August Soap Crafting Club: Linear Swirl with Oxides

It’s the second month of Bramble Berry’s summer Soap Crafting Club, and boy, was this soap fun!!! I know. I say that pretty much every time I make soap. But it was seriously FUN this month! (If you haven’t picked up a copy of Anne-Marie Faiola’s book Soap Crafting, I highly, highly recommend it.)


August kit contents: premixed base oils, sweet almond oil, White Tea & Ginger fragrance oil, and 4 oxide colors. We’ll be using the same 9-bar birchwood mold and more lye from the July shipment.

Once again, all of the extra information and videos available to the club members online was invaluable. I watched the video a few times and read through posts from other members who had already made the soap. Feeling pretty comfortable with it, I dove right in.

I began by mixing together the lye solution and heating the oils. Next, I mixed each of the oxides into the sweet almond oil and prepped my work space. When my lye and oils were at about 110 degrees, I blended to emulsify them then whisked in White Tea & Ginger fragrance oil. I used my handy dandy long pour-spout measuring cups to divide out the soap into 4 parts and mix in the colors as outlined in the recipe. In my haste to get the soap poured into the mold carefully, I forgot to have my hubby take pictures of the process! But rest assured, I followed the instructions closely and made lots of long s-curves, alternating my 4 colors in a side-by-side pattern. As I neared the last few pours, I tried to make sure that each colored stripe was visible and distinct so that the final swirling would reveal all of those beautiful colors.

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The raw soap before swirling

And I did get a picture of the pouring aftermath!

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Not as messy as I’ve been in the past, but certainly not super clean!

This technique called for the linear swirl, which I’ve done before and referred to as the Taiwan Swirl. (The top of the Tie-Dye soap from this club was also a linear swirl on top.) The final result of this technique is absolutely stunning every single time. The difference with this particular soap is the multiple pours of each color throughout the entire body of the soap. There will be tons and tons of visual interest for the life of this soap, each use revealing a new pattern.

I began by inserting a skewer to the bottom of the mold and dragging it back and forth in a vertical motion across the horizontal stripes.

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The first swirls are already revealing lovely feathering.

Next, I drug across the new vertical stripes in a horizontal motion.

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Now it’s even more beautiful!

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All the swirling complete and dividers in place. It’ll be interesting to see the drag marks down the sides of each bar created by the dividers.

Isn’t this just GORGEOUS!?!? It looks just like the versions in the book and online that I’ve seen. I’m amazed that I could recreate it!

After a few days, the soap slid right out of the silicone liner. I flipped it over, and look!

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Even the bottom of this soap has tons of visual interest!

I had to wrestle it out of the dividers more than last time, but it still came out cleanly. Every bar is beautiful.

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After a week of curing, the colors have muted a bit, especially the gray. But the fine feathering is still quite visible. (Please forgive the messy edges and soda ash. I’ll clean these up a bit after they’ve had proper time to harden.)

The White Tea & Ginger fragrance is bright and clean, and it was extremely workable. This will be a fun and refreshing bar of soap to use.

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The drag marks left from the dividers is a cool effect around each side!


Another view of the drag marks and feathery details of this White Tea & Ginger Linear Swirl Soap.

These experiences along with the monthly Great Cakes Soapworks Soap Challenge Club have been absolutely invaluable to me as a soap maker. With each new batch and new technique, I learn more and more about workable textures and how temperatures, additives and colors affect soap.  Oh, how far I’ve come since those first few batches!

Only one more month left in the Summer Soap Crafting Club. Drat. I’m wishing this would just keep going and going! But I’m looking forward, as usual, to what will arrive in a few weeks on my doorstep!