ENTRY THREAD for the October SMF Challenge: Ciaglia/Plain Straight Line

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Nov 16, 2018
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Hamilton, New Zealand
This is the entry thread for the October 2023 SMF Challenge – Ciaglia/Plain Straight Line. Please remember, this entry thread is for challenge photos only, and comments should be posted to the general challenge thread, here.

You are welcome to post more than one photo, but the photo for the voting survey should be at the top of your entry post. You must include a photo with at least three of your cut bars as your challenge entry. Any additional photos can be posted after your entry photo.

Your entry may also include additional information about your design, process, fragrance or inspiration.

The entry thread will remain open until October 28, 2023 at 11:59 PM GMT . After the entry thread closes, the winning entry will be chosen using Survey Monkey. A message with the voting survey link and password will be sent to those who signed up for the challenge. Voting will remain open until October 30, 2023 at 11:59 PM GMT, and the winners will be announced on October 31, 2023 by 11:59 PM GMT. There is no prize attached to this challenge.

As a reminder, all times listed are GMT and it is the responsibility of each participant will need to look up the correct time for the location where they live. Here is a link to one mechanism for determining the correct time in your time zone versus GMT: GMT to CST Converter - Savvy Time

Best of luck to all - I can't wait to see your CHAHLYA (say it out loud and you have the correct pronunciation of ciaglia)!
Hi everybody I guess I'll start the show! So for this month's challenge I decided to make Red Berry Rhubarb soap! This is my first Ciaglia soap and my first powdered straight Mica line. I also needed to use up my Red Berry Rhubarb F/O and I also have some Red Berry Rhubarb soap I needed to use up that were perfect for my shreds. The colors I chose are My Red Obsession Mica and Sea Green Mica. For my plain base layer I used 3 parts My Red Obsession Mica and 1 part Titanium Dioxide and for the top Ciaglia layer I used 3 parts Sea Green Mica and 1 part Titanium Dioxide. My top embed Rose's and Mica line are straight up My Red Obsession Mica and my shreds are 5 different shades of the My Red Obsession Mica and Sea Green Mica. The only thing is that it's hard to see the different shades of sheds in the pictures, it's alot more noticeable in real life or maybe I need a better camera lol. I used 30% shreds and Colloidal Oatmeal in my soap. Well here it goes hope you enjoy!😅


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Here’s my entry, but the process did not go according to plan at all! I had a whole design written out and planned, then I started my soaping session and messed up right off the bat. I was making a double batch since I had a good amount of shreds, with the same design but different colors with similar FOs. I was going to do a small plain batch on the bottoms, let it set up for the straight line, and then do the larger Ciaglia part on the tops. I had my oils weighed out and in 2 parts, then dumped my shreds in the small amount of oils! Argh - the shreds to oil ratio was totally off from my plan. I had to redo a bunch of math, breathe and keep going, and here is the result.
The scent is FB Pear Champagne and the color in both parts is BB Kermit Green, with a M&P embed on top.
I decided to do an oatmeal, milk and honey soap for this challenge because I was planning on doing one for my Christmas gift baskets and had exactly enough time left for a two-month cure. So I thought I’d just combine the two and add in the SHAHL-yah element (I am going to have to type it out for the rest of my life, I’ll never remember to say it that way otherwise!).

I used my basic recipe soap recipe - 60% lard/20% CO/15% avocado/5% castor, SL, sorbitol, edta - and added colloidal oatmeal and honey. I added shreds in the ciaglia layer at 33%. For the top/"honeycomb" I used white MP tinted to ivory, plus a tiny pinch of crushed instant coffee and for the "honey", clear gold-tinted MP. Scented at 5% ppo with NG Oatmeal, Milk and Honey and Peak’s/Keystone Wild Mountain Honey at a 50/50 split.

Inspiration for the honey drips, as well as the technique of adding the honey to the additional liquid amount for my masterbatch lye water, goes to IrishLass and her wonderful honey beeswax soap recipe: My Experimental Honey & Beeswax Soap

Things I learned/thought were interesting:

Ciaglia shreds: I didn’t want the ciaglia shreds to be too big/confetti-like, rather more organic looking, so I made the different colored shreds within a relatively narrow color range and SB’d them fairly small (as it turned out, too small.) Before the cut I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to see them at all, and afterwards I still regretted SBing them that last minute or two, I think that layer might have looked better if the shreds had more definition/color variation.

Gelling v. not gelling: I always color and gel my soaps, I have almost since I started. Early on I decided that I liked coloring for swirls, and I liked the brighter colors and ease of unmolding with CPOPing/gelling. With this soap I decided to check out the difference, so I decided to leave the solid layer uncolored and to make two batches so that I could CPOP one and put one in the freezer. I think I still liked the gelled/CPOP’d ones (in the entry pics) better, but I was amazed at what a difference just gelling made, especially in the uncolored/non-ciaglia layers. See gel non gel pic. Everything else in those soaps was exactly the same, the only difference was gelling.

@KiwiMoose, thank you for putting this challenge together! It was fun to be a part of it.


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White Mocha Caffe Latte. This month I started with a plain layer scented Mocha FO from localish shop. For the ciaglia layer I used 30% shreds from an unscented coffee soap added to batter scented with Caffe Latte from Brambleberry. I did add a tsp of TD to ensure a good contrast. The top was sprayed with Copper Sparks mica from Nurture.


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I am so excited to participate in my first challenge! Everything went reasonably according to plan, but not quite. If I'd had a chance, I'd have redone the challenge, but did not. So here is what I was able to do!

I used BB Frosted Fir fragrance. My intention was to do something pretty for Christmas, using red and green mica. I used shreds from a previous batch (also Frosted Fir fragrance), and @Zany_in_CO No-Slime EVOO Castile recipe.

When I saw how vibrant and pretty the red was (when mixed with the oils) I was super happy! But upon adding the lye solution, and SB'ing the red too much...what I got instead of pretty Christmas red was more like the ruddy clay soil of Georgia. Drat. Also I shouldn't have stick-blended the red, because it thick-traced almost immediately. When I make this recipe again (and I will, because I'm feeling more confident using it, and now I've learned something), I won't SB it. I'll just use a whisk. Also good to know that red is a challenging color to work with, so maybe I did ok!

For the ciaglia/green, I did not over-SB and I'm actually really pleased with that half! Even if it isn't Evergreen as I'd hoped.

My line isn't entirely straight, but I eyeballed it with a short spatula. For eye-balling it I think it's quite good. I am learning that people use things like Popsicle sticks to create that really straight line. Will do in the future. Also, this was my first time doing colors, a half-half, and on the diagonal. I felt pretty fancy!

This has been fun! I look forward to participating again in the future. And I plan to be home most of November, so that helps!


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Well it took me four tries to get to this final entry. I used BB Cranberry/Pomegranite scent. It did accelerate, but that's ok, I just worked with it, not adding the scent to cigalia until right at the last. This is the first time I've entered, but I am sure it will not be the last time.


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Hi everybody! My first Ciaglia attempt, along with a new recipe.
The stats.... Harold's Purple Crayon (mm) bottom, king tut gold (mm) mica line, TD for the top.
Along with shreds from here, there and every were. Black Raspberry Vanilla (ns) fragrance oil.
Had a bit left in the bottle. I liked the Ciaglia method. Will be using it again. The new recipe
looks promising. Slow to trace, forced to gell easy enough. I unmolded a little early. Traveling
next couple days. But it was set enough to handle. 18+ hours would have been better. We shall
see how it performs after the cure. Thanks for another fun challenge.

Sorbet & Cream, scented with a lovely citrus EO blend.

The straight line requirement was a great opportunity to my Cheshire Cat from Custom Craft Tools, which I don't use much. The original plan was a pink mica line to make the colors pop a bit more. But when I tried it first on the smaller batch (see pic in the general Challenge thread), it didn't go so well. So at the last minute, I increased the water in the top batch, hoping to create a shadow line between the two layers. Got that, plus glycerin rivers. Oy vey.

I'm definitely going to use the ciaglia method from now on for using up scraps and trimmings. So much more fun than rebatching. Thanks @KiwiMoose for setting up this challenge!
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So glad to have learned the Ciaglia method in this challenge for processing leftover soap into new bars! I shredded the failed-design made with NG’s Cracklin’ Birch (soap-on-a-stick) for the Ciaglia section, which gave me a lovely natural golden color to blend with NS’s Alpine green. The plain was colored with gold sparkle mica. For fragrance, I built on Cracklin’ Birch by adding a little of NG’s Balsam and a generous portion of NS’s Comfort and Joy. The result reminds me of a woodsy fragrance while sipping hot spiced cider. I tweaked my new vegan, palm free, high Shea butter recipe by decreasing the coconut oil to 18% and upping the Shea to 20%. When I rinsed the soap off my hands after trimming the bars, I had great bubbles, so I’m happy with the quality of the revised recipe. My next step (post challenge) will be to use my music soap stamp with gold sparkle mica in the Ciaglia portion.


One tip for anyone who hasn’t tried this yet — and a reminder to my future self — is to build Ciaglia soap upside down, with the plain soap batter going into the mold first while at very thin trace to set up. That will establish a straight line as seen in some of the other challenge entries. The Ciaglia shreds will act as an accelerant to trace because they are already saponified, so plan to always stir by hand after adding the lye water and pour as soon as emulsion or thin trace becomes apparent.

I like the way the texture came out in these bars, but if using this method as a design feature, I will grate Ciaglia into larger shreds so the colors show up better. (I was concerned about accidentally making a confetti soap.) I was surprised by how very easy it was to grate the soap by hand. From now on, I am going to smash my leftover soap, trimmings into solid balls to grate and use in Ciaglia. For this batch, it was fun to design the fragrance around the Cracklin’ Birch soap used for Ciaglia shreds. Now that I’ve done it, I have more ideas for visual designs in the future.

Thank you @KiwiMoose for choosing this particular design. It helped me add a new and very useful skill to my repertoire. Next up, grating Ciaglia shreds from all those scraps on the shelf that I was saving to salt out. The Ciaglia method is much better!!!

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