

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  13. You nailed it, dearest Claudia! Even though you had to tone down the sparkle (and such a shame, since sparkles are just the cat's pajamas, IMO) the rusted granite look of the design perfectly captures an earthy, weathered tone. Adding the brilliant design of the label truly cements the entire design. Another fabulous job!

    P.S. Love the new site :D

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    1. I know, right? Sparkles are just everything! Thanks, Debi!

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