In-the-Pot Swirls

I always love to take part in the Soap Challenge Club put on by Amy of Great Cakes Soapworks. I’ve missed a few months this summer, but now that school’s back in swing, so am I! And this month’s challenge was one that I’ve actually done before: in-the pot swirls. Woohoo! (If you’re interested, here’s an Oatmeal, Milk & Honey soap with a simple single-color in-the-pot swirl that I do quite frequently.) I love to learn new techniques, but it was a lot of fun pushing myself to do more with something I’ve already practiced a lot.

Thanks to this club and the Bramble Berry Soap Crafting Club, I’ve finally figured out that I need to use as many familiar variables as possible when trying something new. (I know, I know. It’s not rocket science.) With that in mind, I used a fragrance that I’m familiar with, my typical 8-oil recipe with goat milk added to the oils, and soaped at around 90 degrees. To make this a challenge for myself, I decided to use more colors than I’ve ever done with this technique, a total of 6: pink, orange, yellow, light aqua blue, dark blue, and purple. To achieve the colors I wanted, I blended lots of micas, oxides, and neons.

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Nearly a rainbow!

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Now as soap! I still had to tweak that orange a bit. It was just too brown, so I added a bit of red and yellow and pink. I had no idea how it would actually turn out in the end!

And along with using more colors, I did a double pot swirl. Just keep reading if you’re confused! 🙂

As I was planning it out, I decided it would be fun to try 2 separate in-the-pot swirls layered into the same soap to create a cool sunset effect. I split up the blues into 2 larger bowls to be the “main” or “base” colors. Into the lighter blue, I poured yellow, orange, and pink, then swirled around the pot in a spiral motion very lightly.

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I left lots of yellow close to the top so that it would be poured closest to the bottom of the mold.

My soap was at a medium trace when I poured that first pot into the bottom of my mold. I was hoping for a sunset look with lots of bright yellow streaks across the “sky.”

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The colored stripes were so beautiful that I hated to cover them up with the second layer of swirls!

Into the darker blue pot, I poured the remainder of the orange and pink soaps along with some purple. I was hoping to mimic the ombre effect of the night sky, moving from the lighter blue on the horizon into the darker blue above, while keeping the pink and orange swirls throughout the soap. I also added just a touch of yellow to the dark blue pot. By the time I got to the last few in-the-pot pours, the soap was really beginning to set up. I swirled it together lightly again, this time folding some of the dark blue soap from the bottom to the top of the pot.

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I left lots of pink on top to blend into the layer already poured into the mold, leaving lots of dark blue on the bottom to be poured last.

I poured this second pot over the first layer of soap in a back and forth motion across the length of my mold. I was excited to see many streaks of color rather than a muddy mess! And the dark blue finished out the night sky just as I’d planned!

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Does it remind you of the night sky???

I finished the soap off by dotting the top with more pink, purple, orange and a touch of yellow, lightly swirling it and adding some glitter. (Pixie Dust was the fragrance I used, and it would be sacrilege NOT to include some glitter!!!)

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The raw soap was really gorgeous!

Into the warm oven it went to ensure gel phase, a.k.a. bright colors.

It was thrilling to cut into this soap the next day!

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The first glimpse!

All of the colors are distinct yet well-incorporated throughout each bar, and the yellow really pops!

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I love the bright yellow, orange and pink swirls. Lots of contrast, while the top blue and purple blend well to create the sky effect I was going for.

The light aqua blue color morphed slightly into a blue-gray, and the orange turned reddish, and I love the results. I keep going back and forth about whether this reminds me of a crazy bright sunrise or a wild sunset, so I’m calling it Sunrise Sunset! It seems a bit reminiscent of Van Gogh, too. No?

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Every bar is completely unique, as expected with an in-the-pot swirl.

This soap was SO. MUCH. FUN. to create! It took me a while (translation: nearly 3 hours) to plan and make it, but it was entirely satisfying to complete this one. Worth every minute.

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Sunrise Sunset Soap made with goat milk

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Check out this cool sun spot! Only two bars got this awesome sun!

I’ll most certainly be playing around more with in-the-pot swirls very soon. I’ve dreamed up all sorts of ways to use an ITP swirl in conjunction with lots and lots of other techniques that I’ve learned through the club! Now to find the time to actually make all of my ideas…

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12 thoughts on “In-the-Pot Swirls

  1. Hi Katy! Isn’t it lovely when soap turns out just as you planned it? This really does look like its name :D. Great job with the colours and swirls. I’ve only ever done the ITP swirl once with a white base, yellow and black. I might be braver next time! Abiola

  2. Love it!! Your theme really makes the soap design work well. The colors are definitely bright and reminiscent of the sky – great job! (And great to have you participating in the Club again!)

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