Saturday, July 13, 2013

July 2013 Soap Challenge is the Mantra Swirl

This months soap challenge was making an advanced mantra swirl or the simple mantra swirl.    I opted to make both and determine which one was the best to enter.   Thank you Amy for the challenge.   I believe we are all winners.  We learned how to create these techniques or do them better and overcome our challenges.

After making both the original and advanced mantra swirl, I decided to enter the original mantra swirl soap.   True to my nature I made the advanced one first....not a good idea.   You will learn why........

I used the suggested challenge recipe to make the advanced mantra swirl.   I followed the recipe and used a FO, Sweet Pea and Rhubarb, which is easy to work with, no discoloration and no accelerating.   I had my molds ready for both soaps.

I emulsified the oil and lye water then poured into separate containers that had the colorants in them, red made of BB's electric bubblegum and merlot mica, hydrated green chromium oxide and titanium dioxide.   By the time I mixed the soap into the colorants, the soap was at a medium trace.   I got the white and green almost completely poured and then it almost froze.   I had to stir and pour.   I did the same for the red center and then had to spoon it in and keep banging it on the counter to keep it settled down.   I ended up getting it poured in the mold.  I have documented the process in more detail and hope to figure out what happened to accelerate the trace.

I used a hanger with straw on it to swirl beneath the surface, but it was really hard to move it through the soap.   By the time I finished that step the soap was pretty set.   I went ahead and swirled the top, but it was more like dragging a stick thru thick mud.   So to say the least, I wasn't pleased with the appearance. (By the way, I love the Brambleberry silicone mold.   I was concerned about getting the soap out of it, but I loosened the sides and the soap slipped right out.)    Here is the cut soap, I forgot to take a picture of it in the mold.  

The colors came out darker than I wanted, but I will accept it.   Someone said it looked like Christmas, I tend to agree.   It smells wonderful, lathers beautifully and feels great.  


After having a problem with the soap trace accelerating in the advanced swirl soap experience, I used a recipe that a friend recommended.   I used the same colors, FO and mold as noted in the Advanced Swirl Experience  except I only used one divider in the mold.   Roberta, a soap friend in Claremore,  recommended the recipe used and it worked great.   It did not accelerate in trace and worked perfectly.   I used white and teal green on the major sections and red to high light and swirl.   I used a yorker bottle to force the red into the soap and then placed it on top of the line between the teal and white.   I used the "S" swirls to swirl the top.   Here is the soap before putting in oven at 170 F.

This look is what I was trying to achieve.   I can't wait to cut it.   I will say the Sweet Pea and Rhubarb from smells wonderful and it soaped great.   No acceleration or discoloration.  This is my entry to the Mantra Swirl Soap Challenge.   I learned how to create the mantra swirl and advanced mantra swirl.   They won't intimidate me anymore.   It feels great when you have overcome a challenge, no matter what it is.   Here is my cut original mantra swirl soap entry.   Can you tell I forgot to cut it horizontally vs vertically?    That is what happens when I do something before drinking my first cup of coffee.

This was a great challenge and a lot was learned and accomplished.  Thanks for sharing it with me.