soap making

Starry Night with Soap Curls

This soap was my entry for this month Soap Challenge club, which was about using soap curls in your soap.

“Sometimes the things we do second time around are better and hold more value because we take the time to reflect and review, and revive them through a higher love. Don’t be afraid to try again and do-over with greater wisdom, a fresh set of eyes, and a renewed hope. Life is not a straight line of first time successes. It’s the road that is paved with failure and seemingly wrong turns that provides us with character, emotional grit and inner muscle to find new perspectives. The only expiry date to your dreams, intentions or goals is the one you allow to soak into your soul.”

― Christine Evangelou, Stardust and Star Jumps: A Motivational Guide to Help You Reach Toward Your Dreams, Goals, and Life Purpose

I found that quote just to explain that this was my first time making this soap, and because of time constraints, my only attempt at the challenge (as a whole). However, I believe a second attempt was in order to obtain a better result. Doing the curls did take a couple of attempts though, so overall, I did four soap batches to get to this:

Multiple attempts is not an uncommon story though, when it comes to soap challenges. They are, after all, a challenge, and that is part of the appeal of it. Making the Curls seemed easy, I had already made several accidentally when planing other soaps. This time though, I wanted them to be thicker, because my soap planer shaves very thin layers of soap (which was the reason why I bought it). I had already bought this peeler (aff link) before, so I thought I had everything I needed for the challenge. I knew I did not have much time because I am trying to finish my Christmas soaps as well, but I also knew that unless I signed up, I would not explore all the possibilities for designs with curls on my own.

The main issue with the soap, I can clearly see now, is too many air pockets. Though I did bang the slab several times against the floor and table, I suppose the soap batter was too thick by then. The second issue is the lack of contrast on the colors of the soap and of the curls.

I think my main lesson points are:

1. Not watching the instructional videos again right before doing the soap (because I apparently forgot some key elements).

2. I should have considered more carefully, from my previous experiences, how quickly the blue ultramarine pigment thickens my soap batter.

3. Thirdly, I should have chosen another shade of green for the bottom, as it being the same green with which I made the curls, it makes the curls just blend in too much.

This takes me to another quote I found:

“The first time you do something, it’s science. The second time, it’s engineering. The third time, it’s just being a technician. I’m a scientist. Once I do something, I want to do something else.” Clifford Stoll

I think most of the time I prefer to be the scientist, but for this soap, I would like to be an engineer, and I will use this technique to revisit the Starry Night again in the future.

The Making of the Soap

Link to final slab recipe (which was not enough btw, I had to make more)

Link to Curls recipe. (Which I made too much of! )

2 thoughts on “Starry Night with Soap Curls”

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