Last month’s Great Cakes Soap Challenge was so fun, I couldn’t wait to try my hand at this month’s: embedded soap.
Take a little look around my blog and you’ll see that I love embedding soap. I even teach the technique as a part of my Advanced CP Soap Design class. Considering the time that it takes, it’s really a labor of love. And I think that’s what I love so much about it: you really get to spend some quality time with your soap when you design with embeds!
My inspiration was this delicate filigree heart decoration I found at Martha Stewart’s site. I wanted to make the embeds look outlined and like they were just floating in the soap. I figured if I made the background soap and the overpour soap the same color, then the brown swirly embed would really pop.
It all started with some little bars that I swirled. I left them unscented, added a bit of titanium dioxide to pump up the white, and colored the swirl part with a brown mica. They took a couple days to firm up enough to unmold.
Then using stainless steel cooking cutters, I cut out circle shapes from the best parts of the swirls. Those got coated in more brown mica to give them that colored edge. Here are the first shapes in the mold, ready for the overpour. The rest of the circles went in as I built up the bars.
Another couple days to let this new batch set, and this is what I got. I love how the dark edge makes the circle stand out. And the placement makes me think of a far-away solar system of swirly brown planets.
Unfortunately, the essential oils I choose (tea tree, lavandin and eucalyptus) were just yellow enough to tint the soap, even with added titanium dioxide. It made the bars a bit yellow instead of the white that I was going for. Lesson learned.
But while it wasn’t exactly what I wanted, I still love how I created a little world in my soap bars.