Embedding Soap in Soap - "Faceted Glass"
Though there will be even more detailed, soapy versions of "stained glass" with more advanced techniques, another "confetti-esque" version of embedding soap in soap is with a technique I call "Faceted Glass". Real faceted glass windows are constructed of thick blocks of (usually) colored glass that have been struck with a specialized hammer-type tool, leaving facets that beautifully refract the light. These faceted blocks of glass are set in a resin-concrete, resulting in a really thick, beautiful window installation. Though I won't be "faceting" my "colored glass" blocks, the resulting soap is still quite unique.
"Faceted Glass" Soap
The "secret" to this technique is making sure that your "confetti" pieces are the same thickness as the final soap. The easiest and most obvious way of achieving that is to pour the clear soaps in the same molds in which you'll construct the soap(s). The hexagonal mold (from #M154) is used to make the clear blocks, but all four shapes/molds (square, round, rectangular and hexagonal) will be used for the final soaps. Lime, orange and lemon fragrance oils team up with matching colors.
Remember when pouring clear glycerin, make sure to coat the mold with alcohol first. This, again, aids in removing air bubbles from the surface pour, for a much clearer completed soap.
Initially, I had wanted to utilize fondant or polymer clay cutters to cut out the shapes for the "faceted glass" soap, but the cutters were simply not deep enough to make it all the way through the soap. So, I went back to my trusty knife. When cutting this thick, hexagonal bar of soap, I did not stay shape-color exclusive, rather, I cut as many pieces from each bar as I could. When I was done, the cluster of chunks caught the light like citrusy jewels.
I sprayed the molds with alcohol and started fitting the clear soap chunks in all of them. Once arranged, I cut and melted roughly 10 ounces of white glycerin soap, (keeping in mind the colored soap will take up substantial space), which I scented with French Vanilla fragrance oil. The combination of the vanilla with the citrus scents is rather like lemon drops or orange creme. By using a white soap base, my colors stand out better and matching the base color is not a concern should more base be needed.
Looking at the two pictures above, it's easy to see that there will be a "best side" to these soaps; the back is simply not that attractive. The "unattractiveness" stems from having to move the stream of pouring soap in and out and around each of the colored soap chunks. the extended pouring time resulted in the stir-cooled soap getting thicker and thicker until the viscosity prohibited the usual smooth pour.
Having already expressed my intent to disclose the "bad" as well as sharing the "good", the two soaps pictured above are photographed on opposite sides. The soap on the left is pictured, still in the mold, with the back of the soap showing. As mentioned above, the final pour, with cooling and thickening soap was a mistake.
The soap on the right, however, has been unmolded and the "top" of the soap is visible. As you can see, some of the white, base soap ran beneath the citrus-colored soap chunks, leaving a thin coat of white on the surface. This can be rather easily corrected with a little "buffing".
FINISHING TIP #1
Buffing, in soap making, is pretty much the same as when you buff your nails or the polish on your car . . . it's rubbing. Using a paper towel(s) or washcloth, rub the surface of the freshly unmolded soap in a circular or back-and-forth motion, depending on the correction you need to make. once you're done, spray the surface with alcohol to smooth out any striations.
In the two pictures above, you can more clearly see the "faceted glass" effect. Though soap is not normally displayed in a window, this "glow" will be seen by anyone using the bar. They'll likely find themselves holding it up to the light more than once.