Hello everyone! and a Happy New Year to all!

Another year over all too quickly, I don’t know where the time goes.

This months challenge is The Taiwan circling swirl which I have wanted to try for ages but like a lot of things just didn’t get round to doing, so this month is the ideal time to try. I don’t have the 3 dividers but have a mould with 2 dividers and a mould with one divider and luckily with a bit of modification, clothes pegs and 2 elastic bands, I managed to have a mould with 3 dividers.

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I decided on my colours which all happened to be mad oils micas and because I was using a high water content to keep the batter fluid I didn’t use Titanium Dioxide, I went with white mica instead. Auntie Clara done a blog post some time ago about high  water when using TD causing glycerin rivers so I always use 30% water when using TD which really would have been too low for this swirl. I did make a practice soap but didn’t like the colours or the swirl because the soap batter just got too thick.

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Fragrance, I chose Cranberry Fig from Brambleberry which doesn’t cause acceleration. It smells beautiful. I haven’t tried it before but so glad I have as it behaves really well too.

I used equal amounts of Palm, Olive, Sweet Almond and Coconut oils which ended up being the perfect consistency for this as it stayed fluid with plenty of time to do this intricate swirl technique.

I poured orange and black into the middle 2 sections and the green, blue and white poured in the 2 outer sections like a mini tiger pour. I also added orange to the section nearest the black and black in the section nearest the orange so it basically meant there was going to be 4 mixed colours in the outside sections.

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Once I took the dividers out it ended up being a bit messy at this stage but I was hoping after doing the swirl you wouldn’t really notice.

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I used a wooden chopstick (my favorite swirling tool) to do the Taiwan swirl and circled around 5 times. I definitely seen a difference between my practice soap and this one and more fluid soap batter is definitely better.

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I got my inspiration for the name of my soap and colors from the gorgeous colors of the Taiwan Dragons which they use at the front of the Dragon boats when racing. I picked a few colors from the different ones. The crouching tiger is the tiger pour in the outer sections. So the name is “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”

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After pouring the soap, I popped it in the oven for an hour on very low just to make sure it gelled. I have used a slow tracing recipe before and it just seems like forever to set up, by putting it in the oven it just speeds up the process a bit. After 20 hours or so it was ready to unmould. I cut it on my single wire cutter this time. I usually cut with a knife but thought I would try the wire this time.

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This is the cut bars with the Lotus on either end and a pic of the middle bars too. I love how this has turned out and it is such a lovely swirl technique. This was my second attempt at this swirl but I think I will be doing more in the future.

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The 3 olive martini mica really sparkles on the pics.

These are the 2 lotus ends.

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This is the 2 pieces from the middle of the loaf.

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Thanks Amy for another great challenge and Thanks to Elaine Wright for sharing her lovely swirls too x

As always, Love from Spain x

Carolyn

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