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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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)
Soap batters ready to be poured:
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.
And now…drum roll please…the finished soaps:
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.
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.
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.
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.