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LilianNoir

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I'm trying to make soap more often and chose recipes that help me to learn and understand techniques.
Something that I know I need more experience with is when to stop stick blending and using trace to my favor to create designs that I intend.
I am fascinated with swirls, and since they require thinner traces, I think starting to work with some swirl recipes can be a good way to learn.

What are your favored recipes for swirls? What are your favorite techniques?

What would you recommend for a semi-beginner?
What do I make next!

I'm feeling confident and ready to go again(after yesterday's down day).

(Of note: I have several books too that I can refer to but was wanting to hear from soaping folks directly what you recommend)
 

shunt2011

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I recommend watching some you tube videos for swirling ideas or check out the challenge forum here. They've done some great ones and include tutorials.

I agree with lsg that getting your batter to emulsion is the best for many of the techniques.
 

LilianNoir

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Getting batter just to emulsion is something that I think I realized the last time I made soap, and then....forgot somehow? And after this weekend and doing searching and reading and watching, I realized it again and it was like a lightbulb moment.

So that's definitely part of what I want to practice moving forward. I'm glad to see I'm on the right track there.

I've also been doing research into fatty acid properties(although I can't remember anything with out my notes. My memory is VERY bad these days thanks to health issues and chemo) and trying to get a feel for what oils are slow moving.
I know(?) that unsatured, liquid at room temp oils tend to be slower moving. Is that correct? What do you all consider "Slow moving oils"?
 

shunt2011

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Lard, Olive oil, Rice Bran, Sunflower, avocado are all slow movers in my experience. My recipe is Lard, CO, Shea, Castor and Avocado, Olive or HO Sunflower and I have lots of time to play if I so choose. Just remember if using mostly liquid oils the soap will require a longer cure.
 

TashaBird

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Would adding clay as the colorant affect the batter ability to swirl?
 

AliOop

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You can still swirl with it if you don’t use tons and you pre-soak it.
 

Mobjack Bay

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I have some luck with swirling clays, which I hydrate in water. IMHO, Holly of Kapia Mera soaps is one of the masters of using clays in complex soap designs. She hydrates the clays in water, soaps at room temp (mid to high 80s, I think), and uses recipes that are high in liquid oils. You can check out her videos on YouTube under Kapia Mera. She often shares her base recipes and instructions/proportions for hydrating clays below the video, or in the videos, or points to her website for more information.
 

Mobjack Bay

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Getting batter just to emulsion is something that I think I realized the last time I made soap, and then....forgot somehow? And after this weekend and doing searching and reading and watching, I realized it again and it was like a lightbulb moment.

So that's definitely part of what I want to practice moving forward. I'm glad to see I'm on the right track there.

I've also been doing research into fatty acid properties(although I can't remember anything with out my notes. My memory is VERY bad these days thanks to health issues and chemo) and trying to get a feel for what oils are slow moving.
I know(?) that unsatured, liquid at room temp oils tend to be slower moving. Is that correct? What do you all consider "Slow moving oils"?
Sorry to hear you have been having health issues. I hope you start feeling better soon.
 

LilianNoir

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oh my goodness, so many good responses and I never saw them! I didn't get the email notification!
Glad to see thoughts on clays and how the impact swirling as I'd like to try some stuff with clays in the future.

I think the husband accidentally threw out my hanger swirl :mad: so I'll need to buy a new one, but in the meantime it's a good excuse to work with in the pot swirling techniques.

@Mobjack Bay I appreciate the well wishes! Unfortunately, my health issues are chronic (not the good kind!) and the best I can hope for is to have more good days than bad. :)

Right now we're half and half. Current world events don't help.
 

SPowers

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I use the in-pot swirl a lot. It's probably the easiest to do but I love it. My next batch I am planning to venture out and do a drop swirl!
 

group7access

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I recommend watching some you tube videos for swirling ideas or check out the challenge forum here. They've done some great ones and include tutorials.

I agree with lsg that getting your batter to emulsion is the best for many of the techniques.
What does "getting your batter to emulsion" mean? I have only made about ten batches in my soap making career. Would that be at the point where the lye water is definitely mixed with the carrier oils, but is in no way at "trace"?
 

Arimara

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What does "getting your batter to emulsion" mean? I have only made about ten batches in my soap making career. Would that be at the point where the lye water is definitely mixed with the carrier oils, but is in no way at "trace"?
In a manner of speaking, it's as you said it.
 

Catscankim

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I am a new soap maker. Up until now i have been blending to just barely trace. Sunday somebody suggested going to emulsion only, which i did yesterday. I am so happy with it. i had total control over my batter.

There was more of a waiting game...stir a little and wait, repeat. But i was able to control exactly when i poured instead of oh crap its getting too thick already....Maybe a 15 minute difference.

its better than posting a picture of your flopped soap lol

Your original question....

i did the blue one using colors in squeeze bottles, and the cranberry one by pouring out of the container. With the squeeze bottle i felt like i had more control with the depth, the container made bigger swirls, but it was easier and less messy....i threw the squeeze bottles out cause they were hard to clean. 2/$1 at the dollar store, so it was worth not cleaning them to me. I woulda spent $1 in water trying to get them clean. My logic lol
 

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TashaBird

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I am a new soap maker. Up until now i have been blending to just barely trace. Sunday somebody suggested going to emulsion only, which i did yesterday. I am so happy with it. i had total control over my batter.

There was more of a waiting game...stir a little and wait, repeat. But i was able to control exactly when i poured instead of oh crap its getting too thick already....Maybe a 15 minute difference.

its better than posting a picture of your flopped soap lol

Your original question....

i did the blue one using colors in squeeze bottles, and the cranberry one by pouring out of the container. With the squeeze bottle i felt like i had more control with the depth, the container made bigger swirls, but it was easier and less messy....i threw the squeeze bottles out cause they were hard to clean. 2/$1 at the dollar store, so it was worth not cleaning them to me. I woulda spent $1 in water trying to get them clean. My logic lol
I just saw someone use the inflated cushions from amazon packages as liners for the squeeze bottles. Cut one end, then put it in and put the screw top on. I’m going to try it.
 

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