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Jul 27

Natural Marble Soap Challenge

Not addressing the fact that this is the first time in nearly three years that I’ve posted, I participated in another soap challenge club!
This technique was called Marble Soap and I couldn’t resist. I love rocks and gemstones and I started polishing rocks with a fancy rock tumbler earlier this summer, so getting back on my soap train with a marble soap seemed like a good plan.

I did not take any photos during the process, but I did record a video! I actually made two soaps, one for the Natural Marble Soap category and one for a bonus category called Snazzy Rocks. Now, I think my entry for Snazzy Rocks could have potentially qualified for the Natural category, but of the two I made, it seemed the fanciest and least likely to be found naturally so I entered it in the Snazzy category and used the more natural looking white soap for my Natural entry.

This post will contain photos from both batches, the white one is the more Natural marble, the black one is my snazzy one. I did want to create a blue one that mimics sodalite because that’s one of the rocks in my tumbler right now, but I couldn’t get a suitable blue colorant in time. I’m also going to include links to my making videos. For the white soap, I have a partially time lapsed video on my YouTube channel. For the black soap, I made this one live on Twitch (I’m live every Friday making soap by the way, come join me to watch!) so here’s a link to that, it’s unedited and somewhat long because it captures the entire process live with audience interaction. The YouTube video is shorter (especially after I stop introducing the project) and shows the method in a more concise way.

For the natural soap I used a proprietary recipe containing Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Palm Oil, Canola Oil, and Castor Oil. I used Titanium Dioxide from Mad Micas to color the white base and for the mica line detail I used Pewter Silver from Brambleberry and Activated Charcoal – Hardwood, this jar leftover from a kit I got from Wholesale Supplies Plus. I like how the colors turned out.

This turned out so much better than I hoped, I’m really happy with the decision to use both charcoal and a silver mica for the lines, I feel like it creates a nice depth to them.

You can see the video that I had a little trouble with this one, where it set up somewhat quickly. I blended it to a light/medium trace hoping that it would mean I could finish the soap more quickly and not have to wait to texture the middle layer, however, I probably should have just separated the two halves at emulsion and then blended the bottom layer more so that I could work with it and then left the top layer more fluid to prevent air pockets. If I make this again, I’ll try doing that instead. I do like this technique method though, it’s simple and has such a lovely resulting finish.

You may be able to tell the background isn’t perfectly white, this is because I edited the image to more accurately capture the off-white of the soap.

I did get a few little air pockets, you might notice also when I cut this in the video, that I was trying to use some of the little soap shaving bits to fill in those gaps and I didn’t like how it looked, so I went ahead and cut about 1/16-1/8″ off of the top of each of them which helped reduce those little holes, so most of the soaps didn’t end up with the them and the ones that remained were small enough to not be a problem. This also resulted in them all looking different from each other, no longer exact mirror twins of each other.

Overall I’m very pleased with the way the Natural version came out, but the Snazzy version is kind of my favorite. I love the fancy King Tut Gold Mica from Mad Micas, it makes it look really special. This recipe did not use Canola Oil like the first, but did have an added oil of Sweet Almond and my ratios of the other ingredients were a little different from the first. I again used Activated Charcoal for my base, using the usage rate suggestion from Mad Micas Activated Hardwood Charcoal, which was a perfect amount.

Do you see faces? I see some faces.

As you can see, these ones ended up as exact mirrors because my soap was much more fluid and therefore didn’t have air pockets that needed shaving off. I made this one first, and I ended up waiting a little bit to be able to texture between layers. I also poured this one in four layers, two smaller ones for each half, just so I would have extra mica lines along the sides of the bars. In retrospect, I felt like this didn’t matter too much which is why I omitted it when I made the white soap.

These might be my favorite soaps I’ve ever made. And yes, the gold really is that vibrant. It stands out so beautifully against the black.

I also forced a gel with this one, upon the suggestion of one of the viewers in the live Twitch chat. It was a great idea, it made the black incredibly glossy and vibrant. I forced gel by preheating my oven to 170* F (the lowest it will preheat to) and then shut it off, placed the soap in, left the door slightly ajar for two minutes to let some of that extra heat escape, and then closed it to sit overnight. It was ready to cut under 24 hours later.

Thank you so much for checking out this post! I hope you enjoyed watching or reading about the process, I had such a fun time making this soap and I’m signed up for the August soap challenge too, so I’ll share that one when I make it!

**If you’re interested in purchasing either of these soaps, it will be available on August 22, 2020 in my Etsy Shop. I’ll make an announcement on Instagram so go follow and turn notifications on there if you don’t want to miss it.

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