Friday, August 16, 2013

The Holly Swirl Challenge

Bayberry Soap
This month I had the time to participate in the monthly soap challenge hosted by Amy Warden of Great Cakes Soapworks.  When I started making soap years back, we were limited to books and online tutorials with photos.  Now we have You Tube to learn new techniques and the creativity is mind boggling.  This month's challenge was to use the technique called The Holly Swirl, or a swirl within a swirl. 

My first attempt was the only one that I took pictures of the entire process, and fortunately that is the one that I liked the best.  My second and third attempts are posted here.  I had done something similar to the Holly Swirl prior to the challenge and included the resulting soap along with the second and third attempt. 

As this was The Holly Swirl, I was thinking along the lines of Holly Jolly Christmas and chose to make a soap scented with Bayberry.  I used oxides for colorants, and after the addition of the fragrance the batter started moving along into a thicker trace than I would have wanted but I liked the results, none the less.  (My second attempt was more fluid and poured at a light trace, and the third attempt was poured at medium/light trace.)  For the Bayberry soap, the contrast between the red and white swirl against the green really made the colors pop. 

 The process to the end result:

Red and white swirl in the pot
Red and white swirl poured into the green soap base

All finished and ready to tuck the soap into bed for the night

Someone recently posted in one of the soap groups that I particpate in to take thumb tacks and poke them into the top of the mold before tucking textured top soaps into a blanket for the night.  Great tip, no more botched textured tops on soaps!   
Soap log ready for cutting

I don't have one of those fancy cutters (still a dream for me), just my trusty old Cutco chef's knife and a wooden cutting guide.  Seeing as no one was home when I made or cut the soap, I have no photos of the cutting process to show you. 
Close up of one of the cut bars of soap
I really enjoyed participating in this month's challenge and have some amazing soaps to show for it.  One of these days I might get brave enough to produce some You Tube videos of my soapmaking adventures.   
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