‘You’re obsessed’, she mutters, as I prod her to compliment my soap for the umpteenth time or when I ask her to make me a new mould or a soap planer or some dividers or whatever soapie toy I have just seen someone playing with on YouTube. Most are made of wood and would be a killer to import into Australia, otherwise, my PayPal account would really be getting a work out. Maus, the sweetie that she is, files the idea in her virtual ‘To do’ list and I know I will have to work really hard to move my latest ‘must have’ to the top of that list.
She may be right. I may be a little obsessed. I do tend to get excited.
As you can imagine, if I was obsessed, there would be a lot of soap making happening.
Well, now to the show and tell… None of these techniques are particularly original. I have been watching numerous YouTube videos and, if I like what see, I decide to give it a bash.
Remember the cute, if naff, heart soaps I showed earlier this month? I decided to embed them into some white soap to see how they would look. They weren’t that flash at first but then I decided to smooth the tops and slice the glitter off. Now I think they look quite classy (top photo).
The next technique I decided to try was ‘squirty swirls’. This is where you fill condiment bottles with different coloured soap and squirt it into your mould. The hardest part is keeping your batter sufficiently fluid to get it out of the condiment bottles and into the mould. My effort wasn’t particularly successful but I did get the batter into the mould. That is a major achievement for me because I usually make the beginner’s mistake of making the batter too thick. I was hoping for the squirty bits to penetrate into the plain coloured base but, clearly, it was already thick enough to hold the weight of the coloured soap and, maybe, I didn’t squirt with enough gusto. Nonetheless, I am pretty happy with my first try.
And my pièce de résistance? Again, the idea is not particularly original – I saw some photos of similar soap on the web and it really appealed. Firstly, you need some white soap which is still flexible. Luckily, I had some left over from embedding my hearts the week before. Make fine slices of the white soap with a cheese slicer, then curl the slices and let them dry. Once dry, line them up in your loaf mould and carefully pour a contrasting colour batter, using the same recipe, in between the curls. The tricky part, again, is keeping the batter fluid enough to pour so you don’t get air bubbles. The curls aren’t the best, and the green is a bit intense but, for a first effort, I’m chuffed.