Friday, December 13, 2013

Column Pour Soap Class

It's time again for another post about my soap making progress!  This month the soap class at Great Cakes Soapworks was a column pour.  I was so excited.  I had a new fragrance oil that I wanted to try, and even though the reviews said it might discolor, I figured I could just work around the discoloration by keeping some of the soap batter unscented.  I began my pour and suddenly the batter got super thick and clumpy, which is pretty much the worst thing ever for a column pour.  I got it into the mold, but it wasn't pretty.

It looked pretty good the first day... 
(and yes, I thought doing a 6 column pour was a good idea.  It wasn't.)

But once I cut it, it began to discolor and the not-as-obvious mistakes became glaringly obvious.  Clumpy pour means clumps of color in my soap!

So I tried again.  I tried a different fragrance oil.  I was sure I had done something wrong with the last batch, so I mixed it to a very light trace and began my pour.  Again, I got about halfway into it and the whole batch got very thick.  It caused the top of the soap to wrinkle!  Ack!  I finished, and while it looked better than my first try, it still wasn't what I was looking for.

I didn't even bother taking pictures of the soap in the mold on this one.  I knew that it wasn't going to be good.  You can see that pouring at a thinner trace made the soap pour smoother, but the lines are still too thick and overall it's not the delicate stripes I had hoped for.

I waited a few days before I tried again. Thankfully, in those few days, it occurred to me that it wasn't my technique.  It wasn't the FO's I was using either.  It was my RECIPE.  I was using too many hard oils.  I tried a super basic bastille (just olive and coconut oil) and I only mixed the soap batter to emulsion, since I was going to try to column pour with 12 colors.

And it worked like magic, just exactly the way it was supposed to.  It poured smoothly!  I had time to use all my colors.  The soap didn't wrinkle!  I had time to swirl through the top. Yippee!!!!

This time the soap swirled beautifully!  And it smells ah-MAH-zing!! 
I used Rise and Shine FO from Bramble Berry. It smells fun and fruity, a little like sweet tarts and is a perfect match for my tye-dye look soap.  My daughter is going crazy for it.

Finally!  Beautiful delicate lines!  Exactly what I had hoped to learn!

I'm glad I had a good reason to experiment with this technique because if I was just making soap to give to my friends and family I don't think I would have made enough batches to figure out what I was doing wrong. I think I would have given it up as a technique that was too hard and turned out too ugly. Now I am so excited to use this technique again and again!


  1. The end results came out beautiful! Good to know that the bastille soap worked for this technique.

  2. I love that you persevered through the process to make such a beautiful soap at the end!! 12 colors??? Wow.

  3. WOW! That is so beautiful! Good for you for keeping at it! They look awesome, and I'm sure smell heavenly!!
    Great job!

  4. AHH! TYE-DYE!! I love it!! So cool! great job. Rise and shine is one my favorites from Bramble Berry, good choice. :D

  5. Good for you for sticking it out until you got the perfect batch! That's one of the best tye-dyed soap ever!


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