SMF April 2021 Challenge - Lollipop Swirl

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Corsara

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Convincing in its simplicity! And these two zones (one whirling directly around the “eyes”, and one outside) add just some unique personality to it.
View attachment 56599
And I have to remember that intriguing, yet perplexingly simple presentation 😉

What hard oils and temperatures/heat protocol have you used? I'm constantly on the search for ways to provoke stearic spots.
Thanks @ResolvableOwl! I really wanted to make a second attempt, but I didn't have time (I have an 8 month old, so I only get to soap once every couple of weeks). I'll pull out my recipe and notes and post them. I'd love your thoughts on why my recipe may have given me stearic spots, as I would like to avoid them! 😅 What design are you wanting to include stearic spots?
 

The_Phoenix

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Thanks @ResolvableOwl! I really wanted to make a second attempt, but I didn't have time (I have an 8 month old, so I only get to soap once every couple of weeks). I'll pull out my recipe and notes and post them. I'd love your thoughts on why my recipe may have given me stearic spots, as I would like to avoid them! 😅 What design are you wanting to include stearic spots?
I remember those days. I’m impressed you can soap at all with an 8-month-old. I was barely managing bathing when my daughter was that age. Me, not her.

What is your method for melting your fats?
 

Corsara

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I remember those days. I’m impressed you can soap at all with an 8-month-old. I was barely managing bathing when my daughter was that age. Me, not her.

What is your method for melting your fats?
Thankfully we live on my husband's parents farm, so there is always family around if I really need help! I 'booked' tonight off, I told my husband I will be busy making soap from 6:30 pm 😅

I melt the oils in a bowl over a pot on the stove
 

Corsara

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@Corsara For a first try, this is doubly impressive! You don't have to apologise for being naturally talented and not making beginner's mistakes 😜

No specific plans for a design that exploits stearic spots, but I think they are worth knowing how to “abuse” them in creative ways. Think of @KiwiMoose and her glycerin river witchery.
😂 Thanks! This was my second one, my first thickened up because I was impatient with the temperatures, so I just did a chopstick swirl of sorts, as I knew I would not be happy with it. I saw the glycerin rivers, I think that is so cool!

I pulled out my recipe, and apparently I forgot to take notes on the temperatures. Recipe was Tallow Beef45%
Canola Oil35%
Coconut Oil, 76 deg15%
Castor Oil5%

Lye concentration 30%

I think I soaped at around 105 deg.
 

The_Phoenix

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Thankfully we live on my husband's parents farm, so there is always family around if I really need help! I 'booked' tonight off, I told my husband I will be busy making soap from 6:30 pm 😅

I melt the oils in a bowl over a pot on the stove
Ah, the perks of living on the family farm. 🥰

Just so I’m clear, you melt your hard fats and soft oils in a bowl set over a pot? Like a double boiler? Do I have that right?
 

The_Phoenix

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Yes, that's right!
On a hunch, you may be experiencing stearic spots because of your method of melting your fats, especially the tallow. Do you use a double boiler for a specific reason?

My recommendation would be to melt the tallow over direct heat in the pot until it reaches about 160 degrees, then add coconut oil (you can turn the heat off at this point), and add the reaming oils. Then cool to a desired soaping temperature.

Although this will mean you have to melt your fats much more in advance to allow time to cool, in my experience, this will help to fix your stearic spots.

Hope that helps... 🙂
 
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peachymoon

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So, I didn’t submit an entry, but I thought I’d share my third and final attempt at this challenge. I’m not sure what went wrong, but the colors didn’t turn out right and it didn’t pour the same as my previous attempt with the same recipe. I felt I needed to move just a little faster with the previous attempt so I used 2 colors instead of 3 and it came out so discombobulated, lol. The “white” part came out yellowish and splotchy.

I’m a little bummed I couldn’t submit anything, but I am happy I participated and I’ve loved seeing the other entries and discourse surrounding the challenge. This definitely tickled my creative side and it won’t be the last time I attempt this for myself, I wanna get it right someday!

The recipe is 35% lard, 30% RBO, 20% CO, 10% avocado oil, and 5% castor oil. I used Black Raspberry Vanilla FO.
 

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KimW

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So, I didn’t submit an entry, but I thought I’d share my third and final attempt at this challenge. I’m not sure what went wrong, but the colors didn’t turn out right and it didn’t pour the same as my previous attempt with the same recipe. I felt I needed to move just a little faster with the previous attempt so I used 2 colors instead of 3 and it came out so discombobulated, lol. The “white” part came out yellowish and splotchy.

I’m a little bummed I couldn’t submit anything, but I am happy I participated and I’ve loved seeing the other entries and discourse surrounding the challenge. This definitely tickled my creative side and it won’t be the last time I attempt this for myself, I wanna get it right someday!

The recipe is 35% lard, 30% RBO, 20% CO, 10% avocado oil, and 5% castor oil. I used Black Raspberry Vanilla FO.
I'm bummed too! Really! Since I don't know how your colors were supposed to look for this attempt, I think the bars are quite lovely. Perhaps you can see it "in person", but the white part looks white in pic, with no splotches.
 

Corsara

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On a hunch, you may be experiencing steric spots because of your method of melting your fats, especially the tallow. Do you use a double boiler for a specific reason?

My recommendation would be to melt the tallow over direct heat in the pot until it reaches about 160 degrees, then add coconut oil (you can turn the heat off at this point), and add the reaming oils. Then cool to a desired soaping temperature.

Although this will mean you have to melt your fats much more in advance to allow time to cool, in my experience, this will help to fix your stearic spots.

Hope that helps... 🙂
Interesting, thank you! I was using a double boiler because I was afraid of heating the oils too quickly.. I'm prone to walking away and forgetting about them. How come this can cause stearic spots?
 

GemstonePony

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Interesting, thank you! I was using a double boiler because I was afraid of heating the oils too quickly.. I'm prone to walking away and forgetting about them. How come this can cause stearic spots?
Your fats/butters may not be getting warm enough to melt and separate the little groups of stearic/palmitic fatty acids that naturally occur in them. So, once you add lye, those little groups stay together and become soap together, and your colorant doesn't come between them, resulting in uncolored spots.
 

Jersey Girl

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So, I didn’t submit an entry, but I thought I’d share my third and final attempt at this challenge. I’m not sure what went wrong, but the colors didn’t turn out right and it didn’t pour the same as my previous attempt with the same recipe. I felt I needed to move just a little faster with the previous attempt so I used 2 colors instead of 3 and it came out so discombobulated, lol. The “white” part came out yellowish and splotchy.

I’m a little bummed I couldn’t submit anything, but I am happy I participated and I’ve loved seeing the other entries and discourse surrounding the challenge. This definitely tickled my creative side and it won’t be the last time I attempt this for myself, I wanna get it right someday!

The recipe is 35% lard, 30% RBO, 20% CO, 10% avocado oil, and 5% castor oil. I used Black Raspberry Vanilla FO.
This technique is not easy. I got lucky with my first try but all things equal in three more attempts did not go the same. I used a little 4 inch tall pvc pipe as to not waste materials and I’m at a loss as it seemed so straight forward. I too want to perfect this technique as it is such a cool looking soap!
 

ResolvableOwl

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So, a last margarine lollipop for me! I had to try the Tara Snail Swirl and challenge comment #265 and my thoughts about it.

@Tara_H: Before you rejoice in your sudden celebrity, be told that the technique of course has totally no relation to your challenge submission, but merely means that I tared my scale prior to weighting the pumpkin seed oil 😜

tara_snail_time.jpg tara_snail_cut.jpg

Well, it kind of worked. Hasty me once again had to be finished after less than 10 minutes for that pour – taking less than two hours obviously revenged in uneven and distorted shapes. The mould was also less than ideal, to say the least – I have no idea why I thought that cutting off the bottom of a corrugated oil bottle would be a clever idea. I cut the mould in half and taped it together again (to ease unmoulding), but an unwelcome side effect was that it leaked…

The Lollipop swirl technique, as presented in the introductory videos, drops in each stage a quantity of batter that covers more than half of the surface. Each new pour reaches at least up to the centre, so the underlying layers get covered within a fraction of a revolution. But that's not a hard requirement. If one instead deliberately pours a very small quantity, this has two consequences: 1. it takes a longer time, and 2. in the centre, the previous layers are not covered, but the pours from the previous rounds get increasingly compressed towards a really whirlpool-y centre.
In case of careful execution, this can look like a hypnotizing 3D-effect spiral tunnel. Or with asymmetric pencil line pours (at least in my imagination) a shell of a snail/nautilus/ammonite. Some regions of my pour actually do, but others not so much. The grooves on the bottle, the less-than-ideal margarine consistency, and some skin formation ruined the ultimate wow effect.

Credits also to @glendam . The shellfish metaphor of her submission put the initial idea in my head!
 

violets2217

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How would you describe Earth Meets Sky? I’ve almost bought that fo many times.
I think it has a spicy/sweet smell to it. It’s well balanced where as the spicy(the patchouli) isn’t too overpowering. That’s what I like most about it, only because I’m not a fan of patchouli... whenever I walk past my soap closet it’s what I smell the most and it has quite a calming effect! Lol... in all my soaps FO is only used at 3% of Oils. So my scents are never strong, but if a FO stick out among the others it’s a pretty powerful FO. That’s my theory at least....

Thanks! I really liked the subtle colors of that soap! I might try a pull through with those same clays and such. Instead of the French Green clay (the specked grey that didn’t disperse well at all!) I might try some green tea powder. I love the specked brown color it becomes. 😍🥰
 

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