Dairy Goats 

Rags on the Fence

A Friendly Challenge

Posted on November 28, 2015 at 5:20 PM

Sometimes soap makers join in challenges to try new design techniques or ingredients. One of my former students and now friend, Erin Healy of Edenn Valley Soaps, and I agreed this past week to attempt a personal soap challenge face-off once a month, starting with a 'Clyde Slide', due Friday, November 27, 2015. For our first challenge I am using a dupe of Cool Citrus Basil and Erin is doing Tropical Vacation, both with a color scheme of aqua, green, yellow, and orange.

Our inspiration comes from Clyde Yoshida, the owner of Vibrant Soap in San Diego, CA. His deigns and mini lessons on color theory for soap are fantastic youtube adventures (if you are a soaper)! Clyde's variation on a 'In The Pot Swirl' that has been dubbed the 'Clyde Slide' creates some lovely designs... this video is one of the inspirations for this soap challenge:


I have to start with a picture of Phoebe's favorite part of soaping- the milk added into the oils. We don't use that technique for every soap, but when we do it does create some interesting designs, and Phoebe loves to try to capture them on film!

I went very bright for my colors- here they are mixed before being added to the soap. The micas are Green Vibrance, Orange Vibrance, and Yellow Vibrance from Nurture Soap Supplies, and Aqua Pearl Mica from Brambleberry (now discontinued):

And after they have been added to portions of the soap, about a cup of soap for each color out of the main batch:

The fragrance, a duplicate of Bath & Body Works' Cool Citrus Basil, was evenly divided between each of the four colors and the remainder of the batter, which had a bit of white enhancement added. That is when the pouring fun starts!

In an 'In The Pot Swirl', the soap colors are added to the main pot of soap, usually froma bit of height to send it to the bottom of the pot, on top of each other, one short stir is done, and the soap is poured into the mold- the combination of pouring techniques is what makes the designs in the soap. Clyde's technique uses a very fluid soap batter layered on top of each other and there is no stir before the pour, and the colors 'sliding' together leads to some differences in the final designs. My soap batter didn't stay as fluid as I would have liked, I probably should have poured fewer layers of color. I certainly can give myself a few tips on how to do this better next time!

Pouring into the mold:

And now that all of the soap batter is added to the mold...

Small amounts of each color of soap were saved back from pouring, and now it is time to add them to the top of the poured soap. Sometiems I do that Jackson Pollock style, but this time I went for rows that could be swirled in a bit of a mantra style:

Well, it started out as a mantra type swirl, but my chopstick wanted to keep swirling! It was ready to put to bed for a day!

The next day I was happy to see that the colors were even better than I expected! The green was more vibrant and not as dark, and the aqua was a bit more visible. Here is the log before it was cut:

We found a lot of different designs in there! It isn't quite like the inspiration, but we like the results!

Watch for this soap to join our line-up soon. This has been a great challenge- both Erin & I are looking forward to challenging each other next month! I hope you check out Edenn Valley Soap, too!

Categories: The Soap Pot

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