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Why do I want to make soap today? Artistic Coloring!

I love making soap for too many reasons.  So in this series, I’m having fun picking one reason each time I want to make soap.  Today, I want to make soap because it’s so much fun to play with artistic colors.

Colors in Cold Process Soap can be achieved in many ways.  I have had the best luck with skin-safe micas. Many of the soap coloring options are not stable through the saponification process.  But most of the micas I have tried work well.  I have had a couple of the green micas change to a yellowish, drab green while the soap was in the saponification stage, but then they changed back to the advertised shade of green by the time the soap was ready to take out of the mold.

I took an acrylic painting class a few years ago, and my favorite part was mixing the colors, both on the palette before painting with them, and on the canvas, after painting with them.  I find the same joy in mixing colors in the soaping process.  It’s great fun to mix the mica powders in a little oil, because they have a wonderful shimmer.  Adding the soap batter always dilutes the color, so I end up guessing how much mica powder to use for a particular shade.  Some brands are more intensely pigmented than others so you don’t have to use as much.  Again, I had to learn this through trial and error.

It’s also fun to mix the colors in the batter itself.  Depending on which oils you use, the colors can have unexpected results.  The surprise factor adds to the fun.  Will the colors look the same after cutting the soap as they do when the soap is first poured?  Will the soap match the picture in my head for what I was aiming for?  No.  I have never had one turn out the way I planned it, but I have been happy with the surprise results.  What unexpected results have you had in soapmaking?

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