Sep 2014

Mountain Man Survivors - A 'Happy' Accident

I had wanted to make a ‘man’ soap for sometime and, living amongst the beautiful Cairngorm mountains as I do, what could be better than to try a two-layer Mountain Man Soap.
This batch was a favourite of mine using hemp milk and all was going well, when I realised that with diminished lighting as evening fell, I had accidentally, oops… put spirulina on as a pencil line instead of charcoal, which also meant that the mixture for the top was not green as planned but black!! Panic struck for a few moments but it was done and there was no way to change it.  The loaf babies were put under towels to insulate and I hoped for the best.
Two days later they were ready to cut but ~ the two layers had not stuck together and came apart whilst I was cutting.  The problem was that I had put on far too thick a layer of spirulina (when doing a pencil line it must be a VERY thin line to allow the other layers to stick together).
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I was so disappointed at the loss of almost 2 loaf batches when I remembered a phrase from artist Bob Ross, ‘we don’t make mistakes, we just have happy accidents’.
Some Mountain Man slices did survive and have stuck together as normal and, although this batch is very ‘limited edition’, I actually think it is better than I had first planned. I will definitely make it like this again! (with a much thinner line of spirulina, obviously!)
As for the ‘victims’ which didn’t survive, I cut the cream base into chunks and rolled them into balls, then cut the charcoal soap into rugged chunks to be used in a future mountain soap endeavour.  I have to admit that it really was rather therapeutic, massaging the cubes of soap into balls ~ quite meditative!!!  Here in the Cairngorms over the winter months it gets really cold and snowy, so an idea of a snowball soap is underway, although I have never tried to embed into a cold process soap before so that will be another learning curve.
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The end result was not as planned but I like it so happy accidents can sometimes work out better! !