Friday, 13 December 2013

Our First Great Cakes Soapworks Soap Challenge - Column Swirl

We have been fans of Amy Warden for some time now and have really learned a lot from her videos and blog.  We thought that even though we are so new to soap making, it would be fun to take up this challenge.  We were encouraged to find out that many others who participated in this challenge were also new, this being their first soap challenge and first attempt at a column swirl.  All we have to say is that a column swirl is a lot harder than it looks!  The consistency of the batter, mold size, column arrangement, swirling abilities, etc. all come into play during the mere minutes you have to pour your soap.  It was a bit stressful to say the least, but overall we had a bit of fun planning our soap - colours, fragrance, swirl arrangement. 

This is our second attempt for the challenge, our first one was a bit better, but the colours just weren't 'us' - we'll write a post about that one soon.  In the end, we decided to go with natural colours, and actually forgot to add scent.  We poured three colours, tinted with activated charcoal, titanium dioxide, and the purple comes from Alkanet root infused olive oil.  It is quite fun to watch the purple change right before your eyes when you cut into it from a dull grey to the nice purple in our photos. 
As you can see, our lines of colour are not as clearly defined as other column swirl soaps, but not bad for our second try!  We are looking forward to the next challenge, and we certainly will enjoy visiting some new soap blogs, as 107 soapers entered this challenge!

Getting started

I was a bit more difficult lifting the column out than we thought it would be.  The lifting caused some mixing of the final pours, which were probably too little in volume and were muddied.
Our cut soaps placed on the side to see the swirl effect - we have to work on our free hand cutting skills!
Well, that's it for now - it was fun to try something new, knowing that others were challenging themselves too.  Can't wait for the next challenge.  Thanks to Amy Warden for organizing the challenges, and bringing this soaping community together for some fun!
Bye for now,
Michelle and Ruthie


  1. Looks great! I agree that it is harder than it actually looks to do. Nice end result!

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  2. I'm so glad you joined us and look forward to seeing your soaping skills continue to grow!! I applaud your efforts - I think you did an excellent job! Did you see my pulling the columns out of my soap in the video? I had the exact same issue - it was like they were suctioned to the bottom of the mold! :)

  3. Great job! I like how your soap came out.

    1. Thank you for your comment - my daughter (13) with whom I've enjoyed this soaping adventure is ecstatic that you have seen our little blog. We of course have known about you for some time through your blog, Saponifier Magazine articles and hopefully we will soon register for some of your on-line classes! We are a bit star stuck - thank you for all the information you generously share and the encouragement that you have given us!