Friday, July 15, 2016

Patriotic Pipes

Hmmm, I wonder what month this challenge was in? :)

It's been a discouraging, yet oddly entertaining year politically, what with the upcoming election.

But that's not what led me to this color scheme -- it was the stripes.

I just love red and white stripes. Maybe it's a leftover from Christmas, but they make me happy.

So, I had been planning to do a "Christmas in July" sort of thing, when the 4th rolled around...

I love how it turned out, but holiday themes go from timely to tired in the blink of an eye. Luckily for me, my son adores red, white and blue, and doesn't care about such things. :)


This is, of course, for the Soap Challenge Club's Pipe Divider Swirl, my new favorite technique. So much so that I must of made 5 batches, in different color schemes, and they're all good enough to give away to family and friends, which almost never happens for me!

If you're unfamiliar with the technique, you can watch it's creator demonstrate it on YouTube. It's basically a faux funnel pour in a tray mold, using pvc cylinders to separate the foreground colors from the background.

I used my new Brambleberry 9-bar silicone liner for these, and as it's translucent, I could print out a bar outline grid and slip it underneath. 

I traced the circles on the liner itself, which survived every batch but still easily come off with alcohol.

Instead of beeswax or cocoa butter, I used soft soy wax to affix short pvc sections to the silicone, which both adhered and detached really well.

The colors in my first batch came out completely different that I had pictured. I've been trying to work light/bright greens into my soaps, but haven't quite mastered them, yet.

The next batch had, of course, to be purple. It came out too speckled, and there wasn't enough contrast between the two shades of purple to show up on camera.

OK, so what's next? Bright green combined with purple, of course! The green and purple came out too vivid, and the the pink not vivid enough.

How about that same pink, in two different saturation levels, combined with black and turquoise?


OK, back to my entry. I had a lot of fun swirling it, even knowing I'd plane off the tops in the end. I didn't plan anything (obviously), but went for a lot of little flourishes, just cuz I like them.

For each batch, I used my favorite recipe:
  • 42% Lard
  • 22% Costco Mediterranean Blend Oil 
  • 25% Coconut Oil 
  • 11% Castor Oil
  • I soaped at 85° F, with an 2% lye discount
  • 1 oz/ppo fragrance oil + 1 oz/ppo sodium lactate
  • My fragrances were all over the place -- mostly the best-behaved ones (i.e., "Superstars") from Nurture Soaps (8th & Ocean, Cucumber & Melon, etc.)
  • Each FO was combined with 50% of my go-to decelerator (White Tea & Ginger FO from Nature's Garden)
  • The red is Nurture Soap's Really Red, which is gorgeous, and 1/3 the price of TKB Trading's Red #30. Hello Christmas...

Can you see the fireworks, or is it just me?


  1. Those are all beautiful! How about we just put your patriotic soap up for election, and call it good - it already beats the current candidates hands down. ;) Seriously, I love the flourishes in your swirls. It makes them all look wonderfully complex, and the contrasts? Awesome.

  2. I love how you swirled these, Claudia!! The colors are definitely perfect for this season, however annoying it is right now. Just looking at this soap makes me much happier!! :)

  3. Wow, Claudia! Another true masterpiece! You never cease to amaze me. These are gorgeous!!

  4. I love each and every one of your batches! I don't know how you were able to choose. So incredibly beautiful, each one! Also, I immediately saw your entry as a Fourth of July soap and don't see any thing else - and not because I'm ignoring the election as much as possible... in fact, what election?

  5. Wow I love your red white and blue soap but you got some great swirls in th other batches as well.

  6. I love all of your soaps Claudia! I think you need to make a video of the swirling process - it's that lovely.

  7. Crazy swirls! They are fantastic and your soap is gorgeous!

  8. They are all turned out so wonderful! Great color combinations.

  9. These are all spectacular! Good luck :)

  10. beautiful soap, and the colors are wonderful. I love your red white and blue soap the swirls are great

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  12. Such beautiful colors and swirls Claudia! Love them all!

    Do you soap this lard soap with discounted water amounts?

  13. Thanks, Pam. Yes, these were done with my usual water discount. It's pretty rare that I don't discount, as it doesn't impact trace. And, I prefer to decelerate via an FO than to water it down.

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