Sunday 10 January 2010

from soil 'n trees 'n leaves to soap molds...

I have a stack of soap to make at the mo, so what better time to show you how I make 'Potters Bar'...?
I have made a conscious decision to discontinue my organic range of soap and haul 'em on over to the botanical range, which after looking at figures from last year was the most popular range and the one most talked about. Nothing like looking at the details to see which bit of your mini business you are getting right. Yes, that means there will be no more fragrant range or organic range, but there will be lots of new soaps made with 100% natural ingredients all scented with essential oils to be getting stuck into instead. So as it stands, I shall have a botanical soap range along with some more new products including the egg bombs from my last post.
Another reason for quitting the organic is the rising cost of organic essential oils and organic palm oil. I'm all for fair trade, and for sourcing products sustainably but for now the organics must wait....until the price drops!
Right, now that I've told's how botanical Potters Bar soap is made along with a rundown of the ingredients used to produce it.

well obviously that's me.. in my new apron that mummy bought for me for xmas...nice huh!

caustic soda mixed with mineral water (yes there is a little residue from the caustic floating on the happens sometimes).

essential oils..left to right: fennel (foeniculum vulgare), lemon (citrus limon), lavender (lavandula angustifolia), eucalyptus (eucalyptus globulus). In each batch of 10lb soap, I add a minimum of 60ml (about 16 teaspoons).

coconut oil and palm oil ready for melting on the hob.

olive oil & sunflower oil mixed - into which I shall pour the melted coconut & palm.

pure, unrefined organic cocoa butter

organic soya oil for mixing titanium dioxide and any other colour i may be using.

wheatbran - for exfoliating gardeners or potters hands...or for breakfast

soya oil with titanium dioxide on the right and the same on the left but with 1/2 tsp of chromium green oxide added to give the pale green colour (love that)

heavily traced soap...with the green mix added to the left batch and the white TD added to the right batch

let the layering begin...already poured some of the white into the mold and now using a spatula to gently place on top of the white before patting down a little ready for the next layer.
You need to have really thickly traced soap to do this...well I find it helps. Also, when working with essential oils the mix doesn't tend to seize like it can when using fragrance oils

the finished batch sprinkled with lavender flowers and soap shreds
That's it!
Want some? you'll have to wait til it's about a month!

my reward! oh...just noticed the knife...that's not a good advert. Matt is still alive....honest!


Dan Finnegan said...

...and lovely Winchcombe pots to work with!?

kat said...

Tiggy, I don't know what's more lovely, you or your soap!

"my reward! oh...just noticed the knife...that's not a good advert. Matt is still alive....honest!"

You crack me up. XD

Alexandra said...

Hi Tig,
A great post, I loved seeing how you make your gorgeous soaps!

Hope you are not too snowed in and you have managed to get food. I went to Tescos yesterday and they had no chocolate buttons :(

Have a lovely week xx

Amy W said...

I guess I didn't realize you could layer soaps all at once. I've made completely separate batches for each layer before - very time consuming! I suppose it would help to use E.O.'s instead of F.O.'s. Thanks for the inspiration!

Amber said...

Wonderful pics! Thanks for including us in the making of that batch. You are adorable in your apron!!!