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!