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.