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!


Claudia Carpenter said...

Great colors & I love the improvised tray!

Frances Bryan said...

Your first batch look like agate slices, which I love. The colours are great and the scent is perfect for the soap.

Amy Warden said...

Great job, Beverly!! Thank you for sharing your experience with both batches. I love the thinner lines with the first batch as well. I bet it smells amazing too! And now you have some slab molds to practice this technique again!

Cris said...

Interesting trying the same colors/scents but with different thickness of soap batter! I like both versions!

Leela Sannyasin said...

ShaZam! Girl you nailed the citrus soap design. Love love love the veils and ribbons of bright color in the first one. It's even better that you used an improvised mold. What recipe did you use? Only two spins and you got such generous moving swirls. Congrats! Well done.