A fellow soapmaker and I were discussing soap molds (something all soapers discuss rather a lot), so I thought I'd put up a quick photo essay. I love this little mold. I won it several years ago as a prize at a soapmaker's convention. Unfortunately, the company that made it, TLC Soaps, appears to have gone out of business. I've searched all over the Internet, and while I can find listings for it and links to the home page, none of the links work. (I've tried two different browsers, just in case there was something hinky with Firefox.) I'm pretty bummed out about that, because this is a very cool mold design, and I hate to see that another soap company has gone belly-up. :-(
Anyway, here's part one of my how-to using a soap mold with Plexiglas inserts.
This mold holds approximately 3.5 pounds of soap mixture. This is a cold process batch (meaning that once the oils are melted and mixed with the lye/water/milk solution, no additional heat is applied). This batch is a luxurious one, containing cocoa butter, shea butter, a high percentage of olive oil, wheat germ oil, powdered green clay, and goat milk. I formulated it to be soothing and moisturizing, and scented it with patchouli essential oil.
As you can see, the soap lightened up considerably in color once it went through the saponification process.
Part two, which I'll post tomorrow, will show how this mold doubles as a cutting guide.