Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Swirling Soap Series: Nonpareil Swirl

After finishing my first attempt at a peacock swirl, I became obsessed with different swirling techniques. I worked on my swirling while watching videos on youtube and talking to my friend Michelle, who makes amazing marbled and swirled paper (shout out for Michelle and her shop DynamiteFibers!) After realizing how few tutorials there were online, I decided to start documenting my swirling on my blog. So here we go with our first swirl in the series: the nonpareil swirl.
You will want to start off with a slow moving recipe (recipes with 70% olive oil or above work well for me) and a fragrance that does not accelerate trace. Mix your lye and oils together until you reach emulsification, which is where the oils and lye are mixed together, but not thickening. You will want your mix slightly runny. Once you reach emulsification, add your fragrance, then set aside a few ounces of soap into separate containers to color. When choosing the colors for your soap, remember that bright, contrasting colors work great! The addition of black, white, and brown can make a very dramatic effect. 

You will need a combing tool, which can easily be made at home. I made my combing tool using cardboard and chopsticks. I attached my chopsticks to my combing tool using a hot glue gun. It works great!  

Start off by pouring the base of your soap, which should be the majority of your batter. 

Next, color your soap batter that you set aside and drizzle that soap on the surface of your base. You will want to drizzle side to side, rather than up and down.
Soapy lines from left to right
Once you have drizzled your lines back and forth, now is the time to use your combing tool. Insert your combing tool at the top of your mold, then pull down in one, solid stroke. Your comb will create the nonpareil swirl as it pulls down.

That's it! You are done! Super simple, yet really gorgeous! 
Come back next Wednesday when I break down the peacock swirl!

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