August 2020 Soap Challenge Club: Layered Soap with Drop Swirls
The Soap Challenge Club, hosted by Amy Warden, is a group of soap makers who come together to learn new techniques and engage in a little healthy competition each month. Amy shares a tutorial and soap makers have the month to practice the technique, ask questions, share tips, and finally enter a soap for competition. For August, the challenge was to create a soap that has layers and a drop swirl on the top. An additional design element of the soap maker's choice was also required.
I attempted this challenge three time. The first time I did a pink gradient soap with black, white, and dark pink drop swirls. The additional design element I used was gold mica lines between each layer. I'm not into perfectly straight layers at all (too much pressure), but did want them as distinct as possible so I used Amy's tip of adding an accelerating fragrance just prior to pouring the soap batter. The accelerating fragrance I used was a rose scented fragrance. Rose scented fragrances are notorious for accelerating soap batter and this normally annoying feature actually worked like a charm here. I added the rose fragrance after coloring soap batter for that layer and right before pouring it in the mold. I worked fast before the soap batter solidified. When I added my mica and poured the next layer, the previous one had solidified enough so that the layers remained separate. I made a second batch of soap; this time using a blue gradient with white, blue and black drop swirls. Having to decide on an entry for the Soap Challenge, I was torn between the two soaps; therefore, I posted both the pink and blue soaps on my social media and asked my followers to vote. They picked blue by a slight margin.
I originally was going to stop after two attempts, but on a whim, I decided that I was going to do a third attempt. I abandoned the idea of any type of separate or straight layers and used an in-the-pot swirl as my additional design element instead of a mica line. I like this soap a little better, but I think that my red drop swirls got a little lost in the black and white mixed layer. This soap is quite different from the other two, but I still decided to submit my blue soap for this month's challenge. All in good fun anyway.
Thanks to Amy Warden for the creative inspiration each month.