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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Great Cake Soapworks March 2017 Challenge ~ Secret Swirl technique

Great Cakes Soapworks Challenge
March 2017 ~ Secret Swirls
Hostess ~ Amy Warden

MY ENTRY  ~   Blue Jay Feather
All Natural Soap

This months challenge is one I had admired in other Soapmakers designs for quite some time. It involves creating a design 'hidden' inside until the soap loaf is cut to reveal it. Most designs create versions of the 'feather' or tree/flower' swirl. Layers of alternating colors are made in the center section either free hand or with assistance of divider tools. After the dividers are carefully removed, a horizontal tool is used to either pull up through the color layers OR push down through with ONE movement only. 
 I chose as my inspiration, the spunky Eastern Blue Jay. We have several that hang out around our house. They have such gorgeous colors, and several feather patterns.

This Soap uses an all natural recipe.
*** Ingredients in order of % used: 
Olive oil, Coconut oil, Kombucha Tea, Kombucha SCOBY, Heavy Whipping Cream, unrefined Shea Butter, & Castor Oil. Colored with: White Kaolin Clay, Indigo Powder, Activated Charcoal powder/Coconut, and Madder Root. SCENT: Orange 10x EO from Brambleberry, and  Dark Patchouli EO from Bulk Apothecary. (1 oz. total EOs with 1/2 oz. of each EO.)
Kombucha contributed to tanning the base color.
 I used Hazelnut oil to diffuse the A.C., Indigo, and Kaolin powders in. The Madder root I first tried in oil, but found it needed water to release the color from the root. I chose not to put it in the lye solution, since that would ruin the ability to color alternate batter the way I wanted, and I did not want to create another mini batch just for that.

I was able to use my tall/skinny mold I saved from the 'shimmy' challenge! :) I made up 2 dividers by doubling up poster board and covering it with packing tape. 

 I LOVE drinking Kombucha! If you have ever bought it, you know how much it can add up buying bottles at the store! ~ it is way more cost effective to make it at home, and simple to do. More info on Kombucha can be found online, but here are two very helpful places: Kombucha Kamp, and Get Kombucha
 Since I have plenty of Kombucha Tea and several SCOBY on hand, I have started using Kombucha Tea regularly in most of my soaping recipes. 
 For this recipe the Kombucha Tea would lend itself well to the natural tan/earthy look I was looking for as my base, or background color, for my Jay feather. Adding the SCOBY puree further darkens the color. 
 If you are interest in making your own SCOBY puree and using KT in your soap adventures check out Brambleberrys Kombucha SCOBY CP soap tutorials on using KT and Puree in your recipe ~ it really helped me, especially with how to make the Puree. 
 I enjoy the added benefit KT and SCOBY bring to soaps, as it enhances lather due to its sugar content, plus natural probiotic, mineral and vitamin content. 
 I did not discount the liquid this time for my recipe, using the total liquid of 12 oz. 9 oz KTea to dissolve the Lye. i calculated the 3 oz of strained SCOBY Puree, to be 50% H2O, adding up to 10.5 oz liquid. 1 oz Cream = 11.5. I left the other 1/2 liquid for adding the Madder root water later.
 I added the combined Kombucha SCOBY Puree, and the heavy cream after adding the lye solution to the oils. Essential oil blend was added to the warmed oils pre-lye.

At thin trace, Indigo, AC, and Kaolin were each added to appoximately 2 oz batter each. Madder root infusion was added to the main batter pot. The Madder root didn't seem to change the color much. I added close to 1/2 +? and stopped there. I didn't want to overload it! I still have alot of learning to do with natural colorant usage!!! :)

 Sorry I didn't get pics of the actual soap in the mold while doing the color layers :(. I alternated Blue/White/black. Then after pulling the dividers out, I accidentally used my hanger the wrong direction! I pulled up through instead of down! :0  Argh! too late, couldn't do it again backwards.... so tempted!  Oh well. I still like how they turned out, even if my Blue jay feather is more like a stack of WW s. :)). 
 There are also visible glycerin rivers, Probably from adding the Madder root liquid to the batter later. It gave the soaps a crackled look I hadn't planned on! 
 I was going for a vintage/aged looking background, with the blue feather 'on top'. 
 I had so much fun, and plan on doing this again soon! Thank to Amy of Great Cakes Soapworks for hosting this fun challenge! 
  Have a great day everyone!   ~ I can't wait to see what y'all come up with :) ~ Eva

You can see my Handcrafted soaps for sale in my Etsy shop at: evassoapbasket.com