Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Coloring Soap with Confidence - Review

As I mentioned, I am terrible when it comes to mixing colors and knowing exactly how much color will achieve a desired result. In an effort to educate myself, I decided to purchase the Coloring Soap with Confidence E-Class offered by The Nova Studio. Below is my review of the course and some information about the author.

Title: Coloring Soap with Confidence
Author: Lori Nova
Copyright: 2009
Price: $39.00
Format: 14 page PDF and 44 page slideshow PDF

Overview: The course is basically a color guide of just about every colorant that you could possibly consider using in cold process soap. The smaller of the two PDFs is an easy to understand guide in which the author has documented her tesing of soap colorants. The author explains what each colorant is, where to purchase, and its usage amounts to achieve a color. She itemizes all the colors that she has tested, which is actually quite comprehensive, 77 colorants in total. Colorants that were tested include oxides, ultramarines, Labcolor dyes, Soapalooza dyes, TKB Trading dyes, lakes, neons, micas, pop micas, natural clays, and natural herbs and spices. Although designed for cold process soap makers, there is a page for hot process soap making and one for melt and pour.

The 44 page slideshow has a soap made for every single color that the author tested. Not only are the photos grouped by type, they are also regrouped by color, so you can see the differences of all the colorants that come in a yellow shade, for example, or you can see all of the colors made by herbs and spices.

Also included: Besides photos of about 77 bars of soap in every color of the rainbow and a guide to using the colorants, is a page of links to further articles and resources on coloring soaps, an organized color list, and links to suppliers.

The course is very useful and easy to follow. The color guide is fantastic because you can see the shade of each color made by each type of colorant. If you are looking for a particular color for your soap, you can look at the photos, choose the shade you want, and know which colorant to use to acheive that color. I also appreciated the usage amounts. You know exactly how much color the author used and can do the math to get the same results in your own recipe. This is a very thorough collection of colorants and their resulting colors in cold process soaps, and a great resource for soapmakers to add to their library. In fact, I know of no other resource that gives such comprehensive information on colorants.

Did the course provide information on mixing colors? No it didn't, but it didn't advertise that it would either, so I can't complain. I would love it if Lori could design a program for the "color challenged soapmaker" that could perhaps give information on counteracting morphing caused by essential oils and fragrances. For example, I recently made a batch of soap and the eo was a little yellow. Well, when I added my purple it became greyish. A color guide on overcoming these issues with color would make a great course for The Nova Studio to teach. Hint, hint!!

About Lori Nova and The Nova Studio

Lori Nova started making soaps in 2000. She later began teaching and opened The Nova Studio in Point Richmond, CA. She has taught at a number of events, including the 2009 Handmade Soapmakers Guild's annual convention and conducts very popular soapmaking boot camps at her studio. Her studio also hosts courses taught by other leading instructors in the soap making industry. For a complete list of classes and more information about the Coloring Soap with Confidence E-Class, please visit The Nova Studio (click here).

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  1. Thank you SO much Erica for this very positive review of my first eClass! What a nice surprise it was to see & read :)

    My original plan was to include color blending/mixing as part of this "experiment", but after the number of individual colors quickly grew to 77, I realized that the project would be never ending. Can you imagine how many different color combinations would be possible once you started mixing? Easily thousands. Plus if you add in the interaction of the essential oils and/or fragrance oils, different base soap recipes... you see where I'm going.

    For help with color blending and to know what to expect if your essential oil is a bit yellow (like your example), I would recommend a simple cheap color wheel that you can purchase anywhere (I bought mine at www.GloryBee.com) - that should help those of us who are color challenged (ahem... I'm included in this category).

    Take care & happy soap coloring!

  2. Thanks, Lori. I do have a color wheel, but it doesn't show color mixing, just coordinating colors. I am going to search online for some artist info on mixing colors. Otherwise, your course was very helpful. Seeing all of the colors gave me an idea of what I can do with the pigments I have.


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