Friday, February 24, 2012

Clean Cotton Faux Funnel Pour Soap

Do you know about the funnel pour technique? If you are a soapmaker, you've probably heard of it, and you may have even tried it. As you might suspect, a funnel is involved. Soap is poured in alternating colors through the funnel into the mold, creating circular pools of color. The cut bars have cool ribbon-like bands throughout. The funnel is usually held in place above the center of the mold by chopsticks, spoon handles, or - as Bramble Berry's Anne-Marie cleverly uses in this Soap Queen TV video - an overturned cup with a hole in the bottom:



There is also something called the "faux funnel pour" technique. It is like the funnel pour, only no funnel is involved. But the idea is the same. Soap is poured in alternating colors one on top of the other, creating a similar pooling effect as with the funnel method.

I decided to take a stab at the faux funnel pour recently. For this soap, I used a Clean Cotton fragrance oil, which made me think of blue and white.

The goal was to have two distinctly different shades of blue to go along with the white, giving me three colors to pour. I used ultramarine blue oxide and titanium dioxide (mixed with a bit of glycerin) to make blue, light blue, and white colors. (The white looks kinda yellow because I mixed the titanium dioxide into my fragrance oil. It turned out pretty white in the finished soap, though.)

After I made the main soap batch (with the fragrance and titanium dioxide mixed in), I split the batch into three equal amounts. Then I colored one bowl of soap deep blue, another light blue, and left the third bowl white.

Then the fun part - the pouring! My soap got a little thick on me, so my pours weren't as fluid as I would have liked.

I started out with three pools, alternating deep blue, white, and light blue ...

And after a few pours like that, I made some new pools somewhere else ...

And soon my mold was filled and I finished it off with a pretty little swirl on top.

It is tough to wait a day or two before unmolding sometimes, especially if I'm trying a new or intricate technique. During the wait, I sometimes find myself thinking, "Wow, that's gonna look awesome!" Or "Gee, I sure hoped that worked." Or "Well, we can still use it even if it's super ugly." I usually feel both giddy and nervous when it comes time to cut.

Freshly unmolded soap (left); cutting the soap (right)





By the way, I just love my wooden soap mold with the built-in cutter from Soap Making Resource. I am dreadful at cutting soap by hand. Actually, I'm quite fantastic at cutting wonky, uneven bars by hand. Gifted, really. But dreadful at making straight, uniform cuts on my own. So I really like having the guidance. I just wish my crinkle cutter would fit in the slot ... then my life would be perfect.

Here are a few of the cut bars! I like how each bar is unique. I wish that there was more of a contrast between the two blues, but overall I'm pleased. Next time, I will choose more distinctive colors and try to keep my trace lighter so the soap will flow more fluidly. My technique was more like a "plop pour." (It was probably a mistake to use the stick blender to mix in the colorants - I'll try a whisk next time.) I think I'd also pour in a more side-to-side motion rather than choosing random spots, or just make one pool in the center of the mold and pour one color on top of another without moving around. But this batch was fun to make, that's faux sure!


And I do have a funnel - one day I'm going to have to try the non-faux funnel pour (or, as it is more commonly called, the funnel pour).

Anybody else loving the funnel pour, faux or not?

10 comments:

  1. Those turned out awesome, faux sure! :D I think this technique is so cool...but I haven't tried it yet. I like the blue colors you chose to go with the clean cotton fragrance, too..."calming" is what comes to my mind when I look at them. :)

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    1. Thank you, SDsoaper! I plan to use this technique again, and I do want to try the regular funnel pour, too. I love Clean Cotton - it is such a fresh, relaxing scent. :)

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  2. That's a lovely soap, Jenny. I've not tried the faux funnel yet, but might try it soon. Love the colours in yours (and i'm pretty fantastic too at cutting wonky bars by hand - it really is a skill, lol). Great work Jenny xx

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    1. Thank you, Polly! The faux funnel pour is fun, and I plan to have a go at the funnel pour sometime, too. There are so many techniques I want to try! I know what you mean about the cutting - I'm one of those people who can't draw a straight line with a ruler. I'll get out my tape measure, mark everything off, cut my soap, and my bars will still be all kinds of crazy sizes. :D

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  3. Such pretty soap! Love the blue colors. I'm thinking green swirls would make a very nice-looking soap, too! Also love the Clean Cotton scent -- light and fresh.

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    1. Thanks, Debbie! Green, blue, and white would have gone well with this fragrance, too, and they would have also given me a greater color contrast. I'll keep experimenting with this technique! I agree, Clean Cotton is such a nice, fresh scent - perfect for spring!

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  4. So *that's* how it's done!! Fab blog post, and great pics too. I think the colours suit the fragrance perfectly too. Beautiful.

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    1. Thanks, Carmen! I was happy with the way the soap turned out. I'll have to try this fun method again sometime!

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  5. Wow! That is gorgeous, you did a beautiful job! I love the colors you chose. You make it look so easy. I am definately going to try this. Thank you for sharing:)

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    1. Thank you, enchantedrainsoap! The faux funnel technique is fun - I think that you will like it!

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