Have you ever stumbled upon a store, website, blog or whatever and been blown away by the incredibly sweet owner? I’m talking true, genuine niceness, not fake sticky sweet talk. You don’t find it too often these days, unfortunately, but when you do find someone like that, you want to shop at their store, you want to follow their blog, and you want to let others know about them, too.
This was my experience when I began following Amy Warden’s Great Cakes Soapworks Blog. Not only was I enjoying reading her blog, which covers everything from what’s new on her curing rack to valuable articles for soapmakers and everything in between, but whenever I posted a comment, she would immediately give a warm reply. This small gesture really makes a difference for readers and customers. Amy’s generosity and caring attitude recently extended to her mail carrier, who was provided with a basket of bath goodies and some lovely customer testimonials for providing quality service. Like I said, genuine sweetness. And boy, I think her mail carrier made out like a bandit to receive these beautiful soaps.
For the summer, Amy provided instructions for a gorgeous watermelon soap on her blog, which sold out quickly for obvious reasons. The soap came out so adorable, I asked Amy if she would allow me to post her tutorial here, which she graciously provided. So now, what we’ve all been waiting for…
Looking for a fun summer soap project? This soap is made using the cold-process method on an intermediate level. It requires that you have a soap recipe (water at about 28% of oil weight) and the know-how to use SoapCalc (http://www.soapcalc.net/calc/soapcalcWP.asp). It takes three days to make all the layers and get it ready to cut and cure.
Plastic pitchers for lye solution
Stainless steel soap pot
Electric stick blender
lined log mold – holds 4 lb. of soap
small (disposable) plastic container – holds at least 2 cups
Your regular cold-process soap recipe ingredients
Chromium green oxide
Red soap dye – red 40
Watermelon fragrance from Oregon Trails (http://www.oregontrailsoaps.com/)
Make black soap for seeds: Figure out your normal soap recipe using a total of 8 oz. of oils and water at 28% of oil weight. (This is done most easily by plugging your numbers into SoapCalc.) Add 0.25 oz. of watermelon fragrance and about 1/8 tsp. of black oxide mixed in about a teaspoon of glycerin, if you have it (works best if you let it sit overnight). Otherwise you can mix the black oxide with a little bit of reserved oil from your soap. Pour into a small disposable plastic container.
Make green rind: Make another small batch of soap, this time using 6 oz. of oils. Add a pinch of chromium green oxide mixed in a small amount of glycerin to the entire batch. Take out about half of the soap and add another pinch or two of chromium green and black oxide for a darker green. Pour thin strips of alternating colors in the bottom of the log mold at light trace. Take the bamboo skewer and skwiggle it back and forth across the darker green stripes. Cover lightly over the top of the mold with some plastic wrap (doesn’t need to touch the soap).
Day Two, AM
Make a layer of white rind: Mix up another small batch of soap using 6 oz. of oils. Add ½ tsp. of titanium dioxide and 0.25 oz. of watermelon fragrance. I used a toothpick to make a bunch of small holes in the green rind to help the layers stick together. May not have been necessary. Pour white soap over green rind at light trace.
Next, it’s time to melt the oils & butters for the main pink part of the soap, and get your water ready in the refrigerator. Figure up your soap recipe with 30 oz. of oils for the pink part.
Day Two, PM
Time to chunk up the black soap, and start making the pink soap. Add 1 tsp. titanium dioxide and a pinch or two of red soap dye (mine is a powdered red 40), plus 1.25 oz. of watermelon fragrance to make the pink soap. Stir in the “seeds” at light trace, right before the pink soap is ready to pour into the mold. After pouring, I covered the top of the soap with plastic wrap and wrapped it in towels to set overnight.
Cut the soap and marvel at your beautiful creation!!!!