Hello again light bearers!
This month, we've learned the Polka Dot technique. The criteria for this technique is that the soap must be made of cold process soap. The shapes must go entirely through the soap and there must be at least seven of them. The pattern must be symmetrical. The soap must be made in a loaf mold and cut horizontally.
I attempted this technique four times, in small batches and I found this to be really, quite a challenging process. It involved making a template out of clay or melt and pour soap and placing straws or other shaped objects in the mold standing up. Then, you needed to make another template to hold the tops of the straws in place during the soap pour. The planning alone took a few hours. In my first attempt, I utilized a clay template and square wooden dowels shrink wrapped in rubber. The initial pour of the soap went mostly okay, but pulling the dowels out the next day proved to be extremely challenging. It was necessary to hammer the wood out and then the rubber liners wouldn't come out. . . so I had to utilize "man-power" and get my husband's muscles involved. After the man-handling of my pour loaf of soap, I really didn't think I would even fill the shapes. But after recovering from the initial ordeal, I decided to see if the soap could be at least useable. Filling the shapes had it's own special challenges. . .the soap leaked underneath the loaf and I had to make 3x the amount of filler soap than I expected. All things considered, this soap turned out pretty cool. . . and I shall never make one like it again. Therefore, I am entering this soap into the experienced competitive category and calling it Perseverance!
For my second attempt, I decided to go WAY less extreme and just used the suggested template which was a serious of symmetrical dots. I used melt and pour in the bottom which I found to be extremely easy compared to the clay. I decided to use regular straws and plastic mesh to hold the straws in place. The pour went very well and the dots were filled relatively easily! I was so pleased to have at least one soap to enter into the challenge!
For my third attempt, I wanted to try heart shapes just in case I decided to do the experienced category soap. I used the same methodology with the melt and pour soap, the provided dot outline, and the plastic mesh and this time I used heart shaped straws. The filling of the heart shaped holes was quite a bit more challenging. I wanted to used many colors and this added to the complexity. I did get them filled but there were some holes in the hearts. . . these I filled with extra colored soap dough.
For my final attempt, I wanted to make my own design using PowerPoint. The design would involve larger straws, the smaller straws, and the heart straws. I also wanted to try a multi-colored base soap this time with solid colored shapes instead. I have to say, the soap was totally awesome, the way that it curled around the straws. This was really my initial choice for the competitive category, but I should've paid attention to my shapes. . . my hearts are turned 90deg the wrong way and the soap is therefore not symmetrical. No worries folks. . . this beauty is in the bonus category!
I found this challenge very technical and just a little bit temperamental, but overall, it made some really cool soaps!
Keeping it sudsy,