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Soap Challenge: Glycerin Rivers

The February Soap Challenge Club featured "glycerin rivers", an odd, visual texture result reminiscent of the crackled appearance of an aged oil painting. Most soap makers' first encounter with glycerin rivers is usually alarming - wondering if something has gone terribly wrong in the formulation of their soap (yes - this was me). But aside from the unexpected look, there's nothing wrong with a soap containing glycerin rivers. I wasn't planning to sign-up, but organizer Amy Warden enlisted the expertise of one of my soap SHEroes, South African soap maker/chemistry geek, Clara Lindberg of Auntie Clara's Handcrafted Cosmetics. (Dammit, Amy!) 

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Rustic Soap Challenge: Ogres Have Layers

WINNER: Blue Ribbon2017 Denver County Fair Amy Warden's Rustic Soap Challenge appears deceptively simple: Create a soap with texture, incorporating some form of the Hot Process (HP) soap-making technique. To mix it up a bit from past soap challenges, the soap wrapping would be relevant - a package deal (get it?).  #trueconfession: I'm a Cold Process (CP) Snob for a reason: CP has more potential for controlling the trace (viscosity) of raw soap, hence endless potential for fancy-schmancy-ness. HP soap's oatmeal-like consistency offers more limited design choices. I'm in it for the art, friends - we know this. Yet HP intrigued me. One big plus? The HP process "cooks" out moisture, hence, needs a much shorter cure time. Cure refers to the typical 4 - 6 week period required for excess water...

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Refining soap design with color bands (Funnel Color Band Soap Tutorial)

Coming off of the exciting, exhausting whirlwind that characterized my first experience with “holiday fair retail season,” I resolved to put the breaks on in January, step back, and reevaluate how this whole soap-y endeavor fit into life. But I can’t stay away for long  – tweaking products is a happily creative outlet for me. When I saw Magdoline’s post on the Addicted to Soap blogspot (“Funnel Swirls Tutorial” credited to Lomond Soap), I immediately saw an application for my Grapefruit Star Anise soap. To the right you’ll see my initial batch of the Grapefruit Star Anise, made in fall 2013. I felt good about the result as this soap represented a series of “firsts” for me: my first time designing a completely...

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