I thought I'd really let you in behind the scenes. This is a new era for me and Manor Hall Soap. A number of you have been with me from the beginning and know Rainy Day Sunrise has been here since then. This is the journey of the new Art House style Rainy Day Sunrise, which will be replacing the classic style bar.
The above pic shows my worksheet, which contains my "artist's rendering" (in this case a conception of the new bar) together with some of the key ingredients, such as infused olive oil, and turmeric, which you can just barely see behind the sheet. The pot on the extreme left is the essential oil blend of lemon, may chang and rosemary.
My collection of tools for the job, white spatulas and barbecue skewers. Believe it or not, every one of these will probably get used for the one bar.
This is me standing at my workbench. I'm never out of these pink and black boots while I'm working. Or the striped socks. I usually push my toes under the bottom of the bench. Don't ask me why... it's a comfort thing.
Jug of lye meet pan of melted oils. They call it the "cold process" or "cold kettle" method of soapmaking, but these components are usually around 120 degrees Fahrenheit when they're added together. Soapmakers have their own favorite temperature, depending on their recipe. For me, I liked around 120 degrees for the classic soap bar batches. Because I want to be able to play more with the soap, the Art House bars are being soaped at just under 100.
I've used a stick blender to get it to a light trace. Trace is the stage where the mixture leave a "trace" on the side of the pan. The consistency of a trace is often described as being like mayonnaise. I don't want mine like mayonnaise for the Art House style because I want to be able to get artistic with the soap and I don't want it setting up fast on me. I'm pouring off the creamy white soap into a jug which I'll be using later on when I start layering.
Here, you can see the very light trace on the side of the pan. I'm mixing in some turmeric to give the soap a nice light yellow cast. I've added it to small amount of olive oil to help it blend into the soap easier.
I've poured off a jug of the colored soap and I'm reserving it to use later when I start painting with it. Although this looks bright orange, the color will fade as the soap cures and hopefully it's going to leave me with a pale yellow.
This is the rest of the soap in the pot and this will be the main body of the batch. I'm pouring it into the mold and as you can see, I've got another inch in the mold to play with.
So here's what we've got so far. Two jugs of soap reserved, one creamy white and one pale yellow (eventually). The main body of the soap is sitting in the mold, and there's an inch or so for me to play artist with. I'll see you tomorrow as I begin the next stage of Art House style Rainy Day Sunrise soap...
Never fear, Part 2 is here.