Monday, February 10, 2014

Faux Hanger Swirl

This is a swirl that I came up with several years ago.  Before soapers were really sharing the secrets to their techniques on Youtube.  Back when hours of searching online for how-to's on creating pretty swirls in cold process soap in a loaf mold produced the "wisk" swirl on, the ITP swirl or the "grid" pattern swirl for slab molds.  Does any one else remember those days?  All you could really do back then was stare at a picture with your head cocked to the side mumbling over and over, "how'd she do that?"
I'd spent months pondering over several soaps that had swirls with the colors being dragged into one another in a vertical pattern.  It never crossed my mind that this beautiful pattern was being created by putting a wire hanger down in the soap.
Around this time, I was experimenting with using a chopstick to create swirls on the face of my soap.  I'd pretty much mastered those swirl in the slab mold, but wanted the same look in a loaf.  After a LOT of experimenting and countless failed attempts, I finally figured that the key was the angle of the stick.  Imagine you're holding a pencil in your hand and "writing" on the face of you soap. 
It occurred to me that I could maybe do this to create, what I would later find is called, a hanger swirl pattern.
CranApple Rose
"Faux Hanger Swirl" done using my trusty chopstick.
This soap is going to be my entry for the Bramble Berry 2014 Winter Soap Swap.  The fragrance is a blend of Crisp Apple Rose and Cranberry Chutney. 
Blue Sugar
These swirls were done with an actual wire hanger.
"Nooo wire hangers!!!" Sorry, couldn't help myself.  I can't think of wire hangers without remembering that scene from Mommy Dearest, lol.
 Back to the soap:  I previously had two unsuccessful hanger swirl attempts before concluding that you really do have to untwist the hanger in order to have control of it in the soap batter . 
Sometimes I have to learn my lessons the hard way.   
Now that I've actually had a successful go at this, I'm going to play around with the technique a bit more in some future batches.


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