Tag Archives: Drop Swirl

Custom Stamp Giveaway: Share a Soaping Tip or Trick

Since getting my stamp last month, I still haven’t mastered the precise way of stamping soaps – sometimes I hammer too hard, or too lightly, or lopsidedly. But one thing for sure is that I love stamping soaps and the resulting look. To celebrate my first soap anniversary this April 3, I thought I’d share the joy by giving away an acrylic stamp with your own logo or design. All soap makers from anywhere in the world are welcome to join!

All you need to do is share your favorite soaping tip or trick in the comments section, or on Facebook  (would be awesome, too, if you “like” SoapJam 🙂 ).  If you have already written a post or tutorial about it, a link would be highly appreciated.  If you share a soaping tip or trick here, and another one on Facebook, it will count as 2 entries.  The idea is to provide a resource for soap makers – a kind of pay-it-forward.

Cut-off will be on April 2, 9 PM Philippine time, and the winner will be announced the following day.  I will need a pdf file of your logo or artwork to have your custom stamp made. If you are not yet ready with your logo, we can wait.  The stamp I will be sending is going to be the acrylic portion only, without a handle.  It works fine without a handle, but if you wish, you can buy a generic wooden handle and glue it to the stamp.

Soap Stamp

Here is one of my latest soap creations with a thicker stamp.  It’s a soothing fragrance combination of lavender, honey, and almond. I mixed ultramarine blue and african violet pigment to get the lavender colour. The original mixture came out greyish, so I had to hastily mix more ultramarine blue with oil to add to the soap batter.  The swirls of this batch reminds me of an earlier soap I made called Lavender Mist. But of course I like this better because of the stamp. 😉

Lavender Almond

Lavender Almond

For my own contribution, here’s a link to a tutorial I made on Lye Masterbatching.

Thank you for reading and for your participation! Wishing you a happy and bubbly week! 🙂







Drop Swirl Variation

I didn’t sign up for this month’s Soap Challenge Club even though the Drop Swirl is currently my favourite technique.  In between travelling, having house guests, and getting the flu, I knew I was not going to be able to make a new batch before the registration deadline.  But I’d like to share anyway the last Drop Swirl soap I made last Feb. 16. 

After dropping the coloured portions into the white base, I swirled it with a chopstick.  I don’t know if there is another name for this technique, but to me it is still a drop swirl.  Please let me know if there is a proper name for this.

It is scented with Neroli and Grapefruit, the same fragrance I used for January’s Taiwan Swirl challenge. The pink came out darker than I wanted it to be, but nonetheless, I’m pretty happy with the outcome.

Puppy love 2

Puppy Love 1

Puppy Love 3

Puppy Love 4

Puppy Love 5

Puppy Love 6

Puppy Love

Color Riot

Last month, while I was going through Time magazine, I came across an article about the release of the 2 former members of the Russian punk protest group, Pussy Riot.  Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina, who both spent 21 months in prison for charges of hooliganism, have been in the media spotlight for a while, but I never really followed their story.  However, at that moment I was reading the news, I had a sudden hit of inspiration.  It was so clear in my head – I was going to make soap called Color Riot, and it was going to be just that: an explosion of colors.

It was my first time to have the name of the soap come first before the fragrance and the design. I usually decide on the fragrance first, then the look.  The name comes much much later because I usually have a hard time coming up with one.  What about you?  What kind of conceptualisation process do you go through?

If you haven’t noticed, I tend to be a bit restrained with my use of colors.  Aside from titanium dioxide, I normally use just one or two other colors, and more often than not, they’re on the sedate side. It has only been the last few months that I started to achieve better color saturation and contrast.  (Click here , here, and here to see my earlier color-challenged soaps.)  Color Riot is thus quite a departure from my usual look.  It is bold and loud.  So not me.  But I love it!

Color Riot

Color Riot

I really liked the ease and outcome of the drop swirl technique in Desert Dune, so I decided to do the same for Color Riot. For the first time ever, I used 5 colors: white (titanium dioxide), periwinkle blue, raging raspberry, neon yellow, and neon green.  It is scented with Mango Pomegranate – a fun, tart, and fruity smell.
Color Riot 1

Color Riot 2

Bleeding Pink

I made Color Riot last Jan. 26.  I looked at it almost everyday and didn’t notice any bleeding of colors until I steamed it the other day.  It had very light soda ash, mostly just on the two end pieces.  I normally would leave it as is, but because of its name, I wanted the colors to really pop.  Has anyone experienced this after steaming?

Aside from Color Riot, I made one other neon-colored soap last year.  When I saw the colors in the cut soap, I hated it!  I thought it was gaudy.  After a while, I thought it was fun and learned to like it.  Fragrance used was patchouli raspberry, which I renamed Happy Hippie.  I later found out that Lush had a product with the same name.  I will have to think of another name should I do a remake.  The colors used in this soap are similar to those in Color Riot, but I don’t remember now if the colors bled.  If it did, I didn’t notice.
Happy Hippie

Desert Dune

I normally like to make swirls using a spoon, but for this batch, I simply poured the colors alternately. I believe this technique is called Drop Swirl even though the batter is not physically swirled like a Celine Swirl, Swirl within a Swirl (Holly Swirl), or In-the-Pot Swirl (ITP).

It’s the first time I’ve achieved this kind of look, and I’ve also departed from my usual flat surface.  I’ve always admired the fancy domed tops that many soapmakers create, but since I wanted to wrap my soaps with paper, a flat surface was the practical thing to do.

After much pondering on the direction I wanted to take my soap-making this year, I decided to have two kinds of packaging: paper for all-natural soaps, and plastic for the ones with design and fragrance oils, or what I call “fun fragrant soaps.” I still have a lot of things to iron out, so I won’t be fully implementing this any time soon. More on this when things are in place.

I used my standard yogurt soap recipe with olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, rice bran oil and cocoa butter.  Knowing that the fragrance would turn the soap tan, I used black and brown oxides, and took my chance with yellow (fluorescent yellow pigment and yellow oxide) to have a lighter contrast.

The soaps below looked much lighter and brighter when I made them last Jan. 6. The brown part was supposed to be light brown but it turned into reddish brown, and the yellow darkened to an olive-mustard shade. The discoloration makes the soap appear like a shadow is cast over it.  While I prefer the lighter version when it was newly cut, I think the darker colour adds depth and mystery, which goes with the fragrance – a blend of frankincense, myrrh and warm spices. I was on the fence about the scent, and I am not sure if it will appeal to many, but it is really growing on me.

After going through so many names, I finally settled on Desert Dune. Frankincense and Myrrh are resins from trees that grow in the desert or in the harsh conditions of the Middle East and Africa, and I’d like to think that the swirls of the soap resemble the undulating silhouette of sand dunes.

Desert Dune

desert dune 2Desert Dune