July 2021 SMF Soap Un-Challenge - Confetti/Cubes

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glendam

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This challenge has motivated me to use the crazy amount of soap scraps I forgot I had. I chose the orange and yellow ones for this fall soap, I put them inside and on top, but have not taken pictures of the bars which I just cut today. Scented with caramel apple crunch from Wsp.
 

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The_Phoenix

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So I’m really kinda disappointed with mine, even if I do love the colors. I would have made another batch, but honestly, between work stuff (to include a possible new job & move) and having company, I‘ve been too distracted to soap too much this month.

This was a weird batch; it refused to set up (I know why). I was going for a multi-layered drop swirl, which then morphed into an attempt to just do some irregular layers. I thought I put in a ton of confetti, but it didn’t turn out to be that much.

So yeah, here it is 😁 (PS, my photographer sucks)View attachment 59643
I like it!
 

ResolvableOwl

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Warning, long post ahead! I promise I'll eventually come to the un-challenge part of it somewhere near the bottom. Don't wonder if you've seen one or the other step beforehand, I've shared them every now and then, but I wanted to combine all into one post for easier reference. I'm too lazy rn to find all the reference comments, and will refer to other threads only exceptionally. [I'm counting rebatch/confetti levels, though]

Disclaimer No. 2:
This soap is not intended to be “beautiful” or “pretty”, it's rather another appraisal of the material qualities of several soap varieties, as well as some experimental challenge, tackling aspects of soap behaviour that might be more or less conscious to the curious soapmaker.


For not overly surprising reasons, soap scraps and confetti are an evergreen among soapmakers. Several months ago, I've decided to compact and upcycle these into something of further use.

First step: sorting scraps by colour:
sorted_scraps.jpg
The snapped yellowish sausages on the left are in fact microwave-rebatched blends of sunflower castile and red palm oil soap that faded just a bit too much for my original plans with them [Confetti level 1].

I put both into airtight containers and wetted/softened them with 10% water over days/weeks. Grated down the pale ones first, to make the resulting ex-post soap dough smoother.
After thorough rehydration, I rolled the coloured scraps into balls of roughly similar size:
S6403730_m0d.jpg
The various soaps were of very different softness (some still rock hard, some nearly slimy-liquidy), but I didn't care, since all that was important was the shape as of now.
The pale scraps gave a lovely soap dough [Confetti level 2], suitable to be formed into asparagus-like storage shapes, performing soundchecks, or worse:
asparagus.jpg
S6404128_m0d.jpg Rabbit hole!

About that time @Mobjack Bay posted of cylindrical mould honeycomb soap, and I instantly fell in love with that idea!
So I prepared a Pringels can with bubblewrap, melted up the asparagus dough into a HP batch, and prepared for The Big Rebatch/Confetti Party:
soap_balls.jpg Soap balls, pre-heated in the oven (to reduce risk of early solidification of HP batter during pouring)
comb_tower.jpg The soap cylinder, cast and unmoulded. [Confetti level 3] Not overly happy with the rugged look, but everyone who ever has bothered to rebatch knows what a huge pain it is to even get to such a point, lol. 🙄

Of course things haven't been complicated enough, so I also added sunflower butter as post-cook superfat to give chlorogenic green a shot to turn the HP/rebatch matrix green over time. The success? Well, after a few weeks it's become a tiny bit greener than concrete at least…
T+25d.jpg
You can see the broad and narrow stips of bubblewrap (I'll have to repeat this with CP one time). The ball embeds are cut open, and expose their cheerful content to the public, from which some is from previous monthly SMF challenges (sushi nori/rice, OPW indigo, paprika salmon,…). Note how the brown blob at the top (rich in red palm oil) has started bleeding into the matrix – we'll come back to this later on.


Now it's eventually time to fast-forward to July and the actual (un)challenge!
The soap base is intended to be made in the month of the challenge, so I dusted my propylene glycol bottle, and made some M&P base (this time only from new oils, no confetti level increment).
mp_transparent.jpg
Unfortunately I have no photos from the process, but it was fun to exploit something that might be called “HTCP” (high-temperature cold process): heat/melt up the oils (palm stearin, canola wax, PKO as hard oils), dissolve lye and polyols in a double-walled thermos mug, add the oils, stir thoroughly until emulsion is reached, and then let it stand to keep warm under heat of the reaction, and liquid under the accelerating and diluting properties of the polyols. After a few hours, I had a can of finished M&P base, melted under its own reaction heat, ready to be used as-is.

Time for [Confetti level 4]! This time rather conservative confetti, with a dollhouse-size cheese grater. Confettifying some of the above colourful soaps, I roughly sorted the shavings by colour.
coloured_shavings.jpg
Then I filled the small round PE bottle with hot water (to delay M&P solidification), placed it into the open square bottle, and alternated between adding molten M&P base and soap shavings, one colour at a time. You can see what a terrible job I did at how it came out:

[cliffhanger … to be continued in the next post, since I have reached the maximum 10 pics to attach]
 

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ResolvableOwl

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[…Part 2]
hollow_cube.jpg
The M&P recipe has some serious skin formation issues, so it was a pain to at least somewhat incorporate the confetti, and not easy to ensure that the embeds are somewhere in there. The non-transparent mould doesn't exactly help with that…
It was easier than I feared to remove the bottle in the inside. I somewhat repeated this step, placed a narrow test tube filled with hot water concentric into the hole, and added molten M&P base, this time without confetti. Removed the small tube, and filled the inner core with a mix of M&P and grated soap made from 100% red palm oil.

Eventually, I sliced the rod into three handy bars of soap, and admired the look:
concentric_early.jpg

Now I gave the carotenoids three-and-a-half weeks of time to diffuse into the soap base. And it didn't disappoint me!
concentric_late_backlit.jpg
concentric_late.jpg
I already knew this from the palm oil (in the core): the yellow/orange/red dyes bleed quite quickly out of the chips and spread out into the transparent base around it, up to the point where the chips appear white within an orange-yellow aspic. New to me was that the paprika soap is prone to this effect too. In general, the shavings of most of the input soaps (including the green HP-rebatch matrix) lost quite some of their colour brilliance, and look more or less grey now.

Bottom line: I made this soap to test practicability of some technical ideas, not to produce a beautiful soap. I somewhat failed, since I actually like the look of the soaps 😜. Not so much the colour, that's meh (but I have to sugargoat it, given how much of my grey-green marble soap I'm sitting on…). But I actually like the “impossible” shape of the hole with a “levitating” plug in the middle.

Stay tuned for updates how the carotenes march through the glassy ring over the months!
 

Vicki C

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So I’m really kinda disappointed with mine, even if I do love the colors. I would have made another batch, but honestly, between work stuff (to include a possible new job & move) and having company, I‘ve been too distracted to soap too much this month.

This was a weird batch; it refused to set up (I know why). I was going for a multi-layered drop swirl, which then morphed into an attempt to just do some irregular layers. I thought I put in a ton of confetti, but it didn’t turn out to be that much.

So yeah, here it is 😁 (PS, my photographer sucks)View attachment 59643
I think it’s cool, it reminds me of a cutaway of the earth’s crust, although I guess that would go in the other direction. Anyway I like it!
 
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Vicki C

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[…Part 2]
View attachment 59657
The M&P recipe has some serious skin formation issues, so it was a pain to at least somewhat incorporate the confetti, and not easy to ensure that the embeds are somewhere in there. The non-transparent mould doesn't exactly help with that…
It was easier than I feared to remove the bottle in the inside. I somewhat repeated this step, placed a narrow test tube filled with hot water concentric into the hole, and added molten M&P base, this time without confetti. Removed the small tube, and filled the inner core with a mix of M&P and grated soap made from 100% red palm oil.

Eventually, I sliced the rod into three handy bars of soap, and admired the look:
View attachment 59659

Now I gave the carotenoids three-and-a-half weeks of time to diffuse into the soap base. And it didn't disappoint me!
View attachment 59660
View attachment 59661
I already knew this from the palm oil (in the core): the yellow/orange/red dyes bleed quite quickly out of the chips and spread out into the transparent base around it, up to the point where the chips appear white within an orange-yellow aspic. New to me was that the paprika soap is prone to this effect too. In general, the shavings of most of the input soaps (including the green HP-rebatch matrix) lost quite some of their colour brilliance, and look more or less grey now.

Bottom line: I made this soap to test practicability of some technical ideas, not to produce a beautiful soap. I somewhat failed, since I actually like the look of the soaps 😜. Not so much the colour, that's meh (but I have to sugargoat it, given how much of my grey-green marble soap I'm sitting on…). But I actually like the “impossible” shape of the hole with a “levitating” plug in the middle.

Stay tuned for updates how the carotenes march through the glassy ring over the months!
They look like owl eyes!
 

The_Phoenix

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I like it! I was going for a marine look. The green was supposed to look like kelp but it got muddled. Used soap from the OPW challenge, both the ovals and confetti in the sand, as well as the smaller pieces that I smooshed into canes.
1210753C-1604-4DAA-AD48-C35BA96A7748.jpeg
6CE41230-D9B4-40F8-A01A-75DA78DC3510.jpeg
01D01150-984D-4CDF-90E9-D4426158464F.jpeg
 

peachymoon

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I finally cut my confetti soap today! I don’t have too much to report on this project. I grated up older soaps that were different colors to try my hand at a “rainbow” confetti. The colors weren’t super vibrant, so I decided to try a grey base, inspired by this soap I recently purchased on Etsy:

Concrete Jungle Silk Soap Handmade Soap Moon Soap Galaxy | Etsy

It came out darker than I intended, but I think it helps it pop a bit more so I’m happy with it. :) This was scented with Somali Soul by Nurture Soaps. It’s very strong and reminds me of Lush-type scents.
 

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Future_Ghost

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My second confetti for the month! These are why I’m posting so late, I was waiting for the alkanet infusion to turn from green/grey to more purple. The confetti is a calamine and oats soap that I used the wrong fragrance in 🙃 I like these a lot, next time I’m gonna add a little madder at trace for some pink speckles. They’re scented in a blend of wild flower, wild Berry, and wild woods.
CDED0E51-FE3F-425A-99B3-6C40F1365049.jpeg

My first confetti of the month…not thrilled. I like the top brown and black layer but regret my chunky decision on the bottom. Next time I’ll stick with the fine shreds I think. These are my lemon, coffee & anise blend.
80C4C624-C282-4F77-B44E-4264BAF1AF03.jpeg
 

The_Phoenix

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My second confetti for the month! These are why I’m posting so late, I was waiting for the alkanet infusion to turn from green/grey to more purple. The confetti is a calamine and oats soap that I used the wrong fragrance in 🙃 I like these a lot, next time I’m gonna add a little madder at trace for some pink speckles. They’re scented in a blend of wild flower, wild Berry, and wild woods.
View attachment 59701
My first confetti of the month…not thrilled. I like the top brown and black layer but regret my chunky decision on the bottom. Next time I’ll stick with the fine shreds I think. These are my lemon, coffee & anise blend.
View attachment 59702
LOVE the variety of textures and funky geometry. The coloring in the chunky embeds perfectly complements the rest of the coloring.
 
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