Indigo Rose Soap Making for the Pull Through Soap Challenge Club

052019_37164wp.jpgFor the May Soap Challenge Club, we learned a soap making technique that’s based on an acrylic paint pouring method. This method of painting involves pouring fluid acrylic soap through some kind of object with multiple holes, like a sink strainer or colander. The beautiful designs these acrylic artists achieve are just incredible. I lost an entire afternoon just watching their YouTube videos. :)

Our guest instructor this month was Joanne Watkins of Nature’s Potion Handmade Soaps. In addition to being an amazing soap maker, Joanne is also an acrylic painting artist. She showed us how to accomplish this technique with soap by either pouring it through an object or pulling an object through the soap. We had two ways to enter the challenge: use an existing object with holes for the regular category or create your own object for the advanced. This was such a fun technique to try and yields such cool designs in the soap. :)

For this challenge, I really wanted to create my own unique object and enter the advanced category. I’m not the most creative person, but I’m an engineer. Surely, I could come up with something! Well, apparently not. After thinking and thinking, I finally had to give up and start looking for something I could use directly or modify. I ended up using the side of a storage basket I found at the grocery store. Thankfully, it was made of a type of plastic that would handle being immersed in soap.

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I removed the bottom of the basket, then cut two separate designs from the mesh sides. One was cut in a rectangle for a log mold, and the other was cut for my round soap mold. For the round version, I modified the design a bit hoping to get more variation.

For both batches, I attached strings and placed the objects in the bottom of each mold in order to do the pull through technique.

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For my colors, I used indigo root, rose kaolin clay, and activated charcoal. I used a Lavender, Rosemary, & Mint essential oil blend. I poured both soaps at a light to medium trace using the faux funnel pouring method. When all the soap was poured, I lifted the objects slowly up through the soap.

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This technique produces such unique patterns. I decided to enter the regular category with my round soap, since it had more variation overall. I’m definitely going to use this method in the future. I make a round coffee and cocoa soap and can’t wait to see how it looks using the pull through method.

I filmed my entire process and will hopefully have a couple of videos ready in the next week or so. Here are my finished soaps:

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For the slab mold soap, I cut most of the batch horizontally (instead of the normal vertical bar cuts). I had one piece left that was cut vertically. You can see how different it looks in the first two photos (soap on the front right).
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Thanks so much for reading my post!

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27 thoughts on “Indigo Rose Soap Making for the Pull Through Soap Challenge Club

  1. I love how your soaps turned out – and that you tried two different molds and got two completely different patterns from it! The colors work together famously, and the outcome couldn’t be better! I can imagine cutting into the column mold must have been super fun as each layer revealed a different pattern with different color combinations. Looking forward to watching the video later!

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  2. Hi Holly:
    Thanks for sharing you techniques and experiences. I always enjoy reading your blogs and watching your videos….I wish you would do more, but I know how labor-intensive it is too.
    It’s amazing that you got such great soap designs from something so simple as part of a basket.
    Beautiful soaps!! Nicely Done!!
    Sly

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for reading my post and you’re very welcome! Good luck with your basket and soap making! It’s a lot of fun to cut the soap and see all the different designs this technique creates. :)

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  3. I really like these! Beautiful color combination. I’m also a fan of the more natural colorants, but have never gotten such a nice color from the indigo. What brand and how do you use it?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I use the Natural Botanicals organic indigo (https://bit.ly/2SbCO1w). It’s a very intense indigo and takes very little to achieve a nice blue. I use a quick and easy method created by Amy Warden where you just mix the indigo with oil instead of infusing with heat. I usually mix 1/8 teaspoon indigo with about 1tablespoon of sunflower oil, mix it up and let it sit a while (it mostly dissolves). I’ll then add about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of that indigo oil per cup of soap. It always looks dark grayish green until it goes through gel phase. After gel, it produces a really pretty blue. I’ve even gotten a turquoise blue color when using small amounts of it. If it doesn’t go through gel phase, it’s usually a lighter gray blue and not nearly as vibrant. Thanks for asking!

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  4. Holly, I could stare at these all day! They are so incredibly beautiful. I love how you were able to get the perfectly outlined and symmetrical designs in many of your round soaps, too! Thanks for sharing your process and your beauties with us!

    P. S. It was an absolute delight meeting you in person at the conference!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. beautiful soap. I don’t understand how you can get color blue with indigo root. in france, all my tests with indigo root lead to green. can you explain help me?

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    • Thank you! I find it really depends on my source for indigo root. I’ve had some yield a green while others would give me a pale steel blue or even a pretty pink when used sparingly. To get this blue, I used Botanical Colors organic indigo root powder. It’s very very dark and takes so little. I mix about 1/8 teaspoon into 1 tablespoon sunflower oil and let it sit a while. Then I’ll use about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon per cup of soap. Hope this helps. I have several posts showing how I use it if you want to read more about it. :)

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  6. Pingback: Video: Pour/Pull Through Soap Making Technique in a Log Mold | Kápia Méra

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