It’s not every day that a soapmaker gets to have small batch soapy fun and challenge their artistic skills. Sometimes, like many of the joys in life, we have to make the time for it. Some might even consider it making an excuse to have fun! And, that’s exactly what Kandra did. She entered the April 2021 Soap Challenge for polka-dotted soaps and upped her personal challenge by including a color experiment along the way.
The challenge was to create a symmetrical design with a rather complicated technique of creating polka dots via the use of straws.
Note: no plastic straws were harmed in the creation of these soaps =)
Here’s Kandra’s explanation of the color tests she completed with these soaps:
The main soap is colored with Hymilan Rhubarb. It creates a wonderful pink but has a similar curious reaction based on water content, much like yellow dock. You can see how the water turns yellow dock soap to a lovely shade of either pink or khaki here.
For the polka-dots, I have two sizes (small and large) created from two different-sized straws and dowels. Additionally, the smaller polka-dots have two color variations (this is the part I’m most excited about!)
- The darker small dots are from the same oil blend as the main bar, but with an infusion of Cutch added to the lye water.
- The lighter small polka-dots are identical to the darker ones, but with additional water added!
Once again, water completely changed the color AND gave a rimmed line around many of the lighter dots. Soapy science is so cool!
The larger polka-dots are from the same batter as the smaller ones but spiked with a bit of magical purple powder (a custom blend of madder root and charcoal as explained in my book The Natural Soap Color Pallette) to create a deep wine color.
Once the soap challenge closes we’ll come back and update this post so you can see all of the other entries and enjoy some polka-dot soap!