How I Made Seascape IV
When I saw the tutorial for this month's challenge, Pointy Layers, my first thought was that they looked like waves. So I decided to make a seascape design using the pointy layers as the waves. I have to be honest, it took four attempts before I got this right. The first one was a tall and skinny and came out great except for the lack significant of waves.
The second had the waves but also lots of glycerin rivers.
The third had no waves.
I decided the proportion of sand to water to sky needed to be 30%, 25%, 45% and I thought it would look good with a sun. Since I couldn't use M&P for the sun I had to use cold process soap which took about 3 days. I finally put it together and waited anxiously to see if I got the waves and proportion right. I think I did. Here is how I made it:
1. First I made the CP sun using a 1/2 inch PVC pipe and a 50/50 mix of palm and coconut oil using the soapcalc formula but with reduced water to hopefully get it to harden faster. I lined the PVC pipe with freezer paper, put a cap on the end and placed it upright in a flower vase. Poured the soap, let it set up for 2 days then pulled it out (actually pushed it out with a 1/2 inch dowel, very difficult. )
2. I used this formula for the soap: canola oil 12.5%, castor oil 6.25%, coconut oil 31.25%, cottonseed oil 20%, olive oil 25%, mango seed butter 5%. The total weight of the oils was 30 ounces. I used 9.47 oz of distilled water, 4.28 ounces sodium hydroxide, 2 tsp sodium lactate and 1.5 oz of tea tree. I used tea tree because it slows trace in my experience. After everything cooled to 84 degrees I separated off 30% of the oils and 30% of the lye mixture, put them in a funnel measuring cup (long funnel) and blended to medium trace, colored with a small amount of brown, orange, and white mica, added poppy seeds and poured into an 8 inch silicone mold. This was my sand layer. I let it set up for about an hour, intended to be only 30 minutes but I got involved in cooking a quiche for dinner and it took longer than I expected.
3. Next I made the sea layer and the sky/clouds layer. By this time the oil and the lye were both at 78 degrees. I mixed the remaining oil and lye water to a light trace, divided into three parts, 11 ounces sea and 19 oz for the sky divided into equal parts white and blue. The sea I colored with tropical teal mica and sea green mica. I poured the sea layer on top of the sand which was quite firm by that time. The soap for the sky had been divided into two equal parts about 9.5 oz each in long funnel measuring cup. I added the white to one cup and the blue to another. I took about 3/4 of the white and mixed it into the blue and placed it in a squeeze bottle to which I had placed a cut off pipette to extend it's length.
Not all of the blue/white mixture fit into the measuring cup so I set this aside. Like the tutorial video I poured the sky into the sea back and forth using the squeeze bottle with the pipette tip. After I emptied the squeeze bottle I took the remaining blue and remaining white and poured them together with very little mixing in order to get clouds in the sky. I poured this over a spatula on the top of the sky level. Tapped everything down then used some left over blue and sea green to drop small amounts on the top and used a chopstick to put a little pattern on the top. I left it uncovered on the counter and checked the temperature periodically. It never got above 87 degrees.
4. I patiently waited until the next day and removed it from the mold. I let it sit for about an hour and then got up the courage to cut it. The waves were exactly where I wanted them and no glycerin rivers.