Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Great Cakes Drop Swirl Challenge

The drop swirl technique is probably one of the simplest soap techniques and yet one of the most infuriating for me. I've done several batches and I've only liked one--the first, wouldn't you know it--a beginner's luck undocumented burgundy, red, and white Christmas patchouli soap I made two Christmas's ago. The last bar was spotted last July laying lovely in my sister-in-law's bathroom..still gorgeous and smelling divine.

I like my swirls to be less fluid, more like sensuous curved teardrops than rounded up splashes. The batter has to be just right...not too fluid and not too thick. I have a recipe that is just that, and used it for my drop challenge, and wouldn't you know it, the soap gremlins intervened and made it too thin for my taste. I have no idea why except that I substituted soybean oil for a small 8% portion of rice bran since my rice bran was running low. I live in Northeastern Ohio and like many across the U.S., suffered pummeling snow and mind numbing cold. I was dying to do something in your face spring...a carefully chosen floral without the reputation as a soap seizer.  I chose Wild Honeysuckle from Wholesale Supplies Plus. I'm fortunate to live within driving distance, so I picked up my supplies to test sniff every honeysuckle they carried. I left olfactorarily assaulted with a throbbing headache, since I couldn't resist smelling the rest of the showroom samples, but content, after a few ibuprofen, that I picked the most authentic honeysuckle. To complement the divine smell, I wanted a complementary in-your-face spring color palette. I pondered color swatches from for a few days before I settled  on a palette of white, light pink, hot pink, blue-green, and blue.

As I mix colors, it's always in the back of my head how expensive they are, so I  aim to mix just the right amount for the portion. Well, to heck with that, for the challenge soaps anyway, because I feel I failed to color the white and the light blue enough to give it contrast against the brighter fushia pink and teal blue-green. Since it was thinner than I wanted colors slightly melded.  Like most homemade soap, it turned out very pretty, but alas, not matched to the vision in my head. I'm really looking forward to reading and seeing everyone else's experiences! It's still not spring in Northeastern Ohio, but my soap sure is!