If you haven’t had a chance to see the Tiger Stripe soaps from last week’s challenge, you are in for a treat! Go to the bottom of this post. The response has been absolutely phenomenal!! The goal of the challenges is to push ourselves to the next level of soapmaking – whatever that level may be, so please don’t feel intimidated to share your work! The link-up will remain open all week. We are all here together to encourage each other to do great things!
This week we will tackle the Elemental Swirl. This technique was first posted on the Otion Soap blog and another soapmaker suggested that I try the technique when I was asking for inspiration on my Facebook page!
It’s basically two in-the-pot swirls divided by a pencil line. You will need to divide your soap into eight equal parts – 3 colored parts with similar tones + 1 uncolored part for each layer. Sounds complicated, but it’s not so bad, I promise! Just take one step at a time, and be sure you have plenty of mixing bowls!
Here are my instructions:
1. BEGINNER VERSION: If this technique seems overwhelming to you, try dividing your soap into just 4 pots – two colored, two uncolored. Swirl one colored pot and one uncolored pot together for each layer and do the pencil line in-between.
2. Definitely use a fragrance or essential oil blend that will NOT accelerate trace! Slow, slow, slow.
3. You can use any type of colorants you like and mix them up to get the colors you want for each layer.
4. The pencil line can be done with mica OR activated charcoal, cocoa powder, powdered clay, etc.
5. Prep work is key!! Make sure you have all the colors dispersed, bowls & spatulas ready, and mica (or other powdered colorant) for the pencil line ready to go before you begin. You can use the tea strainer method as described in the Otion blog, or nylons stretched over a jar with a rubber band like I did.
6. The trickiest part (I think) is getting the soap the right consistency. If your soap is too thin, you will need to be careful pouring the top layer over the pencil line without disturbing it or the soap underneath too much. If it seems pretty fluid, just test it out by spooning on a little bit of soap before pouring it! If you bring your soap to a medium trace before swirling in the pot, you shouldn’t have too much trouble with this. It’s actually more interesting if the top layer breaks through the bottom one a little bit!
7. Take a deep breath and have fun!!