When working with soap, use a muslin bag filled with corn starch to keep the soap from sticking to the work surface and itself. Too much corn starch will leave your soaps looking powdery so use with frugal care.
Spraying tools with 91% alcohol will keep cutters and plungers from sticking.
Spraying with water will make soap dissolve. Remember how soap behaves in the shower?
Once removed from the sealed container, soap will begin evaporation and curing.
Be patient with yourself, if you want to make embeds by hand, it will take time to learn.
In this video there are two different colored soaps: one is colored with cocoa powder and the other is colored with Mad Oils Gold mica.
Both of these soaps are cold process. The brown soap has a 34% water discount, whereas the gold has a 38% water discount. The brown is much smoother and less sticky, while the gold is a bit stickier. For these soaps stones both are fine, and the stickier gold soap is harder to work with, but effective for adherence.
Taking about equal parts of both colors and blending them together helps to create an appearance of stone. I use these little rocks for Koi Pond Soaps. I’m not trying to create a realistic stone, but one that conveys the idea of a stone.
The other interesting appearance is the gold with the full water recipe contrasts against the solid opaque nature of the brown giving a gleam, or a slight translucence effect. This effect is difficult to see in the video.
Don’t worry about making them perfect, this is one time that having your soap look a little rough is to your advantage. 🙂
I’m more than happy to help you, if you have any questions. I have recipes here, that are wonderful for soap molding, more videos and how-to’s.
*In the video I’m spraying with 91% alcohol to smooth and dry the soap stones.
I have included a video, however, I didn’t have a recently cured loaf so I tried to show the motion of how to cut a loaf of soap.
Some things to remember:
(I cut from right to left.)
Place your recently unmolded soap on plastic wrap and then lay it inside your miter box. When you need to move the entire loaf, pull the plastic wrap and the soap won’t be marred on the bottom.
Make a cut mark on the top of the miter box with a maker, to ensure uniform slices. There are hash marks, but hard to see.
Spray both sides of the spackle knife with alcohol, this helps the knife slide through the soap.
Hold the spackle knife (some call it a putty knife, but I see those as much smaller) in your right hand and line it inside the opening on the miter box.
Keeping your loaf of soap flush with the right side of the miter box (or left if you’re left handed), eye up the other side, rock the knife toward to the other side of the miter box slot.
Wipe spackle knife off in between cuts. Use a very clean knife for less clean up on individual bars.
If you don’t rock it, and just bring the knife down like a guillotine the soap will not be consistent. Also, hold the bar steady with opposite hand, because the pressure of cutting will move the entire loaf.
It is an exercise in concentration, however, it pays off. For $15 for the knife and box you’ll have crisp even bars every time, without the expense.
I had an idea that involved a mouse and cheese pie shape, but didn’t want to commit to an easily found silicone pie mold and wasn’t sure I’d like making pie shaped soaps. Being a person who loves using tools I have around the house, I avoid buying everything unnecessary…
I also have a philosophy to do more-with-less. This philosophy has strengthened what I know to be my best tool, creativity. Creativity cannot be created, purchased or manufactured. I discovered creativity is my one of my super powers. Read more…
There was extra from my Honey Bee Soap, which has sodium lactate. SL is not great for molding soap, but usable. It causes little hard areas that take a lot of time to mash up. I used it because its also scented with Honey and that with the combination of Poison Pie, a mysterious fruit blend, is intoxicating. I like the irregularities of the pie dough and turned out ideal.