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Swirl tutorial??

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newbie

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Okay, I am seeing comments on the new challenge about "Yay! No swirling!" I know that upcoming challenges will have swirling in them and I also had no idea that people found swirling...unpleasant? I would not have done the challenge I did if I knew that swirling was an issue for people for whatever reason.

So my question is, why do people not like swirling? Do people not like the look and it's not their thing? Do people feel they aren't good at it? If that is the case, why? I have had the impression that once people get the soap in the mold, they know what to do, but getting it into the mold so it can be swirled the most easily MIGHT be the issue, but I don't know. If that is the case (going from oils and lye water to just getting it laid out in the mold so you'll get a smooth swirl), would people like a tutorial on that part?
 

SunWolf

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Goodness, you'll not hear that from me, I love learning new ways to swirl soap!! The possibilities are endless, and I hope there are lots of swirling challenges. :grin: :thumbup:
 

Obsidian

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I love the looks of swirls but a lot of the time, they look too busy or too muddy. That why I prefer drop swirls or in the pot swirls, I can make them wispier and not so in your face. I also have a tendency to screw up complicated swirls then have ugly soap no one likes.

For the challenges, I'd like to see some design inspiration, like design a soap based on your favorite flower/artist/song, whatever. Things like minimalist soaps, natural colored soap, HP soaps, all would be great to see done.
 

not_ally

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I actually love swirls, as experiments, so try them all the time of my own accord. But b/c of that it is more useful - in a challenge - to try something that I would *not* normally attempt, like the inverted stamping technique. I kind of like the notion of pushing the non-swirl boundaries.

ETA: just saying "I love swirls" doesn't mean that much, I realized. I usually do them in a log mold, doing them it a slab w/a set of rules as in the last challenge actually taught me a lot. Some of those batches (ironically, not the one I entered, b/c did not get the right pics) were the prettiest soaps I have ever made. So for me, swirl, no swirl, I just like the learning part.
 
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The Efficacious Gentleman

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I'm not a big colourer of soaps, in fact I only swirl my salt bars so I must be a little crazy - but I do like the fact that you have to cut it to see what it is like. So exciting!
 

newbie

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There are definitely design challenges in the wings and of course in those you can use whatever colors you want, natural or otherwise, but I will put a natural colorant only challenge on the list as well as a couple of the others. Not all the challenges are based on swirls, some are but not all, but swirling can be part of what you choose to do in a design challenge, of course. I wasn't certain what the sentiment was about so thanks for these responses. Hoping to hear more opinions, though!
 
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dibbles

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I love the look of swirls, and would love any tutorials you would be willing to do. My soaps rarely go as planned, so I kind of need an arsenal of Plan B's. My main issue seems to be keeping the batter fluid for a long enough period of time. I guess my preference does tend to lean toward the simpler, wispier swirls, but I am fascinated by them all. And I love looking at the artistry and color combinations of the really vibrant soaps. I think it is just beyond my capabilities at this point. It is so fun to cut into a soap loaf and see what is inside.
 

Seawolfe

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I was glad to see a swirl challenge because I needed the practice. I think it's good to push people into working techniques they might not have done otherwise.
 

kumudini

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I do love swirls, it's another way of expressing your artistic self. But I got no artist in me and also I found that doing a swirl, the planning, the color mixing, the pour with everything that could go wrong with it and then the washing, it takes inordinate amounts of time for a novice swirler like me. So, I was just going to stay away from the swirly business, the lazy person I am. But let me assure you, we all learned so much from our own attempts and everyone else's, most of us will likely put that knowledge to use. It was indeed a fantastic first challenge.
When I saw this month's challenge, I definitely didn't say yay! No swirls! What I thought was that this is a really interesting concept to create cool looking soaps and felt like something I could try and succeed.
 

TVivian

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I love swirled soap and swirling soaps. It's like a signature, each persons soap becomes uniquely theirs. I love that you can recognize a soap makers work by the design of their swirl. I appreciate natural, solid colored bars, they're practical and useful... But there's something about the way a smooth, marbled bar looks as it melts away in your hands that makes bathing feel special and luxurious. It's what makes soapmaking an art form.
 

kumudini

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I love swirled soap and swirling soaps. It's like a signature, each persons soap becomes uniquely theirs. I love that you can recognize a soap makers work by the design of their swirl. I appreciate natural, solid colored bars, they're practical and useful... But there's something about the way a smooth, marbled bar looks as it melts away in your hands that makes bathing feel special and luxurious. It's what makes soapmaking an art form.
Natural solid colored bars could also feel very luxurious based on what you actually put in the recipe, just saying. Not tryin to take away anything from your beautiful swirls which I loved so much that I went ahead and watched all your videos on YouTube.
 

tbeck3579

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The swirled soaps are truly a work of art and it takes a lot of time to master the technique. I'm in awe of the talented people here. Very very pretty and I would probably use them as guest soaps for hands or display only. The colors that make them pretty are awesome, but...

It is purely psychological for me. I look at brightly colored soaps and my mind automatically relates it to something unnatural -- all of this happens without a thought given to why I wouldn't buy them for my body. The FD&C Red Dye no 2, Amaranth, which caused malignant tumors in mice was used in everything from red M&M's and ice cream to hot dogs. The dye was pulled by the FDA in the '70's (our red M&M's disappeared and they were my favorite, hehehe). The food industry fed that dye to us for years -- I think it was even in baby food. Americans were in love with brightly colored food. Anyway, my psychological schema of soap is pure and natural, warm and clean -- maternal like -- that's a relaxing bath/shower to me. Soap can be fancy and softly colored or scented, but the bright colors do not give me that warm, clean feeling (psychological only) I'm looking for when I bathe.

I think MANY people have that little psychological voice that tells them to stay away from anything that doesn't look right -- all without making a conscious decision as to why it doesn't look right. Humans are strange creatures and I'm one of them :think:

One last thought is my white towels -- I like white linens and towels because I like to bleach them -- bleach kills bacteria and killing bacteria is the point of bathing. I don't think those colors would bleed, but that would really make a mess if they did. The bright soap doesn't really go with that -- I'm not a fluorescent pink hair person, hehehe. My skin is lightly colored and I like soap that matches closely to that color; white, cream, peach, yellow, soft red, soft green, etc.
 
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TVivian

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Natural solid colored bars could also feel very luxurious based on what you actually put in the recipe, just saying. Not tryin to take away anything from your beautiful swirls which I loved so much that I went ahead and watched all your videos on YouTube.

Oh I wholeheartedly agree. I make more plain soaps than swirled by far. I just wanted to give my input on the topic of swirled soaps and what I love about them.
 

KristaY

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I enjoyed the swirl challenge, newbie, because you gave us specific patterns to use. There were a couple I never would have thought to try so it took me out of my comfort zone, which is a good thing. When I'm in a hurry or not feeling particularly artsy on a certain day, I find myself doing the same type of swirl techniques. These types of challenges force me to push my usual boundaries which is really fun. There are times I need a nudge or a swift kick to take a different path and that's what I appreciate about challenges with a unique twist. I love swirling but I also love learning something new. :grin:
 

soapswirl

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Needless to say - I love to swirl and appreciated the inspiration in the last challenge :)
 

green soap

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Newbie a swirl tutorial would be great! For me it would have to be pretty basic.

Despite having made a lot of soap for the last 3 years I only do spoon swirls, usually in just two colors. For me it is a matter of time efficiency. However, I do enjoy looking at the partially melted bars and observing the graceful and subtle shift in the designs. Not something I would do on a regular basis, but a lot of fun if one has time! also, cutting the swirled soap is like opening christmas presents!

I have 'de stashed' most of my supplies so I no longer have my color infusions/colorants and my palette is limited. Also, if I use blue or green I need to make a separate lye batch (because of the indigo), so I could end up with too much soap!
 

newbie

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I'll see if I can make one that is basic and more about prep, getting the batter to light trace and some pours. It seems like a lot of people comment that their soap gets too thick while they are trying to do a swirl so I think that will be the focus. I think some of the equipment i have can get some really good close-ups so people can see better, for emulsion and light trace etc...
 

tbeck3579

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I was looking through the photos at the original swirls and colors. The soap is too pretty to use, it should be framed :) Very talented people who have any eye for spacial balance, color, design, and the experience to bring an idea to life. Awesome, very cool.
 

newbie

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Okay, I made two videos. The first is lots of talking, mainly about prep. It has taken over 24 hours to load because of my @#*% computer and is being processed by YouTube and should be ready shortly. The second one is the batter preparation, emulsion, trace, coloring and pouring and is already up. There is no lead-in because that was in part 1.

Unfortunately, my video camera didn't refocus if the subject moved a bit so it's not entirely crisp but I think it's usable. I have another one that is in focus, but after to took 30 hours to upload part 1, I will wait until tomorrow to try to get the second batter prep one up. The second one is different though. I had a snafu when I poured my castor when I was doing my oils (not shown- that's way too boring) and I made adjustments accordingly but it made my castor percentage a fair amount higher than normal. Did that ever make a difference with trace times! I knew it would some, but it was definitely faster than I was expecting even so. Still, got a nice pour out of it so will still put up the video. It won't be until tomorrow.

I have no idea how long it will take YT to process part 1, but here's the link to the channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9bN3rFKI_AyHN1ses6bpfQ

This is the link to the Part 2- the batter prep and pour.
[ame]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CytRNXh7-Xk[/ame]

I am open to constructive criticism or if there is something I didn't show that people would be interested in seeing.
 

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