How to make artisan handmade soap.

I Pledge – The Inspired Collection

New to the Inspired Line of soaps is a new design we call

I pledge

I had tinkered with the notion of creating a soap for the 46th Independence of the Bahamas but could never nail a concept down. things were a bit busy at the time so it made coming up with an idea harder. Time passed so quickly that I didn’t have time to really think about what design I would make.

I toyed with the idea of a swirl soap mixing the colors of the Bahamas of Black, Gold and Aquamarine. Should I make the base a strong blue color with a bit of black and a tad more gold? What about a layered soap. Flat layers with a mica line. Perhaps use the tiger swirl technique, or the ombre technique. There were many options but the ideas were not coming together.

Lignum Bahamas Handmade Soap

Then I thought ok what about our national symbols, which of them can I use? The Pink Flamingo, The blue Marlin, the yellow elder seemed nice but then I remembered I already have Lignum. a handmade soap made under the inspiration of the Lignum Vitae. Our national Tree.

I was at a lost for what I could do. The next thing I knew it was July. Its too late to have a soap ready, the time to cure has passed so I put it out of my mind.

Independence Eve… I heard a show on the radio, of events ongoing on Grand Bahama. there was singing dancing and interviews with the artist. One artist in particular, KB, was telling an interesting story of what Independence means to him. His story literally inspired me at that moment and the light bulb went off in my head.

The Flag

It had strong meaning and its development was one that was surely powerful 46 years ago. That was it, create a soap to represent the flag of the Bahamas, but how?

It didn’t come to me at first but after looking at the flag for a while I started sketching out a design but there was a major problem.

Problem #1

I figured a technique I will use will require a special tool. Unfortunately I did not have this tool nor did I have the time to get it. I needed dividers to separate the stripes of the flag, it would take to long to order them and I needed then now. So I improvised using some plastics I had. I cut them to the shape I needed for the mold and it was on, hopefully it would hold.

Problem #2

artisan handmade soap

I needed to make the black triangle. Since I didn’t have a triangle mold I decided to make a square and then cut out the triangle. This was fairly simple but I needed the soap triangle to be hard enough to hold up under the weight of the rest of the soap. This meant I had to make that part first and give it time to harden. To do this I had to make a soap that could harden fast and I could use by the next day or sooner. If you know any thing about soaping then you know coconut oil is one of ways to get a hard soap fast, so I rushed to make the embed.

Problem # 3

artisan handmade soap

I made the mistake of making the embed too hard, I needed the dividers to slightly cut into the triangle hence avoiding spillage of the colors over each other. Sigh… What now? Okay not a big problem I just had to take my soap batter to a thicker trace. It would be a bit difficult to get the stripes but its what I was left with.

By this time it was actually July 10th. I enjoyed my day with family and friends but late that night as I listened to the celebrations on Clifford park via the radio, I began prepping to make the second part of the soap.

Problem #4

Bahamas artisan handmade soap

Oh my oh my… I went through my supplies and realized i didn’t have any yellow coloring. Soooo Yeah this is not looking good at all.

Ah Haaa I have orange. So the plan was to use a little of the orange color but have some white on stand by if it gets to dark. so this will be fun. It was a gamble but I had no other choice.

It’s go time

At this point there is not turning back, its a go. Measure my oils and ingredients, mix my batter make a separation, color the separate parts, pour them together in the makeshift divider and hope for the best.

Easy right! well sort of except their was a final problem.

Problem #5

artisan handmade soap

The fragrance I blended was a mixture of a fresh island breeze with a hint of mint and a strong earthy sent. Its a secret but I can tell you its amazing. The problem is that I forgot to research the individual fragrances. Come to find out I used a scent that accelerates trace. Sigh… Oh my what next. If you don’t know what this means then you should sign up to take our upcoming workshop on candle and soap making.

I could see the change happening in front of me so I mixed to emulsification, divided the batches, added the color with a hand mixer and by this time I was already at a light trace. So moving quickly I began the pour. By the time I reach to pouring the batter was already to a medium trace. I was sweating bullets. I came to far to mess this up.

I made the pour tapped out any cavities and removed the dividers. It was done.

Nervous and not knowing if it worked it was a short sleep but I had to wait before I could cut the soap and find out if it worked.

The good news is there is a way to remove the soap from the mold earlier than needed so i took that road and made a simple slice.

Bahamas artisan handmade soap

O.M.G It was awesome, it was beautiful. Minor issues but with all the problems it came out better than I expected. After I contained myself I had to come up with a name. What would I name this new handmade soap, inspired by the celebration of the Bahamas Independence? What would I call this soap that looks like a flag?

  • Upward?
  • Together?
  • The Bahamian?
  • Lift your Head?

What would it be called. At that moment of deep thought I heard on the radio personalities talking about Pastor Rahming. The Author of the Pledge of Allegiance. I met him a while ago and we had a very interesting conversation. Should I name it after him?

Then the phrase came to me I PLEDGE MY ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG. That’s it “I PLEDGE”

So after weeks of mulling over the idea, a last minute ditch to figure something out, improvising necessary tools and formulation recipes to suit my last minuteness the concept came together nicely. I keep notes on all my soap designs so the good news is I have already improved on the technique in the book. I will get in better tools to be able to make this soap if needed.

This is my patriotic gesture for being a proud Bahamian and we at Bahamas Candle and Soap are proud to add this new design to our Inspired Collection.

Bahamas Soap Maker

Rashad has been making soaps since the inception of Bahamas Candle and Soap in 2008. Since this time he has taught a number of students how make homemade soap using the melt and pour process or the cold process of soap making. His preference is cold process soap making because of the versatility you have in designing not only the ingredients but the aesthetics of the soap. Soap making became more than a hobby for Rashad and he loves trying new techniques and teaching others how they too can make their own soap at home.

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