Layers with Drop Swirls | August 2020 Soap Challenge Club

Layers with Drop Swirls | August 2020 Soap Challenge Club

In the August Soap Challenge Club, we made soap with a combination of two techniques: layers and drop swirls. Instead of regular and advanced entry categories, this month had a beginner and experienced. Participants who had made 50 or more soap batches, and had been making soap for a year or more, were required to enter the experienced category. Also, soap for the experienced category had to incorporate a third element in addition to the layers and drop swirls. 


I made one attempt for this challenge and the video above shows the entire process in just about 9 minutes. I hope you enjoy it and thank you for visiting! Read on for more details about this fun soap. 

I had an idea to make my life super complicated and try these techniques with a Half Dome landscape design. I made a Half Dome soap for a previous landscape challenge and wanted to do a small restock of this soap with a new look. I took a photo from our trip to Yosemite earlier this month as inspiration for the design. 

Pre-planning the design and soap scrapers took a while before I was finally able to construct them out of cardboard and packaging tape. My husband suggested the addition of the chopstick to keep the scraper level. 

I created a pathway and the meadow with slanted layers and two pencil lines of cocoa powder around the path. I colored the meadow with a blend of spinach powder and French green clay mixed in olive oil. Then, I made two sculpted layers for the treeline and Half Dome. I made the treeline with the spinach, French green clay, and activated charcoal to darken it. Purple Brazilian clay, blue Cambrian clay, and charcoal colored the Half Dome layer. Last, I attempted an ombre sky with shades of indigo, but the lighter color ended up a bit greener than I intended.

The sculpted layers needed a bit more time to set up, but I had decided to do everything in one session, and I didn't want the batter too thick to pour the drop swirls at the end. Next time, I will probably mix the top as a separate pouring session so the middle can set up enough to get sharper outlines. 


Colors are from spinach, French green clay, activated charcoal, purple Brazilian clay, blue Cambrian clay, cocoa powder, and indigo root powder. I incorporated slanted layers, pencil lines, two sculpted layers, some in the pot swirls, and an ombre drop swirl for this attempt. A blend of scotch pine, fir needle, tangerine, litsea cubeba, and clove essential oils were added for scent, and helped some of the layers set up faster as pine and clove helped accelerate trace.

I'm glad the design turned out similar to my plan, even though the sky turned out greener than I intended. It took almost two hours to pour and, what a mess! By far, this was one of the most complex soap I've ever made.



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