SMF December Challenge- high and low water batch

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newbie

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Hello all! This month's challenge is based on Auntie Clara's blog posts about the use of low water or water discounts in soap design. Her blog posts are wonderful and although lengthy, they are thorough and worth a read.

http://auntieclaras.com/2014/08/intentional-crop-circles-water-discount-as-a-design-tool/

http://auntieclaras.com/2015/09/

This challenge is about using batter made with both high water (2.4:1 water:lye ratio) AND with low water (1.4:1 water:lye ratio) using the difference between them in gelling to get a different and often extremely beautiful/interesting effect in soap. I recommend that you make two separate batches of oils with their accompanying lye. I have tried many times to mix with low water, separate some off and then add the balance of the water needed to get to the 2.4 ratio to what is left. It seems logical but I haven't had it work well yet because of the difference in trace time between the two. It would work to weigh out all your oil and make a 1:1 lye concentrate for the batch and then split each into the proportions you want. If math is not your strong suit, I would just make up two separate batches each with their own lye at the two different concentrations. As always, I recommend making small batches- 1-2 pounds or 500-1000gm so you won't have loads of soap if you choose to try a couple times.

Auntie Clara explains it better than I will, but low water batter gels at a higher temperature and possibly for a shorter time that high water batter. When you use the two in the same batch, there will be cooler non-gelling batter butting up against hotter gelling batter which can give a cool halo effect and can also give some fascinating differences in colors; sometimes the colors look to be outlining a section of soap and you will get far more variation in the colors you choose. You can use two colors but have high and low water portions of them and look like you used at least 6 different colors. It's really cool.

I strongly suggest you make your low water portion first. Soap very slightly warm to the touch, don't stick blend much and use either NO FRAGRANCE or use a COMPLETELY NON-ACCELERATING FRAGRANCE. This is absolutely key to using low water. Any acceleration is amplified mightily in low water but if you use the right FO/EO, you will find you have a ridiculous amount of time to work with your soap. It is a myth that low water means fast trace and once you see it, you will see what a fantastic tool it is to have in your arsenal.

When ready, make your high water portion and if you are uncertain about your fragrance, just use it in this portion, to be safe.

Design and colorants are completely up to you. Slab, loaf, individual pours- whatever you want. However, one rule is that you cannot make a copy of one of Auntie Clara's high/low water soaps, so no crop circles, no ultramarine blue faux funnel pours and no exact copies of her ghost swirl. Can you make a ghost swirl? Absolutely! But you must use a different pattern that she did. The world is your oyster for design on this one, but you must have 1/4 or more of your batter be of a different water concentration that the rest. This means you can use 1/4 high water and 3/4 low water, or 1/4 low water and 3/4 high water or anything in between but no using 1/5 or 1/10 of your batter for the contrasting water amount, for example. You must gel to get the effect, so gelling is absolutely required.

I will be on vacation for a bit but I will try to check in for questions. I hope any of the other challenge mods will help out with questions as well. LionPrincess is extremely well-versed in the use of low water and is a great resource as she soaps with low water most of the time. I hope she won't mind if I ask her to share her experiences when you have questions!

Entry will open on the 17th and close on the 24th. Voting will start on the 26th. I mean no disrespect to those who don't celebrate Christmas. We do so I'm taking that day off from making the survey.

Sally forth and soap!

[ame]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhkbIOXN1KM[/ame]

[ame]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGnjTg-LW_w[/ame]

Below are pics of the soap I made in the video and one I made with just ultramarine blue and white but with the same pour. In the blue one, my batters stayed at the same trace so same pour, different effect.

ENTRIES will require just a picture of your finished soap. Any info on fragrance, colorants and techniques is always appreciated.

Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 10.15.06 PM.jpg


Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 10.14.54 PM.jpg
 
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newbie

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lenarenee

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1. Lenarenee - pretending like I don't know what I've gotten myself into now!
 
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newbie

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Make you sure you tell me if I have been confusing or the video does not make it clear what this is about!! Please please!
 

Saponista

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1. Lenarenee - pretending like I don't know what I've gotten myself into now!
2. Saponista - So many ideas, so little time to soap this month!
 

TheDragonGirl

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1. Lenarenee - pretending like I don't know what I've gotten myself into now!
2. Saponista - So many ideas, so little time to soap this month!
3. TheDragonGirl - this looks so cool and I wanted to try it anyhow
 

newbie

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I had been thinking about that but I posted on that other thread that my idea was not working out so that would not be this month's challenge. You can still use a column for this technique but it's not required.

Also, Please don't post your entries in this thread. Keep them a surprise for everyone when entries are posted. All you other attempts are things we'd all love to see though!

Thanks for the reminder Mazi. My post was so long I forgot about the disclaimer so here it is:


SMF Challenge General Rules
· To enter you must have a minimum of 50 posts and been a member for a month (sorry but no exceptions on this)
· Please add your name to the sign up list if you wish to participate (however, you don’t have to enter a soap at the end if you don’t feel happy with what you have produced)
· The challenge thread should be used to upload pictures of any of your challenge attempts where you can ask for advice and discuss the technique with other members.
· Constructive criticism is welcomed, but please try to keep your comments polite.
· Competition entries must be uploaded to the separate entry thread before the closing date. The thread will open on 12/17/15 (Please follow the challenge specific rules as to what you need to enter)
· After the closing date 12/24/15 the winning entry will be chosen using survey monkey and the winner announced at the end of the month, 12/30/15. There is no prize attached to this challenge.
· If you fail to make the challenge deadline, you are still welcome to upload your soap onto the thread, but your entry will not be eligible for voting. We still love to see anything you have produced.
· Even though there is no prize, this is still a competition. If your entry is deemed not to fulfill the general rules or the rules specific to the challenge in any way, then you will be given the opportunity to amend your entry. If this is not possible then your entry will not be included in the voting.
· Newbie, Saponista, Lionproncess00, Sonya-m and GalaxyMLP reserve the right to have the final say on whether a soap is eligible for voting.*
 

Misschief

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I can't commit to the challenge at this time... we're travelling to the coast this week.... but I am really looking forward to seeing everyone's entries and attempts. I've been wanting to try Auntie Clara's technique since I first saw it. While I still can't wrap my head around some of what she wrote, I agree with Newbie - it's well worth reading...more than once.
 

dixiedragon

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1. Lenarenee - pretending like I don't know what I've gotten myself into now!
2. Saponista - So many ideas, so little time to soap this month!
3. TheDragonGirl - this looks so cool and I wanted to try it anyhow
4. Dixiedragon
 

songwind

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1. Lenarenee - pretending like I don't know what I've gotten myself into now!
2. Saponista - So many ideas, so little time to soap this month!
3. TheDragonGirl - this looks so cool and I wanted to try it anyhow
4. Songwind - Sounds fun, I'm in.
 

Obsidian

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1. Lenarenee - pretending like I don't know what I've gotten myself into now!
2. Saponista - So many ideas, so little time to soap this month!
3. TheDragonGirl - this looks so cool and I wanted to try it anyhow
4. Dixiedragon
5. Songwind - Sounds fun, I'm in.
6. Obsidian- like I need more soap
 

dixiedragon

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The rules say:
you must have 1/4 or more of your batter be of a different water concentration that the rest. This means you can use 1/4 high water and 3/4 low water, or 1/4 low water and 3/4 high water or anything in between but no using 1/5 or 1/10 of your batter for the contrasting water amount, for example.
Is there a reason not to do 1/2 low water and 1/2 high water? Off of the top of my head, that would be my choice.
 

Sonya-m

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1. Lenarenee - pretending like I don't know what I've gotten myself into now!
2. Saponista - So many ideas, so little time to soap this month!
3. TheDragonGirl - this looks so cool and I wanted to try it anyhow
4. Dixiedragon
5. Songwind - Sounds fun, I'm in.
6. Obsidian- like I need more soap
7. Sonya-m - ooh I love a technical challenge!!
 

BlackDog

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1. Lenarenee - pretending like I don't know what I've gotten myself into now!
2. Saponista - So many ideas, so little time to soap this month!
3. TheDragonGirl - this looks so cool and I wanted to try it anyhow
4. Dixiedragon
5. Songwind - Sounds fun, I'm in.
6. Obsidian- like I need more soap
7. Sonya-m - ooh I love a technical challenge!!
8. BlackDog - this challenge is totally out of my league!
 

Sonya-m

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Newbie I love how your soap came out but was chuckling away listening to your comments about how the vertical cut looked!!!
 

dibbles

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1. Lenarenee - pretending like I don't know what I've gotten myself into now!
2. Saponista - So many ideas, so little time to soap this month!
3. TheDragonGirl - this looks so cool and I wanted to try it anyhow
4. Dixiedragon
5. Songwind - Sounds fun, I'm in.
6. Obsidian- like I need more soap
7. Sonya-m - ooh I love a technical challenge!!
8. BlackDog - this challenge is totally out of my league!
9. dibbles - I see flops in my future!
 

dibbles

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I think I better try this sooner than later, and am just wondering if you want photos other than just the finished soaps. Sorry if it's in the post somewhere, but I didn't see it if it is.

Newbie, your soaps turned out so beautifully. I especially love the blue sky!
 

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