Rebatched soap

Sometimes it takes a friend to put things into perspective. Eileen, a wonderful fiber artist, came over to visit. She is so talented and when I am around her I start to fill with ideas. Eileen can create beautiful works of art from pieces of fabric and then sit down and talk about HTML code without batting an eye. You know that type of friend? We talked about blogs, picked blueberries, made a simple batch of soap and just listening and sharing time with Eileen sort of jump-started my belief in some of my projects including a soap rebatch that I was trying to ignore.

I have been bothered recently by the results of my cold-processed soap. My big soap designs tended to beget disasters. One was a fresh lavender soap that had beautiful buds of lavender embedded in it. This idea resulted in a middle soap layer of goo when the flowers absorbed the liquid and just sat swimming around in the center of my soap bar. The choice to cut out the center layer of glop left me with “rebatch”, which I had not done to date. I followed the soap queen tutorial on rebatch from Anne Marie Faiola. One of her suggestions in the video was to grate the soap and put it in a freezer bag. This would be put in a boiling water bath until melted. I did this without adding any water as this batch was already basically wet. Oven mitts helped me squish it all up until I had the “mashed potato” consistency that she mentioned and then I pressed this into a small mold and walked away. It looked terrible.

After spending the morning with Eileen and showing her the highs and lows of my soaping attempts, I addressed that strange looking soap and the result was pretty amazing. As I trimmed off all the crumbly bits a pretty soap emerged. The saved bit of the middle layer created a pink speckle throughout the cut soap bars. Looking at this from the outside gave no clue what the cut bars would turn out to be!

I now have a few bars of a very pretty soap and I would never have expected to find it in the strange and rugged looking square of rebatched soap that I had set aside. One thing I have learned about soap-making is that sometimes you get some very nice results with a plan that goes totally wrong at the beginning. Having creative friends to give you a belief, a boost and a new way to look at things is a bonus!


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