Tag Archives: green clay

From Ugly Ducklings to Swans (sort of)

Like all soapmakers, I’ve had my share of fugly soaps. Nothing wrong with them, just downright unattractive.

Earlier this month, I had planned on making a masculine and earthy-looking soap by having layers of green, black and tan.  The cedar-spice scented black and tan portions set up quite suddenly, while the green portion scented with lavender and sage remained liquid. To compound the problem, the green chrome oxide that I had mixed with some neon green was not turning out the way I wanted it to.

I could not stand how ugly it looked, I just had to chop it up right away.  Believe me, it’s so much better to face ugly soap in a pile of little cubes than in big bars.  I also wish I could use up everything in one go, but my plan was to do embeds, not a rebatch.

I’ve already made 3 batches with the embeds, and I still have 2 more to go. For the first batch, I used Vetyver, grapefruit and sage fragrance oils. It smells fresh and masculine, but I am not happy with the specks of undissolved titanium dioxide. I just opened a new pack and I feel that it is behaving differently from before. I got it from the same supplier and they don’t indicate whether it is water or oil soluble. With the first bag I bought, I was mixing it with oil until I figured out it worked better with water. With the new pack, I suspect it is the other way around.

Embed 1

For my second batch, I used french green clay for the first time. I was surprised at how gritty it was. I sifted it, mixed it with a little water, and pressed it against the wall of the bowl with a spatula. My poor new plastic bowl got seriously scratched.

Even though it’s supposed to be green clay, it looked gray to me, so I added a pinch of green chrome oxide. The result was an earthy grayish-green color, just what I was hoping for.  I scented it with spearmint and  eucalyptus E.O.s, and orange and grapefruit F.O.s  It smells fresh, but a little toothpaste-like for my taste.

I got my design inspiration from Petals Bath Boutique’s stunningly pretty Candy Rocks soap. Mine is a far cry from Kia’s gorgeous artistry, but nonetheless, I am pretty happy with it. This is my second try to make a pencil line and both times have been a little bit messy. Can someone please give me advice on how do it cleanly?

embed green clay 1

I had some green mica already mixed with oil that I was not able to use for an earlier batch. It wasn’t part of the plan to do a mica swirl top for this masculine soap, but I got carried away.  I think it’s pretty, but I don’t know how guys will react to it.

embed green clay 2

For the third batch with the same embeds, I used French green clay again (I am really liking the texture it gives to soaps).  I wanted the embeds to be on one side only, so I tilted the mold, poured some soap, sprinkled embeds, then added the rest of the soap. This time I scented it with peppermint E.O. and orange peel F.O. Combined with the woodsy scent from the embeds, the smell is fresh and soothing, very spa-like.  I am thinking of naming it Hakone Spa or Zen Garden.

embed green clay peppermint 1 embed green clay peppermint 2Pardon the poor lighting of the photos. I had to do several re-takes and this is the best I could come up with that shows a fairly accurate color of the soaps.  I usually take pictures before I go to work or when I go home.  Even though I try to go home a bit early, the sun sets even earlier.

Wishing you all a good week, and happy shopping if you haven’t finished yet with your list! 🙂