So the alchemist/soap maker/artist incorporates this neat design into the loaf of soap ... blindly. Often we don't get to see the outcome of our creation until the next day when we unmold and cut the soap. Those are the times you hopefully hear me shrieking in delight (I am really not a shrieker - more like a I-can't-breathe I am in so-much-wonder sort of person). The point is ... I am deliriously happy cutting soap the next morning (even after a night shift!).
Ariel designed our soap cutter to cut vertically. I can set a 5# loaf of soap on the soap cutter, lower the panel of guitar strings down over it, and listen to the best music ever of "pling, pling, PLING" as the strings cut through the soap ... and Voila! I have sixteen even bars of soap, ready to carefully set on the shelves for their six week cure. (Fresh soap is VERY soft and must be handled VERY gently.)
(As I am typing this, I am realizing that the making of the soap cutter is a blog that needs to materialize quite soon.)
There are some designs in cold process soap that allow the viewer to see their true beauty better from a horizontal cut. And so, these, I cut by hand (for now - there is a second soap cutter being formulated in our heads, due for birth this winter yet - probably a cesarean delivery, d/t the amount of cuts and cautery (soldering) there will be).
As human as I am, and after a particularly long night shift, I came home to the soap pictured at the top of this page, which I am affectionately calling "Pluma" ("feather" in Spanish, and is in honor of my new Egg Soap that is currently curing). I unmolded the soap loaf, and started to cut horizontal cuts, so happy that the secretly embedded design of a feather was appearing perfectly - and then sleepiness overtook me and I resorted to habit and cut the next two bars vertically.
And I cut mirror images of an X-ray - looks just like a set of ribs. I am sure you'll agree.
So I thought this would be a great example to show you how different cuts of the same loaf of soap can reveal such different results. Not unlike humans - a different reaction to the same soul's quirk can make or break the outcome. You don't know what is hidden deep down inside a person - just like I do not know how my deeply embedded soap design will look once it is opened up. I quip that "life is messy" and I make soap to clean it up. But I am serious about that. There are so many soapy analogies that present themselves in this process of soap making. I feel inclined to share them ... to remind myself and others to handle each human we come in contact with with such care (like fresh soap) and to approach each one uniquely - as we don't know what amazing designs are inside. Be willing to flip your approach to potentially reveal a treasure.