SMF February 2021 Challenge - Circling Taiwan Swirl

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dibbles

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Welcome to the February 2021 SMF Soap Challenge. This month’s challenge is the Circling Taiwan Swirl.

PLEASE READ ALL RULES for the challenge.

SMF Challenge General Rules

1. To enter you must have a minimum of 50 posts and have been a SMF member for at least one month (sorry but no exceptions on this).

2. The only members eligible to vote are those with their names on the sign-up list - regardless of whether or not you have submitted an entry. The sign-up list will be posted in this thread.

3. This month’s voting will be password locked. Passwords will be sent by private message (via SMF conversations) to registered participants ONLY, so please check your messages when the voting begins.

4. A separate entry thread will be created and this is where you will post photos of your entry soap. Please do not post photos of your entry until the entry thread is opened. Post pictures of your entry soap only in the challenge entry thread.

Non-entry photos are always welcome and may be posted in the general challenge thread. The challenge thread should be used to upload pictures of any of your challenge attempts (other than your entry) where you can ask for advice and discuss the technique with other members, and provide helpful hints you learned along the way.

5. Your soap must be made after the monthly challenge has been announced.

6. You are allowed to change your entry photo until the entry thread closes. If you decide you want another try after you post your entry, and you like the second better, you can change it up until the deadline.

7. In the spirit of advancing our soap making skills, all members who sign-up for a SMF Challenge do so with the expectation that they will make every attempt to make a soap for the challenge. Writing about your experience in the challenge is encouraged. By doing so, each participant has a better knowledge of your process when voting. We do understand that sometimes things come up in our lives and throw our plans out of whack, however signing up with no intent to participate and only to vote is not in the spirit of the challenges and is not allowed.

8. Please add your name to the sign-up list if you wish to participate (you don’t have to enter a soap at the end if you don’t feel happy with what you have produced), but please do post your experiences in the main Challenge thread and be prepared to be encouraged to continue trying.

9. Constructive criticism is welcomed, but please keep your comments polite.

* * * *
  • Competition entries must be uploaded to the separate entry thread before the closing date.
  • The entry thread will open on February 18, 2021 at 11:59 pm GMT (Please follow the challenge specific rules as to what you need to enter).
  • After the closing date on February 24, 2021 at 11:59 pm GMT the winning entry will be chosen using Survey Monkey. Voting will be open from February 25-27, 2021 and the winner will be announced on February 28, 2021. There is no prize attached to this challenge.
  • If you fail to make the challenge deadline, you are still welcome to upload pictures of your soap onto the thread, but your entry will not be eligible for voting. We always love to see anything you have created.
  • Even though there is no prize, this is still a competition. If your entry is deemed not to fulfill the general rules or the rules specific to the challenge in any way, then you will be given the opportunity to amend your entry. If this is not possible, your entry will not be included in the voting.
  • All the challenge mods reserve the right to have the final say on whether a soap is eligible for voting.
* * * *
SPECIFIC RULES FOR THE FEBRUARY 2021 CHALLENGE

1. You will make your soap using the Circling Taiwan Technique.

2. You will need to use a log/loaf mold with dividers (either a standard or tall & skinny mold will work for this). If you don’t have dividers, cardboard or corrugated plastic cut to fit will work perfectly well (see photo below). I will also provide a link to a video tutorial to making dividers.

3. You must use at least 3 colors, one of which can be uncolored batter.

4. The swirl tool should be inserted all the way to the bottom of your mold for both the Taiwan Swirl and circling around the edges of the mold. A minimum of 3 complete circles around the edge of the mold must be made, but it is up to you how many more times you want to do this to achieve the look you want.

5. Your soap will be cut horizontally, and your entry photo must include 2 soap bars. See photos below illustrating how to cut (linked videos also include cutting).

HELPFUL TIPS:

1. Choose colors with high contrast.

2. Pour a small amount of each color into each of the divided sections to keep colors seeping under the dividers to a minimum. Then go back and finish pouring each color.

3. Keep something close by to place your dividers in/on when they are pulled from the mold. Even if you scrape the batter off as you pull the dividers out, they are still a bit messy.

4. Note – you will still have a good result if your dividers aren’t perfectly straight. You can see from the photos, I used cardboard that was too thin, and it bowed a little. Likewise, you can see that one of my pink colors ‘disappeared’ when swirling, so don’t be concerned if this happens.

5. I have found that pouring at light trace and waiting for the batter to slightly thicken after the dividers are removed, if necessary, works best for me with my slow-moving lard recipe.

6. I have used a chopstick and a spoon handle as swirl tools.

7. After the perimeter circling is done, I usually run a skewer through the center. I have included a photo where I did this to half of the soap and left the other half as is when the circling is complete.

8. Please ask for clarification, or any questions you have.

9. Have fun, and good luck!

* * * *

Cardboard dividers
dividers.jpg

After the Taiwan Swirl (looks like quite a mess, doesn’t it)
Taiwan Swirl.jpg

After circling the perimeter (I went around 5 times. I also added a center line with a skewer to half the loaf to show an option – you do you!)
After Circling.jpg

To cut:
First cut your soap to the length you want it to be (in my case it was about 3”):
First Cut.jpg

Turn your block 90 degrees to make the second, horizontal cut through the center of your loaf:
Horizontal Cut.jpg

The result:
Berry Vanilla Circling Taiwan.jpg
purple lotus.JPG
Helpful links:
How to make dividers by Teri Endsley of Tree Marie Soapworks

Also from Tree Marie Soapworks – Teri has several YouTube videos featuring this technique with a variety of swirling tool sizes. Here is one of them

From MGT Seifen Trend

By Elaine Wright (a long video – the pour starts at about 9:45)

From Brambleberry
 

dibbles

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1. jcandleattic - hopefully will have time to do this one.
 

Misschief

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1. jcandleattic - hopefully will have time to do this one.
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KimW

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1. jcandleattic - hopefully will have time to do this one.
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GemstonePony

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1. jcandleattic - hopefully will have time to do this one.
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3. KimW - One I've been wanting to try! Yippeeeee
4. GemstonePony - I love this swirl!
 

dibbles

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@GemstonePony and @Misschief - I've never done this swirl. Which of the videos would you suggest I study?
Not Misschief or GemstonePony, but if you are only going to watch one of the videos, I'd start with the one from Tree Marie. She uses a loaf splitter for her horizontal cut, but she is so thorough in explaining her process.
 

KimW

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Not Misschief or GemstonePony, but if you are only going to watch one of the videos, I'd start with the one from Tree Marie. She uses a loaf splitter for her horizontal cut, but she is so thorough in explaining her process.
Thank you! I'm going to watch all of them, just wondering which would be the best for someone who's never done this technique. :) I shall check out Tree Marie first!
 

GemstonePony

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@GemstonePony and @Misschief - I've never done this swirl. Which of the videos would you suggest I study?
I like Tree Marie's video, but I haven't watched that many. One word of advice I wish I'd known is too make more batter than you need and fill the mold higher than you think you'll need for the cross-bars. Not only do the dividers take up space, making your mold look like it has more in it than it does, but they also take batter with them when they leave, so you lose more batter than just the volume of the dividers.
 

DKing

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1. jcandleattic - hopefully will have time to do this one.
2. Misschief - been wanting to do this again for a while
3. KimW - One I've been wanting to try! Yippeeeee
4. GemstonePony - I love this swirl!
5. DKing - I'm looking forward to seeing what I can come up with.
 

Catscankim

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1. jcandleattic - hopefully will have time to do this one.
2. Misschief - been wanting to do this again for a while
3. KimW - One I've been wanting to try! Yippeeeee
4. GemstonePony - I love this swirl!
5. DKing - I'm looking forward to seeing what I can come up with
6. catscankim - been wanting to learn this one!
 

amd

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1. jcandleattic - hopefully will have time to do this one.
2. Misschief - been wanting to do this again for a while
3. KimW - One I've been wanting to try! Yippeeeee
4. GemstonePony - I love this swirl!
5. DKing - I'm looking forward to seeing what I can come up with
6. catscankim - been wanting to learn this one!
7. AMD - I've been wanting to get "around" to doing this technique again

@dibbles you reading my mind?! I was digging through drawers this weekend and found my Taiwan swirling dowels and thought "I need to make a Taiwan swirl". Well played, Universe, well played.
 

dibbles

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@dibbles you reading my mind?! I was digging through drawers this weekend and found my Taiwan swirling dowels and thought "I need to make a Taiwan swirl". Well played, Universe, well played.
😂 😂 😂
 

violets2217

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1. jcandleattic - hopefully will have time to do this one.
2. Misschief - been wanting to do this again for a while
3. KimW - One I've been wanting to try! Yippeeeee
4. GemstonePony - I love this swirl!
5. DKing - I'm looking forward to seeing what I can come up with
6. catscankim - been wanting to learn this one!
7. AMD - I've been wanting to get "around" to doing this technique again
8. violets2217 - Gonna face my fears! This Challenge and the swirl! Plus, gives me another reason to make soap I don't need.
 

SideDoorSoaps

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1. jcandleattic - hopefully will have time to do this one.
2. Misschief - been wanting to do this again for a while
3. KimW - One I've been wanting to try! Yippeeeee
4. GemstonePony - I love this swirl!
5. DKing - I'm looking forward to seeing what I can come up with
6. catscankim - been wanting to learn this one!
7. AMD - I've been wanting to get "around" to doing this technique again
8. violets2217 - Gonna face my fears! This Challenge and the swirl! Plus, gives me another reason to make soap I don't need.
9. SideDoorSoaps - I’ve had dividers for awhile; I should try this!
 

GemstonePony

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@dibbles is it required to use the same swirling tool for both the back-and-forth swirl and the circling swirl? I was considering using a wide tool for back and forth and a thinner one for circling, but it's not clear if that would be allowed.
 

dibbles

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@dibbles is it required to use the same swirling tool for both the back-and-forth swirl and the circling swirl? I was considering using a wide tool for back and forth and a thinner one for circling, but it's not clear if that would be allowed.
You can use whatever tool/tools you like. What you are suggesting is perfectly A-OK!
 

Arimara

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I could probably actually nail this but I'd have to get another mold and I need more space for curing.
 

Vicki C

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Sign Up List:

1. jcandleattic - hopefully will have time to do this one.
2. Misschief - been wanting to do this again for a while
3. KimW - One I've been wanting to try! Yippeeeee
4. GemstonePony - I love this swirl!
5. DKing - I'm looking forward to seeing what I can come up with
6. catscankim - been wanting to learn this one!
7. AMD - I've been wanting to get "around" to doing this technique again
8. violets2217 - Gonna face my fears! This Challenge and the swirl! Plus, gives me another reason to make soap I don't need.
9. SideDoorSoaps - I’ve had dividers for awhile; I should try this!
10. Vicki C - never tried this but have watched plenty of videos - mesmerizing!
 

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