SMF May 2020 Challenge Signup – Diagonal Slice Stripe with Swirl

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amd

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Welcome to the May 2020 SMF Soap Challenge. This month’s challenge is the Diagonal Slice Stripe with Swirl.
omh_baby_bee.jpg


PLEASE READ ALL RULES for the challenge

SMF Challenge General Rules

1. To enter you must have a minimum of 50 posts and been a member for a 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. Please do not post photos of your entry until the entry thread is opened. Non-entry photos are very welcome and may be posted in this 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 soapmaking skills, all members who sign-up for an 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 participate 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 (however, 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 try to keep your comments polite.

__________________________________________________________________________

· Competition entries must be uploaded to the separate entry thread before the closing date. The entry thread will open on May 23, 2020 at 12:01 am GMT (Please follow the challenge specific rules as to what you need to enter).

· After the closing date on May 28 at 11:59 pm GMT the winning entry will be chosen using Survey Monkey (Voting will be open from May 29 to May 31) and the winner will be announced on June 1, 2020 unless all votes are received before then. 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 produced.

· 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.

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SPECIFIC RULES FOR THIS CHALLENGE:

1. You will make this soap from two separate batches. The first batch is striped (layers) that is allowed to set, and then cut diagonally down the length of the soap and placed into a mold. The second batch is poured on top and swirled.


2. The striped batch must be horizontal stripes, at least three layers. In other words, you cannot tilt your mold at an angle, pour layers, allow it to set up and then tip the mold back to pour your swirled layer.

3. Your layers do not need to be perfectly straight layers. I don’t want to discourage those of us (me, I mean me) who can’t pour a perfectly straight layer to save a life.

4. Your swirl can be any swirl that you wish – ITPS, hanger, drop swirl, etc - will give nice contrast to the stripes.

5. If you upload more than one picture to the entry thread, please specify which you would like to be used for the voting.

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Helpful tips:

- I found a cake leveler to be the easiest tool to use for the diagonal cut. (See video below) You can find these in most cake supply stores, WalMart, or on Amazon assuming most of us will still be on Stay at Home orders. You can cut the diagonal with a thin knife – my first attempt at this was cut that way and it works well the shorter the loaf is.

- The striped batch is cut in half, which means that it should be half as long as the final batch you pour OR only use one half of the striped cut in the same mold OR repurpose half of the soap as confetti in another batch.

- Try to keep your striped loaf as level as possible on top. You can plane the top flat if you have the ability. This will help keep your striped loaf tight in the mold and minimize leakage when you pour the swirled portion in the mold.

Inspiration photos and links:

Soapish was the first maker I saw doing this technique

Royalty Soaps

And a few of my attempts at this technique:
lavender_martini.jpg

wine_soap.jpg

(The bottom was my first ever attempt at this in 2017, I used a knife to cut the edges - it actually doesn't look as bad as I remember it...)

Your turn! Get creative and have fun - I can't wait to see what you make!
 

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Jersey Girl

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1. Jersey Girl- Always up for a fun challenge. Never tried a stripe yet so now is as good a time as any!
 

szaza

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Oh I love this technique and it's been on my to-do list for so long! I also desperately need to learn how to make a straight line soap🤣 had a few tries (well, fails) in January and I want to try again.
I'm having some technical issues with my soaps lately, so I'll hold off on signing up until those are solved. Meanwhile I'll be brainstorming ☺

Eta: @amd, since my brain always automatically looks for the extremes and out of the box sometimes turns out to be outside of the rules.. how about a thin line design for the stripy part? (Not sure if it's possible to cut appropriately) I just wanted to check if it's 'legal', since it's a very different pour from a regular straight line design.
 
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dibbles

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1. Jersey Girl- Always up for a fun challenge. Never tried a stripe yet so now is as good a time as any!
2. dibbles - I see some 'learning opportunities' in my future
 

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1. Jersey Girl- Always up for a fun challenge. Never tried a stripe yet so now is as good a time as any!
2. dibbles - I see some 'learning opportunities' in my future
3. Bookreader451 - Staying true to my goal and trying another challenge
 

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1. Jersey Girl- Always up for a fun challenge. Never tried a stripe yet so now is as good a time as any!
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4. Primrose - always up for a new challenge
 

Kafayat Adebowale oyeniyi

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1. Jersey Girl- Always up for a fun challenge. Never tried a stripe yet so now is as good a time as any!
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1. Jersey Girl- Always up for a fun challenge. Never tried a stripe yet so now is as good a time as any!
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3. Bookreader451 - Staying true to my goal and trying another challenge
4.kafayat.learning is soo much fun
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1. Jersey Girl- Always up for a fun challenge. Never tried a stripe yet so now is as good a time as any!
2. dibbles - I see some 'learning opportunities' in my future
3. Bookreader451 - Staying true to my goal and trying another challenge
4.kafayat.learning is soo much fun
5. MarnieSoapien - I already have an idea or 5
6. jstheidi- I’m going to give this a try, never done stripe so I hope I can pour straight.
 

amd

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how about a thin line design for the stripy part? (Not sure if it's possible to cut appropriately) I just wanted to check if it's 'legal', since it's a very different pour from a regular straight line design.
I'm not sure what you mean by "thin line design" do you have some pics of what you mean?

Also, just wanted to remind everyone that your stripes do not need to be perfectly flawlessly straight/even, they just need to be horizontal. So if your stripes/layers are a bit wonky such as my first attempt shown in the original post, that is completely acceptable! I think the biggest challenge with this technique is getting the nice 45deg cut and getting a nice contrast between the swirl portion and the stripes.
 

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1. Jersey Girl- Always up for a fun challenge. Never tried a stripe yet so now is as good a time as any!
2. dibbles - I see some 'learning opportunities' in my future
3. Bookreader451 - Staying true to my goal and trying another challenge
4. Primrose - always up for a new challenge
5. kafayat.learning is soo much fun
6. MarnieSoapien - I already have an idea or 5
7. jstheidi- I’m going to give this a try, never done stripe so I hope I can pour straight.
8. Arimara- @Mobjack Bay I'm adding her back in unless she posts otherwise.
 

szaza

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@amd here's a video (she starts pouring around 2mins into the video)
It's basically pouring small stripes of colored batter in your soaping jug with neutral colored soap and pouring back and forth alongside the long side of the mold. The cut is perpendicular to the normal loaf cut, also along the long side of the mold (top of the loaf is the top of the bar, but the loaf is cut in length in the middle). I really don't know if that made any sense, but the video is clearer 😉 again, I'm not sure if it's at all possible to do something like this with a diagonal cut. I suppose the soap would need to be cut in square blocks, which should be tilted 90% so the stripy part is in the right position and then cut diagonally (which means several diagonally cut blocks per mold for the swirl part). It makes sense in my mind, but I don't know how to put it in words properly 😛

Eta: I think the thicker lines are probably nicer as a contrasting technique. This is mainly a backup idea because I had a lot of trouble making straight lines last time I tried (even the most accelerating EO's and the only FO I own didn't accelerate enough and gave me bumpy non-lines) and I'm also pretty much out of accelerating EO's atm and not sure if I can reorder in time.

Oh.. now that I think of it.. if layers don't need to be straight, how about pointy layers? If I understand correctly, they're made by pouring layers with a very thin batter, pouring a thin stream of batter into the previous layer, so it breaks through a little and pushes some of the underlying batter up into a point (here's the soap challenge club page of the technique)

I'm so sorry for being a pain, my mind just doesn't want to play by the rules.. and I haven't even signed up yet! 🤦

Eta (again): I'd completely understand if you just want regular (semi) straight lines!
 
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Anstarx

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1. Jersey Girl- Always up for a fun challenge. Never tried a stripe yet so now is as good a time as any!
2. dibbles - I see some 'learning opportunities' in my future
3. Bookreader451 - Staying true to my goal and trying another challenge
4. Primrose - always up for a new challenge
5. kafayat.learning is soo much fun
6. MarnieSoapien - I already have an idea or 5
7. jstheidi- I’m going to give this a try, never done stripe so I hope I can pour straight.
8. Arimara- @Mobjack Bay I'm adding her back in unless she posts otherwise.
9. Anstarx- I really need to try layers
 

Mobjack Bay

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@amd here's a video (she starts pouring around 2mins into the video)
It's basically pouring small stripes of colored batter in your soaping jug with neutral colored soap and pouring back and forth alongside the long side of the mold. The cut is perpendicular to the normal loaf cut, also along the long side of the mold (top of the loaf is the top of the bar, but the loaf is cut in length in the middle). I really don't know if that made any sense, but the video is clearer 😉 again, I'm not sure if it's at all possible to do something like this with a diagonal cut. I suppose the soap would need to be cut in square blocks, which should be tilted 90% so the stripy part is in the right position and then cut diagonally (which means several diagonally cut blocks per mold for the swirl part). It makes sense in my mind, but I don't know how to put it in words properly 😛

Eta: I think the thicker lines are probably nicer as a contrasting technique. This is mainly a backup idea because I had a lot of trouble making straight lines last time I tried (even the most accelerating EO's and the only FO I own didn't accelerate enough and gave me bumpy non-lines) and I'm also pretty much out of accelerating EO's atm and not sure if I can reorder in time.

Oh.. now that I think of it.. if layers don't need to be straight, how about pointy layers? If I understand correctly, they're made by pouring layers with a very thin batter, pouring a thin stream of batter into the previous layer, so it breaks through a little and pushes some of the underlying batter up into a point (here's the soap challenge club page of the technique)

I'm so sorry for being a pain, my mind just doesn't want to play by the rules.. and I haven't even signed up yet! 🤦

Eta (again): I'd completely understand if you just want regular (semi) straight lines!
Rule #2 states the mold can't be tilted, which might be an issue for a thin layer approach where typically the batter is very thin and the mold is tilted before pouring down the side wall. I noticed while making soaps for the last challenge that pouring very thin batter down a tilted side wall helps to keep the batter flowing across the top, rather than sinking down as it would in a drop pour.
 

amd

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@szaza - I'm going to say no to the thin line design as poured from the pot. If you wanted to do multiple thin layers, you could do that. I've had an idea for a rainbow layered (6 layers) side with this design for a while, which would be much thinner layers than 3-4 layers normally poured. I'm also going to say no to the pointy layers design, I think that design will detract from the contrast between the swirled layer and the stripes.

My intention for the statement that your layers do not need to be perfect was I didn't want to discourage (what I consider) normal imperfections in layered soaps. The main points of this challenge are the diagonal cut and the contrast between the two soap pours. If you overdesign the stripe layers, you'll detract from the contrast. That said, if you absolutely must be creative with your layered side, I will allow sculpted layers such as this:
1588607053604.png

And just to clarify what I mean regarding non-perfect layers:
1588607145882.png

Soap layers are allowed to be "not straight" like above as long as one layer does not break completely through the next layer. so if you pour a layer and know it's not straight, want to add a bit of spoon sculpting to the layer before pouring the next, that's ok.

@Mobjack Bay i think you misunderstood the tilted comment.
1588608090277.png
I did not want someone to tilt their mold to pour their striped layers and thus avoid cutting the diagonal loaf. As long as your layers are horizontal, I don't care how you do it. So if you're fortunate enough to have a vertical section mold and want to use that, and then cut and place the layers so that the stripes are horizontal in the final cut that works too.
 

Jersey Girl

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Well, I cut the striped layer and finished making my first attempt. Layers came out good, but what a challenge cutting diagonally! That part needs improvement. There will be more attempts in my future I’m thinking! :p
 
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amd

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@Jersey Girl you might be surprised at how much you can wiggle when cutting the stripe loaf downwards and still get a nice looking line between the two pours.
 
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