Throwback Thursday – Blogtober Day 13

I started out so well.  Most of my Blogtober posts have been planned, if not half written, the day before, at least. Occasionally they’ve been written early morning, on the day.  Never before have I got to past 10.30pm before getting an opportunity to sit down and write. I’m flying by the seat of my pants here…

So it’s going to be another quickie (though I would imagine that’s no big thing when they’re coming at you every day :-D)

I’ve mentioned before that I’m a HUGE Instagram fan and Instagram is where Throwback Thursday comes into its own. Using the #throwbackthursday hashtag gives you the opportunity to showcase pictures of projects, creations or events from the past, and for me it’s a chance to look back at soaps I made years ago.

Back in 2013 I went through a phase of making gradient, or ombré, soaps. For some reason I’ve not made any since, but anyway, today seems like the perfect opportunity to share some photos of them here.  Wonder if you can guess which ones were made in a proper soap mould and which ones were made in silicone baking pans 😀 😀

Blue Gradient

          Blue Gradient (Ocean Mist)

Purple Gradient

         Purple Gradient (Wild Berries)

Pink Gradient

                      Pink Gradient

Green Gradient

         Green Gradient (Citrus Burst)

Brown Gradient

             Brown Gradient (Amber)

This last one was made in September 2013 for one of Amy @ Great Cakes Soapworks monthly challenges – the challenge was to make a gradient soap using more than two colours:

Multicoloured Gradient

         Multicoloured Gradient (Eventide)

Actually I know perfectly well why I’ve not made any gradient soaps recently – I’m so busy keeping up my stock levels I’m not getting any opportunity to ‘play’ and make soap for fun.  Now there’s something to put on my ‘To Do’ list.

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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:

Picture 067

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:

Picture 070

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

Pictures 011

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!