It’s challenge time again!

This month’s soaping challenge over at Amy Warden’s Soap Challenge Club is a multi-coloured gradient soap. Now I’ve made gradient soaps before, but all of my previous gradient soaps have been one colour plus white, where the base is the main colour and subsequent layers gradually get lighter by adding increasing amounts of white soap batter.Ocean MistFor the challenge, Amy stipulated that we should use three colours (and no white, gulp!), so this was definitely stepping outside my comfort zone.  I decided to go with the primary colours, blue, red and yellow (though my red turned out decidedly salmon pink, but never mind….)

First I prepared my three colours – ultramarine blue oxide, lemon drop mica, and deep red mica (hmmm!), and tragedy struck!  OK, so that’s a bit of an overreaction, but my coffee frother, which I use to disperse the powdered colours, fell apart on me:

Picture 065Fortunately I’d already done the yellow and red, so I finished off the blue with a spoon and hoped for the best.

I then mixed the oils and butters with the lye, added the fragrance (a zesty lemon fragrance oil) and brought the mix up to a light trace. The main difficulty for me with this one was knowing how much of each base colour to start with.  I watched Amy’s video a few times, and realised that I had no idea how much a ‘cup’ was 😀 I decided just to eyeball it:Picture 066Then I started the pour.  A layer of just blue went in first – about a third of the ‘blue’ jug. I then added about a third of the red into the ‘blue’ jug, gave it a good mix and poured another layer. I added another third of red into the ‘blue’ jug and poured the lot into the mould to form the third layer.  The aim each time was to have straight layers which didn’t break into the layer below – I was partially successful I think…

I then poured a layer of just red from the ‘red’ jug. This was the fourth, or middle, layer:

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I added about a third of the yellow soap in with the red, mixed and poured a layer. Then another third of yellow into the ‘red’ jug and poured again. The seventh and final layer was pure yellow – no wastage – yey:

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After 24 hours I unmoulded and cut. I’m really happy with the result:

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I did find this one pretty challenging – I was working against a fast thickening batter towards the end, and wasn’t certain that I’d get all the layers done before the soap seized on me.  It was a great experience, but I’m not sure I’ll be making a multi-coloured gradient soap again any time soon :0D

As always, thanks go to Amy Warden of Great Cakes Soapworks for planning and organising the whole shebang!

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