Friday, July 6, 2012

Wasabi Spoon Swirl

My Wasabi spoon swirl soap
There are so many fantastic soapmaking techniques out there. Some of them I have tried, others I have not. One of my favorite techniques is the spoon swirl.

You may remember hearing about it, or, if you are a soapmaker, you may have tried it. I first heard about the spoon swirl last summer when I saw this YouTube video by Ka Fée of Soap Session.

To do a spoon swirl, at least two colors of soap are needed. Basically, soap is drizzled into a mold by the spoonful, alternating colors, until the mold is filled. It can take a good long while to spoon out all of the soap, but the effects are totally worth the effort. It is crucial to know your recipe and fragrance or essential oils well when attempting a spoon swirl. Both the recipe and the fragrance must be well-behaved in order to allow enough time to work. This is the time for tried-and-true soap recipes and fragrance/essential oils that won't accelerate, rice, or seize.

For my spoon swirl soap, I chose a simple recipe of olive, coconut, sustainable palm, and castor oils. I used Bramble Berry's Wasabi fragrance oil, which is one of my favorite fragrances not only because it smells divine, but also because it behaves beautifully in CP soap.

I made my main batch by adding my fragrance oil to my soapmaking oils and then adding my lye solution to my oils. After reaching very light trace (when the oils were just emulsified), I split my batch into two equal portions. I colored one portion with titanium dioxide, and the other with hydrated chrome green oxide. Before adding the colorants to my soap, I mixed each with a bit of liquid glycerin to work out any clumps.

Various stages of soap drizzles
And then I began spooning my soap into my mold. (Here's a tip: If you are using metal spoons, please ensure that they are STAINLESS STEEL. Lye will react very badly with other metals.) I like to stick to a rhythm of four spoonfuls of one color and four spoonfuls of the next, alternating back and forth between the colors.

As the mold fills up, it is helpful to bang it on the countertop and give it a shake every once in a while to get rid of air bubbles.

Here is a video I made of the process:




It is a bit of a project, but a fun one at that. And the effects achieved by the spoon swirl technique are always unique and whimsical.

This is the second time I have done the spoon swirl. The first time I even used the same fragrance and colors. I loved the look and the scent of the soap so much, that I had to make another batch after the first one was gone! Wasabi is one of my all-time favorite fragrance oils, and I knew it would give me a nice, slow trace so I could recreate my first Wasabi spoon swirl, which still remains as one of my soaps that I am most proud of.

My first Wasabi spoon swirl soap (l) made Aug. 2011, and my second Wasabi spoon swirl (r) made June 2012.  I apparently used more of the colorants in the first soap - and better lighting.






Are you a fan of the spoon swirl? Do you like the look? Have you ever tried the technique yourself?

15 comments:

  1. Love that Wasabi spoon swirl! Looks like it is well worth all the work that goes into it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! It is a fun technique, and the effort is well worth it. I love the way a spoon swirl looks!

      Delete
  2. Looks great! I want to try the spoon swirl sometime soon, but with more uncolored I think. Not sure how that would work, but I'll give it a go!

    I bought Wasabi a while back after seeing you speak so highly of it. I mixed it with BB's Energy, I will admit. I think it worked really great!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Laura! The spoon swirl is one of my favorites - I can't wait to see how yours turns out! BB's Wasabi is one of my fave FOs - it smells fantastic and it soaps like a dream! I'll bet Wasabi is great mixed with BB's Energy, which is also a wonderful scent. Sounds like a nice combo!

      Delete
  3. Very pretty Jenny... I haven't actually "spoon swirled" but I for sure have spoon glopped.. lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Kim! I know what you mean, I have done the "spoon glop," too, lol! The glop-and-plop method can still produce very pretty soap, though. :D

      Delete
  4. once again, very lovely! I like the soft green ...fits perfectly with Wasabi! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Kalla! I love BB's Hydrated Chrome Green oxide, too.

      Delete
  5. Great soap Jenny. Love the video! Should do more!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Debbie! I'm glad that you enjoyed the video. I have a blast making the videos, and I definitely plan to do more!

      Delete
  6. Great tutorial Jenny! I have done a few of these spoon swirls, first one a disaster as soap was thick as mud, so ended being a spoon GLOP technigue but I get better each time. Yours (both) are very beautiful

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Donna! I am familiar with the spoon glop technique, too, lol. I've had to practice keeping my trace light enough, and it's important to also use well-behaved FOs/EOs. I love the spoon swirl - it's such a fun method and each batch is unique. Thanks for the compliments!

      Delete

Spammy or inappropriate comments will be removed.