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Mosaic Soap Challenge - Christine

Welcome back! I’m excited to share another mosaic inspired soap with you today. Allow me to introduce you to Christine, who will be sharing the soap she made.

Looking at the beautiful mosaic pictures in the blog post had my brain working overtime. I have been on a journey this past year on creating soaps with pictures and been learning several new techniques to accomplish that. Most of my soap is hot processed, but I sometimes combine cold process, hot process and M&P to get the desired effects.

My first thought when I saw the mosaic pictures was to create embeds. I tried to decide on which one of the pictures was going to be the best inspiration. I liked the sun. That would have been fairly easy and I thought that it would be a lovely motif with the MMS Ginger Pomelo FO.

But here’s the thing about inspiration. If it’s not right, I procrastinate. I’m still mulling it over, and it takes me a while to get going. Then, I remembered a mosaic project I did a few years ago. Broken pieces of tile, glass pebbles, sea shells, ceramic pieces . . . all put on a wall behind our wood burning stove. It turned out great, but we lost the house and couldn’t take it with us. I do hope the new owners enjoyed the artwork. Besides, If I was doing an actual mosaic, I might have more control over the image and may be able to do something a bit more challenging. I chose the spider, because with Halloween coming up, I might actually sell the soap, since these bars will be going for premium price.

For the fragrance I decided on an old sample bottle of Caribbean Breeze (BBW type) I had sitting around that I personally didn’t care for much. I spiced it up and made it a bit funky with a few drops of dill essential oil that was just sitting in the drawer and wasn’t doing anything. It turned out not too bad and really took some of that sickly sweetness out of the FO.

Laying out my supplies.

Laying out my supplies.

At that point, the stage was set. Here are my supplies laid out:

I needed blank canvas, so I made a batch of plain soap, some of which I molded for white bars, the rest I colored in different colors and molded in smaller molds.

The next day, I unmolded and cut my white canvas bars and lots and lots of soap tiles.

I knew I needed liberal amounts of rubbing alcohol. I use a 1:1 mixture of rubbing alcohol and witch hazel. And some M&P soap to fill in for the grout and to glaze the soap tiles and hold it all together.

Also, I laid out a few tools, but turned out I still needed a small paring knife and some tweezers, which I went to get later.

Other things to have around are a clean cloth to keep your work surface clean. Rubbing alcohol will make the colored soap (especially the black) bleed and mess up your surface. I had to make sure it kept it clean. Also, with the alcohol making the soap tacky, it seemed like every single dog hair in the house came flying to my work spot and I had to be careful to keep those out of the equation.

Laying out my mosaic.

Laying out my mosaic.

Here I am starting to lay out my mosaic:

I found that liberal amounts of rubbing alcohol will soften the surface layer of the soap and keep the little mosaic pieces sticky and pliable for quite a while, so it’s a double edged sword. It makes it easier to stick them together, but also very easy to get unwanted things stuck to them. That is where the tweezers came in handy. It helped avoid finger prints and transfer of colors from other soap tiles.

The mosaic starting to take shape.

The mosaic starting to take shape.

The mosaics are starting to shape up nicely. I purposely made the little tiles different thicknesses to heighten the effect.

I set the soaps on the little screen to allow air flow. They are quite soft and sticky at this point and need to dry out.

Brushing on glycerin soap.

Brushing on glycerin soap.

All the tile work is done and it’s time for the grout. I tried brushing the M&P and immediately found that the black soap started bleeding and dragging color of the the rest of the tiles. So I had to carefully alternate spraying alcohol and dripping soap into all the little spaces and just very gently brushing along the edges of the soap bars.

Then give it a few minutes to dry up and harden, then another spray with alcohol and a thin layer brushed over the top of it to glaze it all and seal it off.

Then the bars were set aside to cool and dry for a couple of hours.

They are still a bit soft but not quite as tacky. Just perfect to trim all the little drips off the sides with my paring knife and clean them up a bit.

Finished soaps!

Finished soaps!

Tada! Here are the finished Mosaic Soaps! I will simply call them Black Widow. The slightly funky fragrance is just perfect.

Cool! Being the Halloween junkie that I am, I love this soap! See you tomorrow with our last entry!


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