SMF May 2023 Challenge: Spoon or Spatula Swirl

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Welcome to the May 2023 SMF Soap Challenge!

This month’s challenge is to make a swirl in your soap using simply a spoon or spatula. You will need to pour layers of colour, one on top of the other - they don't need to be perfectly flat or even layers, but they shouldn't be mixed or otherwise swirled (i.e ITP swirl or deliberate multi-layered drop swirl). You then use a spoon or spatula of your choice to lift and turn the soap batter so that the colours create a swirl inside the soap. Simple! And a good one to try if you're not confident with more intricate swirls, or if your batter is a bit too thick to do other types of swirls.


SMF Challenge General Rules

1. To enter you must have been a SMF member for at least one month and have a minimum of 50 posts at the time the Challenge is posted (sorry but no exceptions on this). Supporting Members can enter immediately; the time and post requirements are removed.

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. 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.

7. 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 made), but please do post your experiences in the main Challenge thread and be prepared to be encouraged to continue trying.

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

* * * *
Competition entries must be uploaded to the separate entry thread before the closing date.
  • Note: all times listed are Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and it is your responsibility to convert times to your own time zone.
  • The entry thread will open on May 20th by 11:59 PM GMT (Please follow the challenge specific rules as to what you need to enter).
  • After the closing date on May 25th at 11:59 PM GMT the winning entry will be chosen by a voting survey. Voting will be open until May 30th at 11:59 PM GMT and the winner will be announced on May 31st. 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 to the general challenge 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 this Challenge:

1. You may use any mold you choose, with the exception of individual cavity molds or cylinder molds.

2. Soap must be made with CP/CPOP or HP.

3. A minimum of two colours is required (uncoloured counts as a colour), and a maximum of four colours is allowed.

4. You must create your soap by pouring layers of colours and then spoon swirling them. In true Kiwi fashion - these layers need not be perfectly flat. The layers can merge/penetrate somewhat when pouring but not to the extent of an intentional drop swirl.

5. You can alternate layers/colours when pouring but no more than twice per colour. Example - say you are using black and white, you might choose to pour a layer of black, then a layer of white, then another layer of black followed by a final layer of white. That's it. The emphasis should remain on the spoon swirling to create the design, not on the layering.

6. You must include a photo with at least three of your cut bars as your challenge entry (so we can see the variety of different patterns that evolve throughout the batch). Put this photo first when you post your entry.

7. You must include a photo of the swirling tool used (your chosen spoon or spatula)

8. You may include up to two more photos of your soap cut or uncut - but the voting will be based on the first photo of the three bars.

Tip:

A medium to thick trace is better for this technique - if it's too thin you won't get definition in your swirl.

Here's a couple of my recent soaps made with this technique:
Three colours:
IMG_8500.JPGIMG_8502.JPG
Two colours ( this has darkened since curing as i used a discolouring FO in the brown (cinnamon) portion:
IMG_6068.jpg

Plus bonus video of me making the above soap:



These You Tube links might provide some technique ideas for you - although you might want to consider different ways of using your spoon to swirl and not follow this method exactly:




Have fun! Looking forward to seeing what you all create. :D
 
Please copy & paste the list into a new post, then add your name along with the next appropriate number.

Sign up list:
1. Servant4Christ
2.
 
Please copy & paste the list into a new post, then add your name along with the next appropriate number.

Sign up list:
1. Servant4Christ
2. The_Phoenix - A spoonful of soap makes the grime go down the drain.
3. AliOop - This is my go-to rescue technique for those suddenly-thick batters. Ya never know how it will look but it's usually pretty!
4.
 
Please copy & paste the list into a new post, then add your name along with the next appropriate number.

Sign up list:
1. Servant4Christ
2. The_Phoenix - A spoonful of soap makes the grime go down the drain.
3. AliOop - This is my go-to rescue technique for those suddenly-thick batters. Ya never know how it will look but it's usually pretty!
4. dmcgee5034 - spoon swirl-tastic! Never done this one, so happy to learn it 🌸
5.
 
Last edited:
Please copy & paste the list into a new post, then add your name along with the next appropriate number.

Sign up list:
1. Servant4Christ
2. The_Phoenix - A spoonful of soap makes the grime go down the drain.
3. AliOop - This is my go-to rescue technique for those suddenly-thick batters. Ya never know how it will look but it's usually pretty!
4. dmcgee5034 - spoon swirl-tastic! Never done this one, so happy to learn it 🌸
5. Mx5inpenn - my 1st smf challenge was a spoon swirl 🤔
6.
 
I’m glad this is a simpler design challenge. I only participate if I am confident I can pull out a suitable “one and done” entry. This is just simple enough that coming up with a design won’t engulf me and it will still allow me a creative outlet to deal with all the stresses of my non-soap life.
 
Last edited:
I’m glad this is a simpler design challenge. I only participate if I am confident I can pull out a suitable “one and done” entry. This is just simple enough that coming up with a design won’t engulf me and it will still allow me a creative outlet to deal with all the stresses of my non-soap life.
I hear ya Phoenix!
 
Please copy & paste the list into a new post, then add your name along with the next appropriate number.

Sign up list:
1. Servant4Christ
2. The_Phoenix - A spoonful of soap makes the grime go down the drain.
3. AliOop - This is my go-to rescue technique for those suddenly-thick batters. Ya never know how it will look but it's usually pretty!
4. dmcgee5034 - spoon swirl-tastic! Never done this one, so happy to learn it 🌸
5. Mx5inpenn - my 1st smf challenge was a spoon swirl 🤔
6. basti - an excuse to test my new mold i think 😉
7.
 
Sheesh, a lot of big names are popping up and I can't help but wonder what I've gotten myself into. I might be waaaay out of my league here!
Don't worry - the main objective of the challenges is to learn something new, or to learn to do it better. You've got this, and we're all here for you!
 
Please copy & paste the list into a new post, then add your name along with the next appropriate number.

Sign up list:
1. Servant4Christ
2. The_Phoenix - A spoonful of soap makes the grime go down the drain.
3. AliOop - This is my go-to rescue technique for those suddenly-thick batters. Ya never know how it will look but it's usually pretty!
4. dmcgee5034 - spoon swirl-tastic! Never done this one, so happy to learn it 🌸
5. Mx5inpenn - my 1st smf challenge was a spoon swirl 🤔
6. basti - an excuse to test my new mold i think 😉
7. Cerelife
 
I’m glad this is a simpler design challenge. I only participate if I am confident I can pull out a suitable “one and done” entry. This is just simple enough that coming up with a design won’t engulf me and it will still allow me a creative outlet to deal with all the stresses of my non-soap life.
What is this non-soap life you speak of…
 
Sign up list:
1. Servant4Christ
2. The_Phoenix - A spoonful of soap makes the grime go down the drain.
3. AliOop - This is my go-to rescue technique for those suddenly-thick batters. Ya never know how it will look but it's usually pretty!
4. dmcgee5034 - spoon swirl-tastic! Never done this one, so happy to learn it 🌸
5. Mx5inpenn - my 1st smf challenge was a spoon swirl 🤔
6. basti - an excuse to test my new mold i think 😉
7. Cerelife
8. Vicki C 🥄🌪👍
 
Sign up list:
1. Servant4Christ
2. The_Phoenix - A spoonful of soap makes the grime go down the drain.
3. AliOop - This is my go-to rescue technique for those suddenly-thick batters. Ya never know how it will look but it's usually pretty!
4. dmcgee5034 - spoon swirl-tastic! Never done this one, so happy to learn it 🌸
5. Mx5inpenn - my 1st smf challenge was a spoon swirl 🤔
6. basti - an excuse to test my new mold i think 😉
7. Cerelife
8. Vicki C 🥄🌪👍
9. Nicolesica—I think life has calmed down enough for me to take up the challenge. Besides, I have several FO’s that accelerate like crazy, so a perfect opportunity to use them up!
 
Sign up list:
1. Servant4Christ
2. The_Phoenix - A spoonful of soap makes the grime go down the drain.
3. AliOop - This is my go-to rescue technique for those suddenly-thick batters. Ya never know how it will look but it's usually pretty!
4. dmcgee5034 - spoon swirl-tastic! Never done this one, so happy to learn it 🌸
5. Mx5inpenn - my 1st smf challenge was a spoon swirl 🤔
6. basti - an excuse to test my new mold i think 😉
7. Cerelife
8. Vicki C 🥄🌪👍
9. Nicolesica—I think life has calmed down enough for me to take up the challenge. Besides, I have several FO’s that accelerate like crazy, so a perfect opportunity to use them up!
10. The_Emerald_Chicken - It's high time I try this!...plus I need to be making more soap.
11.
 
Sign up list:
1. Servant4Christ
2. The_Phoenix - A spoonful of soap makes the grime go down the drain.
3. AliOop - This is my go-to rescue technique for those suddenly-thick batters. Ya never know how it will look but it's usually pretty!
4. dmcgee5034 - spoon swirl-tastic! Never done this one, so happy to learn it 🌸
5. Mx5inpenn - my 1st smf challenge was a spoon swirl 🤔
6. basti - an excuse to test my new mold i think 😉
7. Cerelife
8. Vicki C 🥄🌪👍
9. Nicolesica—I think life has calmed down enough for me to take up the challenge. Besides, I have several FO’s that accelerate like crazy, so a perfect opportunity to use them up!
10. The_Emerald_Chicken - It's high time I try this!...plus I need to be making more soap.
11. Blue 1969 - This one seems easy enough for a beginner like me to try - but as we know, sometimes it just looks easier than it is! ;)
 
Sheesh, a lot of big names are popping up and I can't help but wonder what I've gotten myself into. I might be waaaay out of my league here!
Awww don't feel that way! This is the perfect challenge to start off with since there are infinite ways to make it your own, with no right or wrong method of layering, pouring, etc. etc. Remember my rescue soap from last month's challenge attempt? That was a spoon swirl with super thick batter. It wasn't my best, but not fugly, either.


IMG_2205.jpeg
 
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