Wednesday, June 12, 2013

2013 Soap Challenge! -- Peacock Swirl

Hello! It has been a while since my last blog post in February. I am back!

I decided to join a Soap Challenge Club organised by Amy Warden of Great Cakes Soapworks. This month's soap challenge is the PEACOCK SWIRL technique. I have daydreamed about this peacock swirl soap since I first saw it made by Amanda Griffin of Lovin' Soap back in October 2011! See her post here.

I normally work with Melt & Pour and have only experimented with several batches of CP; so I was pretty excited and even robed in MeiMei to assist me. We googled for inspiration and decided on 5 colours - Black (charcoal), Blue (ultramarine blue), Teal (hydrated green chrome), Copper (copper + gold sparkle mica) and White (titanium dioxide). All the colourants used in this soap are from Bramble Berry.

Both Amy and Amanda had generously shared their 'slow-moving' recipes. I finally decided on 70% Olive Oil, 20% Coconut Oil, 5% Avocado Oil and 5% Rice Bran Oil. I also used Bramble Berry 's Kumquat and Energy in equal proportions. GOSH! I am so in love with this combination! YUMMY!!

Here's our lil peacock adventure (my 1st Soap Challenge ever!) :

Preparation - Bramble Berry's 18-bar slab mold, comb/rake, colourants (I ended up using plastic cups as I was unable to find my squeeze bottles! Things always go "missing" when I need them! BOO!)

Mold, Comb and Colourants

I think I got an emulsion??
Attempting an emulsion

Bottom layer scented with Kumquat & Energy Fragrance Oils, coloured soap is left unscented.

Base layer with titanium dioxide, waiting to pour the colours

I wish I had my squeeze bottles! ... and MeiMei asked, "Why are your hands shaking, Mummy??" erm ... "coz I am S-U-P-E-R NERVOUS?!?!!"

Shaky hands = Wriggly lines

MeiMei & I inserted the comb and started to pull it through the soap (together) ... very slowly and carefully... then IT HAPPENED. The colours started to turn muddy and the soap refused to pass through the comb and was pulled to the lower end of the mold. The skewers must have been positioned too close to one another! Not wanting to give up, we wriggle the comb ... we kindof  did a jiggly dance at 3/4 of the way ... by the time we pulled the comb out, we went "yyyeeeeeeee". It looked pretty messed up!

Our muddy struggle with THE comb

Grabbed my chopstick and started swirling. I enjoyed this part and was relieved that it had some resemblance to all the pretty peacock swirls that I have seen. The blue and green colours had disappeared. We were disappointed that our lil peacock adventure did not quite produce the effect that we had hope to achieve. Nonetheless, it was exciting. It made my hands shake!! I popped on the lid of the mold and brought the kids out for dinner.

After swirling

15 hours later, I jumped out of bed the moment I opened my eyes, grabbed my GooGooMonster glasses and ran downstairs to take a peep at my soap. A-W-E-S-O-M-E !! It had a wee-little bit more blue and green and NO ASH!!

15 hours later ... My 1st Peacock Swirl Soap !

I will have to wait till tomorrow before I can unmold the soap and cut into bars. There will be a separate blog post to share with everyone the peacock swirl soap bars.

I must admit that I have gotten over the initial disappointment and am pretty pleased with the end result. I am truely in love with this soaping technique and it has been such wonderful experience taking part in this soap challenge which has brought together 122 international soapers. Thank you Amy for setting up the Soap Challenge Club! Looking forward to more soapy challenges!