In November 2020 I entered a soap technique challenge to produce a mosaic-styled soap. I had wanted to do some version of a rainbow soap for quite awhile, and in researching mosaics online, I realized that this would be a great opportunity to design a multicolored bar with a bit more originality than a typical rainbow bar.
...As for the conventional wisdom that one must not mix business with political activism - eh. Courageous Soap product offerings have become decidedly more politically snarky. Though not certain if the effect is measurable, the change aligns with and definitely amuses me. Time to take the mittens off, friends. Democracy needs us.
I've used the most "natural" ingredients possible in my products, but after much research, found it was not the either/or decision you'd think. For the purposes of this blog series, I'm going to limit the discussion to the color I use for my products: cosmetic micas, plant powders (either added at trace, added at the lye stage, or added as an infusion), and mineral color (clays, titanium dioxide).
Most Artisan soapmakers have been told at some point, "Whoa - that soap looks good enough to eat!" Amy Warden of Great Cakes Soapworks has obviously taken that sentiment to heart because her August Soap Challenge - a Brush Embroidery technique - was first used in cake decorating circles. What is Brush Embroidery? Essentially, one creates a base soap and, after initial saponification (24 - 36 hrs), cuts the batch into fresh bars that must be decorated with piped soap "icing" before completely curing. You can drag a small brush or other implement through the piping to further sculpt a design.
The pointy layers technique was such a blast that I tried about four variations - honestly, with more time, I would have created more. What my experiments had in common (fellow challenge soap artist may relate):1) Every batch looked uniquely intriguing (difficult to choose what to enter)2) No batch was reproducible