The Short of it:
My lather last night almost felt too thin and watery between my fingers before the shave. But during the shave it turned out to be too dry. Most other croaps are more predictable.
What's up with that? How can it feel too thin and watery one moment, and need water when it gets to the face?
With most soaps, especially the artisan croaps, the viscosity of the soap starts thick and then as you add water, it gradually thins. This is a predictable, linear line. The lather starts out looking too thick and feeling too thick. You can't feel that you have fingerprints.
You add more water.
Then you can see the lather start to change visibly, and relax. And you can feel the lather via the fingers, start to relax as well... For instance, maybe you're just starting to feel that you might have fingerprint ridges. It's got decent cushion. Maybe this is where you like it.
Or maybe you keep going with the water, to get it really hydrated and slick. Eventually, it looks the way you want it, as it smooths out even more, and maybe now you can distinctly feel those fingerprint ridges. So you stop adding water and now brush it onto your face.
You're now good. The lather is as you wanted it.
I've had a few soaps that weren't as predictable. I got to that last, thin phase, and put it on my face, and it wasn't wet enough. It dried quickly and I think made the razor drag. The surprise was when I rinsed. The slickness came alive! So I think it was too dry, even though it almost felt too thin between my fingers before the shave. What the heck is that?
- Maybe that's just the way some soaps are, and you have to just memorize that.
- I wonder if I introduced water too quickly. My brush, before loading, was lightly wet. Then, in the lather bowl, I mixed that up for a bit, then I added 1tsp of water and mixed. Then another tsp. Mix. Then I think by half tsp and mix until it felt well blended and the consistency felt right.
I experienced this last night with Southern Witchcraft's Cedar (which is in their new base), and I've experienced that with Williams as well.
I'm open to all other suggestions and thoughts.
Update: added explicit question
I figured it out, I think. This new base is a little tricky. It just looks dryer/thicker/denser, when it is really not. I think I just over-watered it.
So my lesson is that with this base, unlike just about all the others, I have to either change what my eye is used to noticing, or just go by how the lather feels in my fingers.