Best simple cold process soap design technique for a first time artesian soap maker?

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Saltynuts

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I have made a couple batches of soap that turned out pretty good. I always made hot (well, really warm lol) process. But I want to do a cold one and try and make a cool design. I have the soap mold below, and have some soap pour funnels. I want to make some cold process soap this weekend and try and get some patterns. Any suggestions for a technique for my first attempt? I was thinking:



That seems real easy, just color your soap, and add (for example) 10x white colored batter to a single soap funnel, 6x light blue batter to the same funnel, and 3x dark blue batter to the same funnel, in concentric circles like she did, and pour. What could go wrong lol?


Then this is kind of similar:



Just with more than one soap funnel.

Any thoughts on what is best for a beginner? Also, I've never done cold process, when she says she brings the soap to an "emulsion", NOT a trace, I assume that happens relatively quickly (i.e. in just a few minutes), and after you pour the soap into the mold it is still going through saponification? I guess that does not hurt the final soap product?

Thanks!!!


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MellonFriend

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If you have never done cold process before, I would highly (HIGHLY) recommend something much simpler than either of those at first. I think that a lot of members here would recommend not even coloring or fragrance your first batch of cold process. Understanding how your specific soap recipe reacts and what emulsion and trace look like are really important to get down pat, before you try something as complicated as either of those things. My advice would be, try something a lot simpler (i.e. a two color in the pot, drop, or hanger swirl) before diving into those far more complex designs. Bravo for your goals! 🙌 But I would hate to see you discouraged if something goes awry from shooting too high. I want you to set yourself up for success! 👍
 

Saltynuts

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Thank you MellonFriend, but I am going all in. Balls to the wall. I have no time to waste on going slow. But I appreciate your concern. If you have any suggestions besides that please let me know!!! Thanks!!!

CHEW CHEW!!!!! Chugga chugga chugga chugga CHEW CHEW!!!! All aboard the soap making train!!! CHEW CHEW!!!!
 
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If you want to do this i would recommend the top one, and i suggest you don't use titanium dioxide (white) as one of your colours because it can thicken your soap batter. Pour the colours down the same place in the main jug for best results. The ratios do not have to be exact ( she's done 20% of each?) just eyeball it to save yourself time and worry. You also don't have to mix the colours like she does. You can put mica directly into your soaping jugs and mix it in that way - however I recommend dispersing it in a little oil first to make it easier to blend (more mixing in the pot will create thicker soap).

Search YouTube to find videos that explain emulsion, for example: , and stick to three colours ideally to start out.

Make sure you do not use a fragrance that thickens your batter. Read the reviews and if it says it accelerates, then don't use it. Florals and spicy scents tend to accelerate - but so do many others.

Good luck!
 
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artemis

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If you want the best first time swirl for a beginner, I would say it's a drop swirl. You just pour your soap into the mold and don't worry too much about where it falls. Or, an in the pot swirl. The colored soap is added back to the main pot and then poured into the mold.

But, if you're determined to do something complicated right out of the gate, I agree with KiwiMoose that the first one is your best bet.
 
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I'll add my 2 cents. Like @KiwiMoose , use mica because you just dump and stir into the batter. I'll plug an In The Pot swirl simply because you don't have to work at emulsion -- thin trace is fine. Even a two color ITP swirl comes out looking cool, but use as many colors as you want.

It took me months to master emulsion and I watched a couple of videos recommended on this forum.
 

SoapDaddy70

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If you only want people to tell you what you want to hear, then just choose the one you like most, follow the tutorials in the videos, and hope for the best
I agree with the Gentleman. Why are you asking questions and ignoring the advice? If you want to go "balls to the wall" then just do it. Gotta start somewhere.
 
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Yeah, OPW looks easy, but is deceivingly hard. I've been soaping since 2018 and have only done one OPW that I liked the end result. To be fair I've only attempted like 3 or 4 so it's not so bad, but I'm familiar with how CP and my recipe and my FOs behave.

A regular drop swirl is fairly easy for a beginner and if you're mix is thickening a bit quick you can also put a chopstick in it or a hanger to swirl it around. If it's really thick, a spoon works well. Then bang that sucker down good to get the air bubbles out.
Getting to emulsion and not past to trace your first go at CP is a lofty goal. One of the hardest parts of learning CP for a lot of beginners is to not over blend.
 

Babyshoes

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I've been soaping for nearly a year and I'm not confident that I could achieve either of those techniques.

Trace is a tricky thing to get right - I'm confident that I can now definitely spot it at least, but can't always achieve the right level of trace for the technique. So many things can influence it, such as oil temperature, air temperature, volume of your recipe, oil combination in your recipe, additives like colourants and fragrances, variation in the fatty acids profile of oil from batch to batch, your stick blender speed etc. It's not as simple as saying "blend for exactly X seconds and you'll be at light trace".

Honestly, it's as much art as science.

My first batch I was pretty confident about, having watched many, many videos, where of course they make it look easy. My planned 2 colour swirl ended up at a thick trace very quickly, and was instead a 'plop and glop' that I tried to stir together.

However, if you do decide to go ahead and try this, the one piece of advice that might help is that less is more when using the stick blender. Once you're at emulsion, put it away. The soap will continue to thicken up even if you don't touch it, so use time rather than putting your stick blender back into the batter. Stir it with your spatula if needed, but no more blending! Just wait it out.

Then come back and show us the result.
 

MellonFriend

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Thank you MellonFriend, but I am going all in. Balls to the wall. I have no time to waste on going slow. But I appreciate your concern. If you have any suggestions besides that please let me know!!! Thanks!!!
Okie dokie! Go ahead and prove us wrong! 🙂 But if it doesn't work out don't be ashamed to let us know how it goes. We're here for you either way. (At least I am.) 😉 My only last advice to add would be to use a recipe that is "slow moving" meaning it doesn't trace quickly, and don't use a fragrance at all unless it's one that is known to slow down trace. That will give you more time to work with it and get the effects you want.
 

dibbles

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Saltynuts

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Oh wow, I figured those were crummy, they were too cheap.

So does anyone know what the "Cadillac" of soap colors are, ones that will work with cold process with minimal issues? The creme-de-la-creme? The mero mero?
 

Cat&Oak

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Thank you MellonFriend, but I am going all in. Balls to the wall. I have no time to waste on going slow. But I appreciate your concern. If you have any suggestions besides that please let me know!!! Thanks!!!
It may look simple. It's not. People here are generous with their knowledge to new soapers who are willing to learn. My sense is you are not serious about learning.
 
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Saltynuts

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It may look simple. It's not. People here are generous with their knowledge to new soapers who are willing to learn. My sense is you are not serious about learning.


Well then you'd be wrong.

But, full disclosure, I was drinking when I wrote that last night and watching videos of people making these awesome looking soaps, so I was fired up a bit. :)
 
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