Ice Storm - A Study in Indigo Splash Swirl

Welcome to the first post of the "wylde" soap line! With the launch of wylde soap company earlier this year and the promise of cool, naturally colored abstract design soaps, I really needed to get a wylde soap completed and the Splash Swirl Challenge was the perfect opportunity! This was such a fun challenge!  

Blue is my favorite color, so I decided to also attempt an ombre pour with a splash swirl. The concept behind the design was an icy storm displayed in an abstract way - the blue ombre mimicking storm clouds with the splash swirl being the ice/sleet represented by white and the storm itself represented by the ombre swirls that would be created by the technique. I also wanted to try a new essential oil blend of lemon, peppermint and spearmint and it fit the theme perfectly. 

Keeping with the "stormy" theme, the process itself was quite a storm! I no longer had the fantastic tall and skinny mold I used to own, having sold it before the move to Oklahoma, so I ordered a fairly inexpensive one from Amazon to get here quickly. It was the perfect shape and size for testing new things, but the rigid sides made it very difficult to remove! I found that I needed to let it sit for 2 days, then freeze overnight, pop out in the morning, and then let it thaw and dry completely for another day before I could cut. So that would limit the number of attempts I could do in the challenge time frame! After using it for the last few weeks though, I really like it and think I will keep it around for a while. ;)

Since I always plan to sell or gift my soaps, I like to use the same recipe every time so that people know what to expect from my soap. So I used my normal recipe of sunflower oil, coconut, and castor oils with mango butter. I also prepared an indigo powder slurry for the color. Years ago while testing natural colorants, I discovered Anne Georges and her amazing, high quality plant based dyes and have stuck by her indigo ever since. For blue, make certain to use Indigofera Tinctoria, or you will likely get green!

I get almost all of my essential oils from New Directions Aromatics. Very high quality and pure with the best prices I have found for buying in bulk. For this particular soap I ended up deciding on a blend of 1 part spearmint, 2 parts peppermint, and 4 parts 5-fold lemon.

Out of a total 47 oz batch of soap batter, I set aside 9.5 oz (about 20%) to stay white for the swirl. I then poured a first layer of white to start the ombre and added a 1/2 teaspoon of my indigo slurry to the remaining batter for each layer I poured. I ended up pouring 8 colored layers, each about 4.5 ounces, in addition to the initial white base layer.

My first attempt ended up being my best. The ombre was near perfect, but my white batter for the splash swirl started setting up and was a teeny bit thick when it poured. When I cut it a few days later, I was very pleased with the outcome, but hoped for a little bit more defined white in the swirl. No worries, I knew what to do for round 2 - or so I thought!

Although I just barely mixed to emulsion the second time, the first layer of the ombre pour was already setting up like pudding in mid-pour! What?!?! I hurriedly poured, but my ombre was not spreading in the mold well and I knew there was no way this was turning out as I hoped. Oh well, on with the show, give it a double pass with my hangar tool to try and swirl as much as possible, and hope for the best! Alas, although cool looking, not quite cut out for the challenge. 

Third and final attempt - everything seemed to be on track, but my batter stayed too thin while pouring and didn't result in an actual splash swirl. Again, still cool looking, but not meeting the guidelines on the challenge. 

So, here we are with just hours to the deadline to submit my soap entry and fingers crossed it was good enough! I am always in awe of the amazing soaps that are presented in these challenges and I am super proud of myself for tackling this one and launching the next phase of my business! All of the attempts will be available next week, launching the holiday season offerings and sales!

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1 comment

It’s such a beautiful soap, Kim! I’m so glad you were able to submit in time. I love the fantastic colors and swirls with all natural colors and scent! Looking forward to seeing more of your creations in future challenges!

Amy Warden

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