August 8, 2012

Experiment with Melt and Pour #2: Miguelina!

The finished product

There were a few steps to making this soap:

1.    I made the dark purple soap in the very center of the squares using alkanet, then cut it into strips. That was easy.

2.    Then used melt and pour colored with annatto and coated them. Ack! Again, I don't like the way melt and pour sweats and bleeds and sticks where it shouldn't and doesn't stick where it should. I have a lot of respect for people who use it on a regular basis and do all those amazing thing. It took quite a few attempts to finally get the purple embedded—and it didn't look as nice as I wanted.

3.    Cut the sweaty, cloudy embeds into squares.

4.    Arranged the squares on the bottom of a square mold and sprayed them with rubbing alcohol so they'd adhere to cold process soap.

5.    Made a big old basic batch of soap fragranced with vetiver, neroli, clove and tea tree essential oils and colored with annatto.  Also added some rice flour. I read somewhere that it's good to hold fragrance, so when I saw it in bulk at a health food store, I said why not?

6.    Brought the soap to a very light trace and carefully poured it over the embeds, using a spatula to keep the pieces from moving around.

7.    Banged the mold to get rid of air bubbles and to be sure the embeds were all coated properly.

8.    24 hours later, I unmolded. Beautiful. Sexy, fun, a little rock and roll. Kind of like a punk rock Velveta cheetah. I was happy and thought maybe melt and pour has its place and that I just need to work with it more.

Straight from the mold and looking fab.

9.    Then I cut it. Ack again! The melt and pour embeds popped out of the soap in some spots. I ended up doing some major repairing and trimming, but finally got some decent bars.

10.  I then had to come up with a name. 'Velveta Cheetah' doesn't make you work for soap. Was going to have a contest on the blog, but didn't think I had that many regular readers. Finally I brought samples (all the not-so-nice bars) to work and one of the ticket sellers said, "Oh, my God I love this, I want two bars. It smells so good. And it's so pretty."

Her name is Miguelina, so I named it after her.
Final note: it does smell great and although it's very floral, men adore it. It's lovely in the shower and really lasts—although when the embeds melt away you're left with a bar that looks like Dial.