November 2015 Soap Challenge: Tall & Skinny Shimmy (Wall Pour)

This is my third Soap Challenge by Amy Warden of Great Cakes Soapworks (see September & August Blogs).

Our teacher this time is Tatiana Serko of Creative Soap by Steso.

The challenge was to master the Tall & Skinny Shimmy Swirl, or Wall Pour.

The strategy for this challenge is to have the soap batter thin enough that it retains movement, so it will shimmy as you add each subsequent pour. I tend to have my batter too thin, so I’m working on thickening it up a bit, but still having it thin enough for some motion – quite the balancing act for me.

This is the soap I submitted in the challenge:


Black Raspberry Vanilla

1st Batch:

Black Raspberry Vanilla:

I went with a Black Raspberry Vanilla FO (from Nature’s Garden) because of the bright colors I relate it to, which I thought would be striking. I used black, dark purple, light purple, radiant plum, neon blue raspberry, aqua, and white.

My Colors:


Colors (clockwise): BB Aqua Mica, BB Neon Blue Raspberry, BB Radiant Plum, TKB Magic Violet, TKB The Fox Purple, BB Activated Charcoal; BB TD white (middle).

I associate Black Raspberry Vanilla FO with Valentine’s Day and in the life of soaping, that holiday is just around the corner. (I know Valentine’s s/b all about pink & red, but I love purple, and find it’s fun to change VD colors up a bit.) BRV is always a lovely scent for any occasion, as it’s very well behaved: no acceleration, no discolor, no ricing.

I tried to make my soap batters a bit thicker than usual, as I tend to soap very, very thin, so I’m hoping I didn’t get them too thick.

Soap batters ready to be poured:


Colors (clockwise): BB Aqua Mica, BB Neon Blue Raspberry, BB Radiant Plum, TKB Magic Violet, TKB The Fox Purple, BB Activated Charcoal; BB TD white (middle).

I went from dark to light with my pour, starting with the left side of the mold tilted and pouring the black on the right side, alternating the tilt & pour.

I did a simple swirl on the very top, so as not to disturb the design inside.


Top after pour

You can see that the black & purple had enough shimmy to make their way up to the top of the mold when all was poured.


Close up of top after pour.


Middle of loaf. My Skinny mold has a tendency to bow out a little.

IMG_3789Lots of shimming in these soaps




The colors really are this striking


Close up


2nd Batch:

Blue Man Soap:

I am out of Blue Man scented soap and really wanted to try the Tall Skinny Shimmy with a tri-color technique, similar to the Zen soap pictured in the Challenge tutorial.

However, this FO (from Brambleberry) accelerates a bit and discolors with 4.9% Vanilla content. I have been able to work with these obstacles in the past, but not with so many pours involved. Since half of my scent would be in my dark brown, I split that batter in half and only scented one half at a time – hoping to slow down the acceleration. The other colors had smaller amounts of FO, so I figured they would not thicken up too much.

Here are my batter amounts, colors, & scents:
8 oz TD White (no fo)
8 oz BB Neon Blue Raspberry (turquoise) (.3 oz fo with vanilla stabilizer)
8 oz BB Aqua Pearl Mica (pale aqua) (no fo)
8 oz BB Ultramarine Dark Blue (.3 oz fo with vanilla stabilizer)
8 oz BB Ultraviolet Blue/Purple (no fo)
8 oz BB Copper Sparkle mica Light Brown (.7 oz of fo)
8 oz BB Cappuccino Mica Dark Brown (1.5 oz of fo)


Colors (clockwise): BB Neon Blue Raspberry, BB Aqua Pearl Mica, BB Ultramarine Dark Blue, BB Ultraviolet Blue/Purple, BB Copper Sparkle mica (for a Light Brown), BB Cappuccino Mica (for a Dark Brown); TD white (middle).

Soap batters ready to be poured:


Colors (clockwise): BB Aqua Mica (no fo), BB Neon Blue Raspberry (.3 oz fo with vanilla stabilizer), BB Ultramarine Dark Blue (.3 oz fo with vanilla stabilizer), BB Ultraviolet Blue/Purple (no fo), BB Copper Sparkle mica for Light Brown (.7 oz of fo), BB Cappuccino Mica for Dark Brown (1.5 oz of fo split in half in 2 containers); TD white (middle – no FO).

I always try to plan each detail, and had thought I would write out each combo of pours, but this time I decided to just wing it. So I tilted the mold, and did each pour with three different colors; then tilted again and repeated until the mold was full. Then I did a simple swirl on top and put it to bed for gelling.


Mold in a miter box that is used as a vice to prevent it from bowing out.


Top of soap after pour.


Closeup of soap after pour – a lot of very fine lines of color shimmied to the top.

And now…drum roll please…the finished soaps:


Every bar has these wonderful stripes on the sides – you can see them best on the left soap & bottom soap.

I obviously need more practice on the a multi-colored pour, as there is not the traditional shimmy like in the first soap batch. However, this reminds me of a Dandelion Zebra swirl – through the whole soap.


The dark blue is the Ultraviolet Blue/Purple, which usually has more of a purple tint to it. The lighter blue is the Ultramarine Blue, which typically turns out a darker blue.

I liked the Neon Blue Raspberry and Aqua Pearl Mica so much in the last batch, I had to use them in this one too. I have a lot more blue colors to choose from, and since this is a Blue Man soap, maybe I should have gone with more blues, but I think the turquoise & aqua add another element to these.


Even though I steamed and shaved some of the soaps, there was still some ash…The dark brown & light brown had the most ash, as they turned out to be the thinnest of the batters.

I like the combo of colors together…but I need to work on a more uniform pour of each color.

The lighter blue batter got the thickest, while the dark & light browns stayed very thin – the brown was actually too thin. In hind sight, I shouldn’t have split it in half.

The Neon Blue Raspberry (the darker turquoise) has the same amount of scent as the light blue, but it did not thicken like the blue did. Each color seemed to have a mind of it’s own. I think trying this technique again with equal amounts of FO in each color would help produce a more uniform swirl.

IMG_3904  IMG_3895

235 participated in the challenge this time – a new record number of soapers. 97 submitted their soaps for evaluation. The judging was done by all 235 soapers, if they chose to participate (each person had 5 votes). Very sadly, I only placed 9th….

I was only able to make two different kinds of soap for this challenge. But now that I know this new technique I can try it again when I have more time.

36 comments on “November 2015 Soap Challenge: Tall & Skinny Shimmy (Wall Pour)

  1. Love the second batch. The colors are great!


  2. Jolene Sing says:

    WOW!!! You nailed the shimmy!!! So well done!!!


  3. Tatiana Serko says:

    Good work! I just loved the texture of soap! For me, on par with the design is very important texture of soap! Very nice selection of colors and perfectly executed technique! Congratulations!


    • soapsbysly says:

      Thank you so much for the awesome feedback.
      I am extremely honored to receive such a wonderful review from you – a masterful soaper!!
      Thank you! Thank you!! Thank you!!!


  4. Eva says:

    How great your colors are! Your pattern turned out so nice and curvy too. Nice!


  5. Kathy Singer says:

    You nailed it in both of them & used so many colors in batch two, all so pretty. For sure you shimmied, really nice soap. good luck!


  6. Amy Warden says:

    Awesome work, Sly!! So this was thick batter for you?? It’s perfect!! The tops are gorgeous too! Love the effect with the Blue Man soap as well – thanks for sharing!


    • soapsbysly says:

      Yes, I am a bit of an oddball – always to the beat of a different drummer!
      If only I would have gotten that scholarship to The Soaping Academy, I would be a more “normal” soaper! Ha! Ha!!
      Thank you so much for the positive feedback – it means a lot to me coming from you – our magnificent soaping professor.
      Thank you! Thank you!!


  7. Amy says:

    Beautifully done!!


  8. By far my favorite so far. I love the colors. Very pretty!


  9. By far my favorite one so far. I know there are many more to come. I am finding myself drawn to this beautiful soap.


  10. Bonnie Howard says:

    I love the bright beautiful colors you chose and you executed the design perfectly.


  11. Holly says:

    Your colors are so vibrant. Absolutely beautiful soap!


  12. sirron says:

    Beautifully shimmying colours! You have certainly mastered this technique! ~ Lisa 🙂


  13. Sherri says:

    Love your Black Raspberry Vanilla – the black shimmies right up the center, nice!


  14. I love both your soaps. You were very courageous to attempt working with different scents, and therefore different saponifying speeds! Thanks for sharing all those details with us.


  15. Natalia says:

    Your entry is awesome! One of the winners, certainly! Congratulations!


  16. Infusions says:

    Sly, I admire your bravery! The bold colors go perfectly together. I wish that someday I can get to the point of using colors in such a beautiful manner!


  17. unlimabun says:

    So incredibly well done! Your soap is true artistry!


  18. Debi Olsen says:

    SOOOOO BEAUTIFUL! I just absolutely love both of them but especially your entry soap! Well done!!


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