This month I took part in Amy’s Great Cakes Soapworks Mantra Swirl Challenge. If you're not familiar with Amy's Soap Challenge Club, each month she issues a new new challenge or technique to try. It's a great way to enhance your soapmaking skills and you can join in at any time. When you sign up, you get access to an instructional video for that month's challenge plus written instructions and tips. Members also get to vote on their favorite soaps and there are great prizes involved too!
I was looking forward to trying this month's challenge, the Mantra Swirl, as I’ve never done a hanger swirl or mantra swirl before, and I was able to try both of those new techniques in this challenge.
The original mantra swirl was revealed by cutting the loaf into larger bars and then cutting those bars in half horizontally to reveal the surface of the swirl within the slab. The other option is to do a modified mantra swirl, which is accomplished by combining the hanger swirl technique inside the soap with the mantra swirl on top, and this is the technique I chose to try.
I used activated charcoal for the black portion, copper mica for the middle portion, and left the 3rd portion uncolored:
I had a bit of technical difficulty, in that I used charcoal for the black portion and although I've never used it before, I had a feeling it might thicken up the soap batter, and sure enough it did! Even though I moved fast with the charcoal-colored portion, you can see from the way my soap swirled (or lack thereof!) on the inside, that it was much thicker and didn't swirl quite as well as the copper and white colors. You can see my sorta-hanger swirl here:
All in all, I’m happy with it for a first try, it was a fun technique to tackle...thank you Amy for the helpful instructional video and tips!