Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Soap Challenge: Spinning Swirls (or, A Tale of Two Soaps)

First- yes, I have been absent from the blog for some time.  That is a story for another post, however.

 I wasn't able to participate in the last two soap challenges- too much other activity on the home front.  I was able to get to this one, however- in fact, I made two batches!

The challenge was spinning swirls, something I had never seen before, but it looked like fun- and very doable.  Marly (DIL) had been asking for a citrus scented soap, so that helped determine my colors.  My one big problem was my lack of a slab mold.  I did manage to cobble one together with some heavy duty corrugated cardboard I cut out of a box.

I needed my slow tracing recipe- I was going for three colors plus white.

I wanted citrus colors, so I used Apple Green, Sunshine Yellow, Vibrance Orange, and titanium dioxide all from Nurture Soap Supply.  I love their micas!!

Here it is, all poured into my improvised slab mold.  As you can see, I don't have the best control with my pitchers.  Oh, well.

 Spun once. . .

Spun twice.  I liked the movement I got, but the colors blended more around the edges than I wanted.

However, when I cut the bars, I was surprised- that blending did not extend all the way through the soap.  So, here is my entry for the challenge!

I scented these with a combination of lime, lemongrass, and litsea cubeba essential oils.  They smell like citrus heaven!

I had time, so I wanted to test a theory- would using squeeze bottles give me better control of my pouring with a technique like this?  I also wanted a more permanent slab mold- cardboard was good for one batch, but not more!  So, my son and I spent a couple of hours making two molds- one small, one larger.  

I made the same recipe, using the same colors and scents.  I wondered if a slightly thicker trace would help with the color blending, so I got the batter to just a hair beyond emulsified, then poured into my bottles which already had the colorant in them.  I definitely felt I had more control over the pour.  No white blobs over my circles!

Two spins later, and we had. . . 

And here are the finished bars--

There is nothing wrong with them, they look good- but the narrower color bands I got on the first batch had lots more movement.  Maybe next time I won't blend past emulsification, and see what happens.  

My daughter-in-law now has plenty of citrus scented soaps to look forward to, and I now have two slab molds!

Thanks for hosting this challenge, Amy.  I love this technique and will be using it again!