This is my second month participating in the Great Cakes Soap Challenge. I understand that this month has the highest number of participants to date with many more international submissions. Drop Swirls are an easy technique but difficult to actually duplicate from one batch to the next as the consistency of the soap batter will have such an impact on the final outcome. In any case, they are each unique and beautiful.
I’ve been inspired to use this technique more this week in selecting a submission for this month’s challenge. This is one of my creations this week using a basic Bastile recipe (Olive Oil, Coconut Oil and Castor) with combination of WSP’s Pinkberry Mimosa with BrambleBerry’s Mangosteen fragrance oils. I didn’t insulate this soap, but oven processed at 170 for 15 minutes and got the anomaly of Alien Brains… I actually like it when I get the really noodley (as opposed to wrinkley) Alien Brains as it makes a nice texture for scrubbing my feet and resembles Brain Coral.
This is my one of my previous swirls with noodley Alien Brains:
This week I’ve also made a White Tea & Ginger drop swirl using a harder base soap with a combination of Oils: Olive, Coconut, Palm, Hemp Seed, Castor and Hydrogenated Soybean. I use various micas for most of my colorants and generally favor a thin consistency for drop swirls. This makes every bar completely unique:
For this month’s soap challenge, Amy has given the guidelines that we could use all cold process or a combination of cold process with Melt & Pour. I’ve never used MP in a drop swirl but have seen some great examples of this combination. To this I am using a clear Detergent Free Melt & Pour with a combination of black oxide and gold / yellow micas to celebrate the phenomenal season our local Wichita State Shockers men’s basketball team. As I was unsure of how the MP and Cold Process base would mix, I brought the CP (white) base to a thicker consistency with concern that the warmer MP might sink right to the bottom. I thought I should change my habit of oven processing and put this soap in the refrigerator to prevent gel in hopes of not disturbing the Melt & Pour swirl as the CP saponified. Since the micas were in MP, not cold process, gelling didn’t seem as important for making the micas “pop.” But, this of course means it takes longer before the soap was ready to cut… and I’m not a woman of patience. It looks a little rough on the edges, but I like the MP as a medium. Going to try again. LOL.
By now you’ve noticed that I really like to use one particular mold when I’m drop swirling. This silicone buche mold can be found on BakeDeco.com I use the larger of the two molds they offer which yields a 3.5 oz soap when cut at 1″.
This is my second Shocker Soap of this week using MP for the swirl into CP. On this one, I swirled some CP with black and gold mica into the white base and let the base be at a much thinner trace when dropping in the gold and black MP. The outside of the loaf took on a very weird giraffe pattern.
So, I think I’ve done enough MP / CP combo now. I’ll have to wait six weeks to see if I like the texture of the combination (I suspect I won’t) before trying that again. Thank you to the Soap Club Challenge members for reading my blog. As I’m writing this, I’m still not sure which soap I’ll submit for the Challenge… I haven’t seen too many drop swirls I didn’t like. LOL. But I had a lot of fun experimenting.