Help with ombre, please

Discussion in 'Lye-Based Soap Forum' started by grumpy_owl, Jul 26, 2017.

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  1. Jul 26, 2017 #1

    grumpy_owl

    grumpy_owl

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    Dagnabbit. Is there a way to get very even layers in an ombre? Or should I end-run around the issue by using a bleeding colorant? Are pigments bleeders? I used BB Queen's Purple mica and traced it very thick, but got wavy lumps throughout. Too thin and the layers break through.

    This is my Grimoire, scented with champagne and blackberry sage. I haven't cleaned it up because I was so mad at it.

    20429702_1463165007064893_5196307429443725058_n.jpg
     
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  2. Jul 26, 2017 #2

    toxikon

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    If you have the patience for it, you can guarantee smooth straight layers by pouring each layer at a liquidy trace then allowing it to sit for a while to harden up before pouring the next layer.

    Let's say you want 5 layers - you'd divide your RT lye solution equally into 5 containers. And you'd melt all your oils together and divide those equally into 5 containers.

    Blend Lye Solution #1 and Oils #1 to emulsion, colour, and pour. Give it an hour or so to harden up.

    Then rinse and repeat 4 more times. You'll probably need to reheat your oils between layers to prevent false trace.
     
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  3. Jul 26, 2017 #3

    grumpy_owl

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    Oh, wow. Thank you, toxikon! So basically I'd be making 5 batches of soap, one at a time, to avoid the "resting" batter thickening up while I wait for the first to get thick in the mold. Sounds like math :( but I'll try it. I will beat this thing!
     
  4. Jul 26, 2017 #4

    toxikon

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    Some people have success just veeeery carefully pouring each layer with a spatula to "break the fall" (like so). But getting the right consistency is quite tricky.

    Dividing into mini-batches and giving each layer some time to harden up is the easier - although more time-consuming - method. :)
     
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  5. Jul 26, 2017 #5

    Steve85569

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    And the other method is to use an FO that accelerates.
    Make the soap and at thin trace divide into "x" number of parts. Color. Add the FO to the layer you are pouring only. Wait for the layer to set. Repeat for each layer.
     
  6. Jul 26, 2017 #6

    BrewerGeorge

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    I bought a spatula with a bend like you'd use for turning pancakes or eggs. That puts the surface of the spatula parallel to the surface of the soap, and very close, as you pour.
    Genius!
     
  7. Jul 26, 2017 #7

    grumpy_owl

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    Both great ideas, thank you! I try to get my spatula close to the surface of the soap but it knocks against the sides of the molds or is up too high or otherwise unmanageable.

    I'll try an accelerating FO rather than tracing to pudding. Jasmine ought to send the batter into hyperspeed.

    If that fails, I guess I have to experiment with Lab Colors.
     
  8. Jul 26, 2017 #8

    BrewerGeorge

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    All my soaping utensils are green and dedicated to soap, so I got a green nylon spatula and cut the edges off with a box knife and straight edge until it fit properly in the mold - lengthwise. With the spatula in my left hand and a long-spouted cup of batter in the right, I'm good up to where the back of the spatula hits the far side of the mold. Then I spin the mold around (on a cake turntable) and get the other side.
     
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  9. Jul 26, 2017 #9

    earlene

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    I love the idea of the bent spatula! I will be on the lookout for one to dedicate to my soaping supplies.

    Another method suggested to me that seemed to work as well: Put the mold with each layer into the oven for a few minutes to speed up set-up time. I tried it with one my my layer soaps and it seemed to help. But I like the accelerating FO idea and the bent spatula plan also.

    The cake turntable is a great idea also. Not only does it have the Lazy Susan component to it (I already have a perfectly good Lazy Susan to use) but it lifts the mold higher, which would be very useful so as not to have to bend over quite so much.
     
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  10. Jul 26, 2017 #10

    dibbles

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    I've used both an accelerating FO and splitting the lye solution/oils into mini batches and both methods work well. Good luck!
     
  11. Jul 26, 2017 #11

    newbie

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    I've used the split batch method, the accelerating FO method and also freezing each layer. For freezing, you can use the split method with it of course, or you would have to have a recipe that stays open for long enough that you can get each thin layer cold enough to be solid. Requires the space in the freezer to be flat, or set solidly at the tilt you want. During the winter, if it's cold enough, you use the great outdoors.
     
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  12. Jul 26, 2017 #12

    ibct1969

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    You might be cranky with it, but it is GORGEOUS! I love it.
     
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  13. Jul 28, 2017 #13

    grumpy_owl

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    Thank you, ibct1969! That's helpful to hear. Here's a better pic. I cleaned up the ash. Aw, geez. I don't know why it's opening on its side. The pic is fine on my desktop.

    20170727_180612.jpg
     
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  14. Jul 28, 2017 #14

    Cindy2428

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    I love the look of those - much more natural with the gentle waves
     
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  15. Jul 28, 2017 #15

    Nao

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    For what it's worth I think your soap is really pretty, would have been totally happy with it if it were mine!
     
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  16. Jul 28, 2017 #16

    penelopejane

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    I agree. I think the perfect straight layers are a bit controlled looking for soap. I've made both and prefer the relaxed look but it's a personal preference thing I guess.
     
  17. Jul 28, 2017 #17

    earlene

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    Still, it's nice to be able to perfect the technique. So I understand the desire to make them perfectly straight. For angled stripes, I think the perfectly flat transition looks best.
     
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  18. Jul 28, 2017 #18

    toxikon

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    Definitely personal preference - I happen to loooove geometric and clean-line soap. Maybe because I'm a graphic designer, hah!
     
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  19. Jul 28, 2017 #19

    penelopejane

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    I'm an architect but I'm trying to embrace the natural randomness of soap and release my need for control. It sure is a learning experience!
     
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